I've got a new piece up at Shareblue about the two men who are proverbially "one heartbeat away" from the presidency—Tim Kaine and Mike Pence.
When Hillary Clinton first selected Tim Kaine as her running mate, I noted that Kaine is actually a nice guy, while Mike Pence just pretends to be one: "I don't personally know either of these men. All I have by which to assess them is their records. I hear that both of them are nice, but only one of their records looks like one that seems to represent a legislator who cares about marginalized people. People like me."There is much more at the link.
I was reminded of this distinction once again when I saw Pence on Meet the Press saying Donald Trump, if elected, would suspend the Syrian refugee program because it "puts safety and security of the American people second to the agenda of the UN or to liberals in this country."
It's an issue on which Trump's running mate isn't merely parroting the policy of the ticket-topper. Pence is a true believer on closing the doors to Syrian refugees, currently locked in a court battle over the settlement of refugees in his home state of Indiana.
...It couldn't be further from the approach taken by Tim Kaine, who, in his first speech after being selected by Clinton, asked how many people in his Miami audience were naturalized citizens. As hands were raised, Kaine told them: "Thank you for choosing us."
In five words, Kaine managed to convey the most fundamental difference between himself and Pence: One is a man who will defy a court order to keep refugees of war out of his state. The other is a man who will invite immigrants to identify themselves, just so he can thank them for making this country their home.