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Mace & Crown | March 26, 2017

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Vice-Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine Hosts Democratic Campaign Event at ODU

Vice-Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine Hosts Democratic Campaign Event at ODU

Erin Sudek
Staff Writer

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, a former governor of Virginia, hosted a campaign rally outside of Rollins Hall on ODU’s campus. About 300 students and Hampton Roads residents attended the event which was held on Friday, Sept. 9.

Anne Holton, who is the former VA secretary of education, introduced Sen. Kaine to the audience. She emphasized the “Stronger Together” slogan that Clinton’s campaign has adopted, and the power of women in government. The speech began with recognizing and thanking many individuals who have supported the democratic campaign, and led directly into the qualifications of the democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Kaine brought up the recent anniversary of the tragic events on 9/11, and how Clinton, at that time the senator of NY, spent years fighting for and acquiring funds to rebuild the city and to offer first responders’ health care treatment.

He highlighted her efforts during her time on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), where she fought for the aid and support of military families during deployment.

“We can’t make military service easy, but we can try to make being a military family easier,” Sen. Kaine said.

Sen. Kaine and Clinton have both been strong supporters of the military, namely Norfolk and Old Dominion’s military affiliated students and their families.

The importance of diplomacy and alliances was addressed as well, along with the democratic campaign’s stance on the battlefields in Syria and Iraq. The Clinton campaign believes in in the strength of alliances and the sharing of intelligence in order to ensure national and international safety.

This contrasts with the republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s stance on diplomacy, which Sen. Kaine described as “dangerous.” Sen. Kaine pointed out that Trump “trashes” the military and “severs” alliances, which brought up the question of who will share intelligence with the US if our national security is at risk?

“Building walls and tearing down alliances will make us weaker not stronger,” said Sen. Kaine.

Trump’s “unpatriotic” infatuation with Vladamir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, was another topic of discussion. Sen. Kaine claimed that Trump cannot differentiate between dictatorship and leadership, which is a slippery slope as a presidential candidate.

Sen. Kaine discussed the controversy of climate change, and that the democratic campaign does indeed “believe in science” and recognizes that it is real, and that we have to “take responsibility and do something,” which contrasts with Trump’s position that it does not exist.

Clinton wants to make moves to protect communities by investing in infrastructure, sponsor ‘green’ products, and create a clean energy economy with jobs in fields that work towards reducing the harmful effects on the planet that contribute to climate change. This is especially important in Norfolk, who has seen water levels rise in past years and, in turn, experiences a large amount of flooding during the year.

“I think it’s great that they care about climate change and the rising sea-levels around the Hampton Roads area because it’s a major issue that a lot of local politicians neglect or have trouble with here,” said ODU senior Tommy Kiesner.

Education and the enormous amount of student debt within the country were also addressed, and Clinton’s ambitious vision of debt-free college and a new economic plan within the first 100 days in office was announced, which will invest in skills and education.

Sen. Kaine countered that with Trump’s lack of a plan for student debt, and his “scandalous and fraudulent” history in education with Trump University and it’s followed lawsuits.

The Clinton Foundation, which is a non-profit organization created by the Clinton family, and its work towards problems like AIDS and poverty worldwide heightened Sen. Kaine’s point about the contrasting nature of Clinton’s and Trump’s focus.

Sen. Kaine closed with some inspiring words of hope for success and the election of the first female president.

“We are the underdog until we win the election,” Kaine said.

Virginia polls for the presidential election will be held on November 8, 2016.