When Donald John Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election at the Trump Tower to an audience of about a thousand supporters on a blustery New York morning on June 16, 2015, no one could’ve anticipated the impact that he would have on this election cycle. No one (aside from Ann Coulter) could’ve even envisioned Mr. Trump winning the GOP presidential nomination. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time – even Mr. Trump himself -, there was a leadership void within the Republican Party that was crying out to be filled.
The billionaire’s no-nonsense style, outsider status, business savvy and keen political instincts drew in the support of blocks of politically frustrated middle class conservatives, tea partiers and Ron Paul’s orphaned paleolibertarians, who were all looking for a champion to lead them and give their struggle a voice. In the following months, these disparate groups of voters organically coalesced into a powerful coalition which has propelled Mr. Trump’s candidacy from the fringes of the race to the summit of the Republican nomination leaderboard with surprising, albeit controversial, ease.
And to think, the teetotaler wasn’t even certain about running as late early 2015. There were real fears that similar to the general elections of 1988, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, Mr. Trump would not make a bid for the nomination despite giving indications that he might.
His giddying ascension in the polls has been met with incredulous wonder by the media and more established candidates who have long fallen to the wayside. His combative performances in the debates left his opponents tongue-tied, much to the delight of his supporters. His controversial off-the-cuff deliveries and political incorrectness are viewed proudly by his legion of followers. His war cry, Make America Great Again, has galvanized even the elderly to attend his lively rallies.
Mr. Trump’s in-your-face style has drawn a lot of flak from all corners, but only a fool would doubt that there is a method behind his apparent madness. As the former reality TV star has demonstrated repeatedly throughout his career, his audacity is always accompanied by a ferocious intelligence.
There is simply no denying that Mr. Trump has changed the face of American politics forever. And the prospect of a businessman being elected to the White House has rekindled century-old memories of the Roaring Twenties when entrepreneurs such as Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover occupied the Oval Office.
Mr. Trump’s nationalist populist brand of politics captured the imagination of the nation, and powered his victory in the Republican primaries. However, will the charismatic real estate tycoon be able to use an identical approach in his White House run, or will he pivot to the center and reign in his explosive personality? Will he be able to unite the party’s fractured base and win over the agitated social conservatives? Will Miley Cyrus move out of the country if Mr. Trump is elected?
As a child growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, young Timothy would spend his weekends in his father’s iron-working shop while other kids in the neighborhood were busy acting their age. On Sundays, the Catholic family, without fail, would attend evening mass at 9 p.m. A decade later, Timothy Michael Kaine took a year off from Harvard Law School to join a Jesuit mission in El Progreso, Honduras to teach carpentry to youths. He would cycle to villages in the area to recruit students to the mission’s vocational center.
When the gangly, curly-haired young man returned to Harvard, he caught the eye of freshman Anne Holton, daughter of former Governor of Virginia, A. Linwood Holton Jr. The couple moved to Richmond, Virginia after graduation and married in 1984 immediately after he was admitted to the bar. Senator Kaine quickly established a reputation as a lawyer who was sensitive to social justice issues, and before long, he started his own practice, which would go on to specialize on fair housing laws. By 1989, a 31-year-old Sen. Kaine was appointed an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond.
The call of public service compelled him to seek a seat on the city council. He did so in 1994, and four years later, the economics and law graduate was elected Mayor of Richmond. In 2001, Sen. Kaine ran for Lt. Governor of Virginia and won a fiercely-contested race against Republican Jay K. Katzen. In a strange twist of fate, Sen. Kaine was sworn in by his wife Anne, who was then a Judge on the state’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
He went a step further in 2005 when he ran for and won the governorship, making him the 70th Governor of Virginia. Virginia limits its governors to a single term in office, so Sen. Kaine left the office of governor in 2010. The following year, Sen. Kaine announced his intention to contest for the state’s soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat, and subsequently, comfortably won the election in 2012.
Quiet and reserved by nature, Sen, Kaine has never been known as a flashy progressive. Instead, the fluent Spanish speaker is a pragmatic operator who gets things done by building bridges and developing coalitions, often across the aisle. With extensive private, executive and legislative experience under his belt, Sen. Kaine is poised for greater things in national politics. Perhaps, as the next Vice President of the United States?
First Vice-Presidential Campaign Appearance
Miami, FL | July 23, 2016