WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has yet to formally announce any plans to run for president in 2016, but that won't deter Sen Tim Kaine, D-Va., from issuing an endorsement.
“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.