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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.,participate in a rally at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., July 14, 2016. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP)

Hillary Clinton decides to raise Kaine

07/23/16 10:17AM

In retrospect, Hillary Clinton gave Charlie Rose a pretty big hint about her intentions earlier this week. Asked about Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and his self-professed "boring" personality, Clinton said, "And I love that about him. I mean, he's never lost an election. He was a world-class mayor, governor and senator, and is one of the most highly respected senators I know."
And now, if the Democrat has her way, he'll be the next vice president of the United States.
Hillary Clinton has selected Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. Clinton announced the choice to her supporters by text message Friday evening "I'm thrilled to tell you this first: I've chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate."
Clinton and Kaine are slated to appear together at a joint rally in Miami, Florida on Saturday.
There's a lot to this, so let's dig in.
Let's hear the basics on Tim Kaine.
He's been widely recognized as Clinton's most likely pick, largely because he checks several key boxes: Kaine is a smart, popular senator from a swing state who's fluent in Spanish. He's respected among his colleagues, and he's worked his way up the ladder, having served as a mayor, lieutenant governor, governor, and senator.
Wasn't he a big part of Barack Obama's team back in the day?
Yep. In 2007, when much of the Democratic establishment was rallying behind Hillary Clinton, then-Gov. Kaine became the first prominent Dem to back Obama's presidential campaign. He was reportedly the runner-up for VP in 2008.
Why didn't he get the nod at the time?
Because Obama wanted someone with foreign-policy experience -- which Kaine has since picked up as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee. In fact, no senator in either party has been more outspoken on the importance of the White House receiving congressional authorization to fight ISIS. He also was a prominent supporter of the Iran nuclear deal.
Rumor has it Tim Kaine is pretty boring.

On the July 22, 2016 TRMS

07/23/16 12:15AM

Tonight's guests:

  • Kristen Welker, NBC News correspondent
  • Steve Kornacki, MSNBC political reporter
  • Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenhood
  • Ben Jealous, former president of the NAACP and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Jeff Schapiro, political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for The Nation

read more

Programming notes for the next couple days!

Programming notes for the next couple days!

07/22/16 09:46PM

Rachel Maddow alerts viewers to upcoming programming highlights, including Time Kaine and Hillary Clinton making their first joint appearance, Maddow appearing on Meet the Press and the start of MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic National Convention. watch

Kaine 'a believer in possibilities'

Kaine 'a believer in possibilities'

07/22/16 09:38PM

Jeff Schapiro, political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, talks with Rachel Maddow about the political strengths and weaknesses of Senator Tim Kaine and where he fits on the political spectrum. watch

Friday's Mini-Report, 7.22.16

07/22/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
* Many expected Hillary Clinton to announce her running mate this afternoon, but as of now, there's been no word. Whether we learn today or not, Clinton will reportedly campaign with her running mate in Florida tomorrow.
* Germany: "A shooting at a popular shopping center Friday evening in Munich, Germany, killed at least eight people, injured others, and brought the city to a standstill as police hunted for up to three suspects in what is believed to have been an act of terrorism."
* Oh my: "The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees. And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees. If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters and weather historian Christopher Burt, who broke the news."
* South Florida: "Authorities in North Miami, Fla., said Friday that they had placed a second police officer on leave as part of the investigation into a police shooting there earlier this week in which an officer shot and wounded an unarmed man."
* Obviously: "President Barack Obama on Friday insisted that the United States had no prior knowledge or involvement in last week's attempted coup in Turkey, saying such claims 'are completely false.' Furthermore, Obama added, such rumors threaten the fabric of the U.S.-Turkey relationship."
* Self-inflicted wound: "The British economy is getting smaller, according to a major survey of business executives in the country. The new data is the latest in a series of signs that the country's vote for a so-called Brexit -- or exit from the European Union -- last month is already putting downward pressure on the economy."
President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the White House on July 22, 2016 in Washington D.C. (Photo by Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty)

