The job of a vice president is often very taxing; hence presidential nominees diligently seek out the best candidate who they strongly believe fit the portfolio. The vice president doubles as an attack dog, a presidential praise singer, and most importantly can double as commander-in-chief. So the candidates for this job must have a befitting political and educational resume.
On July 15th 2016, Donald Trump revealed that he had selected Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate in the forthcoming presidential elections, while on July 22nd 2016, Hillary Clinton announced Tim Kaine as her vice presidential pick.
Michael Richard “Mike” Pence is the incumbent governor of Indiana, he is a conservative and has served in different levels of government. He was a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a card carrying member of the Republican party. It is believed that the Mike Pence selection would give Donald Trump’s campaign a strong and closer tie to the Republican base. He has a strong understanding of pertinent political practices, something that Donald Trump lacks.
Timothy Michael “Tim” Kaine is currently a member of the U.S. Senate and a progressive. He grew up steadily in politics in quite an upward spiral. He first served as the mayor of Richmond. In January 2012 he became the lieutenant Governor of Virginia, before becoming the governor of the state in 2006. Tim Kaine who served as a missionary in Honduras is fluent in Spanish. The nomination of Kaine as the Democratic presumptive nominee for vice president would create a stable force and amplifies Hillary Clinton’s arguments.
What the nominations mean for the African diaspora
According to TV One, and maybe unsurprisingly, diasporans living in America have more to fear in a Mike Pence VP than a Tim Kaine VP. Mike Pence, “the GOP Indiana governor has been targeted by activists for his record on educating black children and protecting voting rights.” Indiana does not have any current laws on the books that allow employers to give employees leave time during work to vote this only adds to cumbersome and sometimes complicated voter registration laws that have left many, specifically minorities, not able to vote. The report from TV One also highlighted that since 1992, Indiana has refocused on funding charter schools while public education has been underfunded.
Tim Kaine’s record does look much better as Thenation.com described him as a huge ambassador for “racial justice”, especially in the southern state of Virginia that has had its fair share of racial divides and segregation historically. Thinkprogress.org commended his support of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, opposition of the death penalty, and “support of comprehensive immigration reform, favoring a pathway to citizenship for immigrants”.
However, he has argued for looser banking regulations which many blame for the housing crisis of 2008 that led to subsequent US recession, the recession left many diasporans without a home, and in addition his loose banking regulations stance does not help an already not so popular Hillary who many believe is a “Wall Street politician”.