Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in Miami, Florida.

REUTERS/Scott Audette
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Hillary Clinton Picks Tim Kaine as Her Running Mate

The Virginia senator is set to become the Democrats' nominee
for vice president.

Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination for president last month. But a big question remained about her campaign: Who would serve as her vice president?

Clinton answered that Friday by naming Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. Her choice was important because vice president is the second-highest office in the U.S. government. If a president leaves office for any reason, the vice president takes over the job.

“I have said many times that the most important qualification when you are trying to make this really big choice is 'Can this person step in to be president?'”  Clinton said of Kaine at a campaign event in Miami, Florida, on Saturday. “He delivers real results.” 

Clinton said she chose Kaine from a handful of top Democrats because of his experience and because he “likes to get things done.”  Kaine has been a U.S. senator since 2013. He also served as Virginia's governor from 2006 to 2010. Kaine also has a very good command of Spanish, which could help Clinton attract Latino voters. On Saturday, Kaine used that skill while addressing the crowd in Miami, which has a large Latino population.

 “En este país somos Americanos todos,”  he said to cheers from the audience. That means, “In this country, we're all Americans.” 

Kaine will try to help Clinton win the general election on November 8. They will try to defeat Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, and his running mate, Mike Pence.

Democrats Gather in Philadelphia

Clinton made her announcement three days before the start of this week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The convention, which starts today and runs through Thursday, is a giant gathering of party leaders. National conventions also serve as the official kickoff for presidential campaigns. On Tuesday, party officials called delegates are expected to formally select Clinton and Kaine as the Democratic nominees for president and vice president.

The Democrats had hoped to stress the unity of their party at the convention. However, party unity may have been hurt by a series of emails leaked to the press over the weekend. The emails were from officials at the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the group that governs the Democratic Party. Party leaders are not supposed to side with any candidate during the race to become the nominee for president. But the emails reportedly show that DNC officials may have worked against Clinton's main opponent in the primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The controversy caused DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down. 

The emails angered many Sanders supporters. Protesters are expected to gather outside of the convention this week.

However, Sanders has said he still plans to support Clinton. He is scheduled to speak at the convention tonight. He will be followed during the week by other Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton. The speakers will try to drum up enthusiasm and support for Clinton, who is scheduled to speak on Thursday, accepting her party's nomination.