“Secretary Hillary Clinton is the best person to be our 45th President for many reasons,” Kaine will say in prepared remarks shown in advance to CNN. “She is a classic American optimist with the background and experiences necessary to lead this country in a very complicated world.”
Speaking later today at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in South Carolina, Kaine will endorse Clinton's still-assumed presidential bid, joining fellow Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and the pro-Clinton super PAC Ready For Hillary in the former first lady's camp.
Kaine's endorsement carries added historic weight as he was among the first politicians to endorse then-Senator Barack Obama over establishment favorite Clinton in the 2007 Democratic primaries.
I was and am proud that I was an early supporter of our great President. I made my decision early because I knew something-he was the right person for the job but getting there would be hard. And I figured that the sooner I started helping him in Virginia, the more helpful I would be.
I sure hope a lot of folks will make plain to her that as she's trying to decide, 'Hey, if you run, we're all behind you. I really hope people do that. But I don't have any illusion that it'll just be a one-candidate race. Competition isn't bad, and there might be some competition.
The Jefferson-Jackson Dinner is an annual event held by the South Carolina Democratic party.