Written by Alli Enticott
Just a few months ago, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had the hard decision of picking who is to be their running mate and new Vice President (VP). After several weeks of deliberation it was revealed on Twitter that Clinton had picked Senator Tim Kaine, while Trump had chosen Governor Mike Pence.
In just over a week the elections will come to an end and we will know who is to succeed the current VP Joe Biden, but what does the job entail? The role of vice presidency is primarily to resume the role of President if anything is to happen to him/her, and to be president of the United States senate, casting tie-breaking votes if needed. The VP will perform other roles, but these are decided by the president. So who are the running candidates for the job.
Democrat Tim Kaine has held a high political position for twenty two years after first being elected to public office in 1994, and has been at the forefront of many political issues such as war, discrimination, and challenges facing the economy.
Kaine was raised in Kansas City, and later moved to Virginia where he pursued a seventeen year long career in law, representing clients of discrimination. Before serving four terms on the city council in 1994, two of which as Mayor, he spent time volunteering in Honduras, learning fluent Spanish.
His time as mayor saw him support many projects, one of them being ‘Project Exile’ to move gun crimes to federal court, reducing Richmond’s homicide. However, Kaine did not stop at Mayor, and in 2002 was elected as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia until 2006 when he was elected as Governor of Virginia. This led to Kaine signing off many executive orders such as the banning of smoking in public areas.
Since 2012, he has been a senator for Virginia sitting on many committees, and is now the first candidate from Virginia for Vice Presidency since 1840. Although he has spent a large number of years in Virginia, his connection with Kansas may help Clinton to secure more votes.
However, if Trump is to win the elections the new VP could be Republican Mike Pence. Born and raised in Indiana, Pence graduated law school in 1986 working as an attorney for a private practice. In 1988 he started his political career by running for congress, but was unsuccessful. This led Pence to host a political radio talk show in 1992.
Running for the U.S House of Representatives in 2000, he won a seat in Indiana’s second Congressional district and in his first year of congress developed a reputation to go his own way after opposing George Bush’s ‘No child left behind Act’ in 2001. Despite this, he was re-elected four more times.
Although Pence lost the run for leader of the Republican Party in the United States of Representatives in 2006, he was elected as a Republican conference chairman in 2009, the first representative from Indiana to hold a leadership position since 1981. Now the fiftieth Governor of Indiana since 2013, he has made a large impression on his state reducing state taxes, improving funding for state pre-schools and approving freight and rail improvements.
Despite being Trump’s candidate, Pence has been seen to oppose certain proposals in Trump’s campaign such as ban’s on Muslims entering the U.S. which could suggest an unsteady relationship between both politicians.
The current polls put Hillary Clinton in the lead with forty-nine percent of votes compared to Donald Trump with forty-two percent of votes, and with ten days until the elections either of the candidates could become Vice President.