Kaine says Clin­ton will try to work with GOP

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD - By Kath­leen Ron­ayne and Alan Su­d­er­man

Tim Kaine is sound­ing a hope­ful note that a Demo­cratic White House could work with Repub­li­cans to bridge deep di­vides laid bare by this bit­ter pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

The vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Satur­day that he and Hil­lary Clin­ton have al­ready spo­ken about how to heal the na­tion if they should win. He said tack­ling eco­nomic anx­i­eties, finding com­mon pol­icy ground with the GOP and per­haps bring­ing Repub­li­cans into the ad­min­is­tra­tion would be el­e­ments of unity, though he added that he and Clin­ton did not dis­cuss Cabi­net po­si­tions.

“We have not run this cam­paign as a cam­paign against the GOP with the big broad brush — we’ve run it against Don­ald Trump,” Kaine said. He pre­dicted: “We’re go­ing to get a lot of Repub­li­can votes and that will also be part of, right out of the gate, the way to bring folks back to­gether.”

Clin­ton’s cam­paign has been pre­par­ing for the pos­si­bil­ity that Trump won’t con­cede the elec­tion if he loses, based on his as­ser­tions that the con­test is rigged. Kaine said he hasn’t talked with Clin­ton about that sce­nario.

A self-de­scribed un­der­dog, Kaine said he only re­cently be­gan ac­knowl­edg­ing the real pos­si­bil­ity of vic­tory. He’s hired Wayne Tur­nage, a former chief of staff, as his tran­si­tion direc­tor and is con­sid­er­ing is­sues he’d pur­sue as vice pres­i­dent.

“It’s prob­a­bly only been in the last cou­ple of weeks that I’ve started to think about, OK, the prospect of win­ning is such that we bet­ter start do­ing some think­ing about prac­ti­cal­i­ties,” Kaine said.

As vice pres­i­dent, Kaine said he would hope to be cen­tral in forg­ing re­la­tion­ships be­tween the ad­min­is­tra­tion and may­ors and gover­nors. Kaine served as the mayor of Richmond and gover­nor of Vir­ginia be­fore win­ning his Se­nate seat in 2012. He also wants to help shape U.S. pol­icy in Latin and South Amer­ica, due to his flu­ency in Span­ish and ex­pe­ri­ence as a mis­sion­ary in Hon­duras.

Kaine still re­mains some­what of an out­sider in Clin­ton’s world. She has de­vel­oped trusted re­la­tion­ships with sev­eral aides over decades and Kaine is a new ad­di­tion to the mix.

He’s at times been out of the loop on ma­jor de­vel­op­ments, such as not know­ing about Clin­ton’s pneu­mo­nia di­ag­no­sis in Septem­ber un­til days later. The two cam­paign to­gether in­fre­quently, but com­mu­ni­cate by text mes­sage, email and phone. Some­times they talk every few days, but it could be as in­fre­quent as once a week, Kaine said.

Their sched­uled joint ap­pear­ance in Penn­syl­va­nia on Satur­day was their first event to­gether since La­bor Day.

But Kaine said he’s not wor­ried about lack­ing a voice in a Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion and ex­pects to be a prin­ci­pal ad­viser to her on the most dif­fi­cult is­sues if she wins. He said he thinks Clin­ton picked him over long­time con­fi­dants specif­i­cally be­cause he was not a mem­ber of the in­ner cir­cle from way back.

“I’m not wor­ried about, you know, get­ting my two cents in,” he said.

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