ProPublica has closely examined the record of Tim Kaine over the years. It is a mixed bag with some serious concerns, especially on trade deals, big banks, and labor issues, folded in with some good views on social issues, such as abortion rights (though he is a Catholic) and opposition to the death penalty. Kaine’s main claim to fame is that he has no skeletons in his closet and is a proven successful political campaigner and is thus unlikely to say or do anything ridiculous and thus harm the ticket.
Of course, being ridiculous doesn’t seem to have hurt Donald Trump any, at least not yet, because as far as Republicans are concerned, we are in a surrealist political landscape. Trump is taking an approach to politics that parallels the Dadaist movement in art, defined as “A European artistic and literary movement (1916-1923) that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity”, except that the Dadaism was a coherent and thoughtful philosophy whereas Trumpism seems confused and entirely ad hoc, such as during yesterday’s press conference where, among other things, he seemed to be actually asking for Russian president Vladimir Putin’s help in hacking into Hillary Clinton’s private emails and releasing them. Philip Bump has provided an annotated copy of the transcript, indicating all the bizarre things he said.
I wonder how he would react if Clinton in return asked Putin to hack the IRS computers and release Trump’s tax returns, which he once promised to release but has now reneged.