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Donald Trump and the Tim Kaine effect


It was Friday, July 22, 2016, at 7:32 pm when the Democrat U.S. Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine, was called by Hillary Clinton, who graciously announced him that he was her vice-presidential pick for the November general elections. https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-picks-tim-kaine-000000880.html

Starting from this moment, Donald Trump needs to quickly get out of the Cleveland Republican National Convention ambience and calculate his next steps, in order to neutralize the Tim Kaine effect, which will probably reshape the first part of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, held from July 25 to 28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


There are at least five factors, embodied in as many swing states, which the fresh Republican presidential nominee needs to take into account and neutralize their counter-effects, if he still wants to become the next President of the United States.

  1. Ohio

Accomplishments: organizing the GOP National Convention in the Buckeye State; many voters, like the influential Peter Thiel, a billionaire PayPal co-founder and Silicon Valley investor, are locals or grew up there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTJB8AkT1dk&t=3m53s

 Things to neutralize: John Kasich’s passivity – the Ohio governor, and Trump’s former challenger, chose to become invisible during the Cleveland GOP Convention, although his responsibilities included some logistical and state security measures during the event.

  1. Pennsylvania

Accomplishments: Trump eventually won the state bound and unbound delegates during the Republican primaries.

Things to neutralize: Pat Toomey, the U.S. senator for Pennsylvania, chose not to show up in Cleveland, just like Kasich; the Democratic National Convention is held in Philadelphia.

  1. Florida

Accomplishments: Trump won all Florida delegates in the primaries.

Things to neutralize: Marco Rubio’s weak support—the U.S. senator for Florida, a former Trump challenger, chose not to show up in Cleveland, although he delivered a televised speech; Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have a rally in Miami on Saturday, July 23; Kaine spent a year in Honduras (between 1980 and 1981) helping Jesuit missionaries who ran a Catholic school in the country, and he is fluent in Spanish.

  1. Virginia

Accomplishments: Trump won the Virginia Republican primaries, although Marco Rubio came as a close second.

Things to neutralize: Tim Kaine has a long career as a Virginia politician, serving as a Richmond mayor (1998-2001), and the state Lieutenant Governor (2002-2006), governor (2006-2010), and U.S. Senator (2013 to date).

  1. Another Mid-West State

Accomplishments: Mike Pence, the Indiana governor, and Trump’s pick for vice-president; Trump also won most of the Mid-West states in the Republican primaries.

Things to neutralize: Tim Kaine was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri.

Especially during the following week, supposedly dominated by the Democratic National Convention, but also after that, Donald Trump must maintain himself in the center of the news, neutralizing by well thought strategic moves the adverse effects for his presidential campaign, triggered in these must-win aforementioned states by the recent events.


Tiberiu Dianu is a scholar and author of several books and articles in law and post-communist societies. He studied law, human rights, and criminal justice at the universities of Bucharest (Romania), Strasbourg (France), Oxford and Manchester (U.K.), American University (Washington, DC), and University of Maryland at College Park (Maryland). He currently lives in Washington, DC, where he works for various government and private agencies.


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