Obama pushes back against Trump's dystopian vision

07/22/16 04:06PM

If all you knew about the United States was what you heard from Donald Trump's convention speech, you'd think all 319 million Americans were living in constant sorrow, stuck in a nightmare of our own making. Our miserable country is careening into chaos, with existential threats lurking behind every corner.
Really, it's amazing we get out of bed in the morning.
It's unlikely President Obama watched Trump's remarks, but as Bloomberg Politics reported this morning, he nevertheless took a little time this morning to stick up for the country the Republican nominee is eager to run down.
President Barack Obama offered a rebuttal of a Republican convention portraying a violent and chaotic America, insisting that the nation is largely peaceful and that crime and illegal immigration have fallen during his presidency.
"This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn't really jibe with the experience of most people," Obama said at a White House news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday.
After Trump insisted violent crime is overtaking American public life, Obama explained, "Although it is true that we've seen an up-tick in murders and violent crime in some cities this year, the fact of the matter is that the murder rate today, the violence rate today, is far lower than it was when Ronald Reagan was president, and lower than when I took office."
And what about our porous, dangerous borders? The president also explained that, in reality, illegal border crossings are "lower by two-thirds than it was when Ronald Reagan was president. We have far fewer undocumented workers crossing the border today than we did in the '80s, or the '90s, or when George Bush was president. That's a fact."
As for police officers who are killed in the line of duty, Obama added, "We've just gone through a tragic period. But the fact is that the rate of intentional killings of police officers is also significantly lower than it was when Ronald Reagan was president. Now those are facts. That's data."
Well, sure, if we're going to pretend facts and data matter, these details are probably relevant.
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with Donald Trump during a Tea Party Patriots rally against the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sept. 9, 2015. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Getty)

With the convention over, Trump returns focus to Cruz's dad

07/22/16 12:40PM

In early May, Donald Trump's affinity for conspiracy theories reached a level few were willing to defend. The morning of the Indiana primary -- a contest Trump won easily, ending the Republican nominating process -- the GOP candidate called in to Fox News to take a literally unbelievable shot at Ted Cruz.
"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being – you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said. "What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that.... I mean, what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It's horrible."
Offered an opportunity to walk it back the next day, Trump refused. The JFK-related story was in the National Enquirer, Trump said, so it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
More than two months have passed. Trump is now the Republican Party's presidential nominee, and Ted Cruz is the guy who was booed relentlessly at his party's convention for refusing to endorse the GOP ticket. Cruz can return to Capitol Hill, while Trump can shift his attention to the general election.
But he can't. This morning, Trump, joined by running mate Mike Pence, hosted an event with supporters in Ohio, where the presidential hopeful decided to return to the story about Ted Cruz's father. Vox posted the jaw-dropping transcript:
"All I did was point out that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. Now, Ted never denied that it was his father.... This was a magazine that frankly, in many respects, should be very respected. They got OJ, they got Edwards. If that was the New York Times, they would've gotten Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting. I've always said, 'Why didn't the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer Prize for Edwards, and OJ Simpson, and all of these things?'
"But anyway, so they have a picture, an old picture, having breakfast with Lee Harvey Oswald. Now, I'm not saying anything. Here's how the press takes that story. This had nothing to do with me. Except I might have pointed it out, but it had nothing to do with me, I have no control over anything. I might have pointed it out. But nobody ever denied -- did anyone ever deny that it was his father? It's a little hard to do, because it looks like him."
This is just an excerpt, by the way, Trump kept going, including another riff on the National Enquirer's "credibility," which the candidate considers impressive.
This is the first day of Donald J. Trump's general election campaign.

Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 7.22.16

07/22/16 12:01PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* In his first public event after wrapping up the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump spent quite a bit of time talking to an Ohio audience this morning about ... Ted Cruz.
* At the same event, Trump brought Dan Scavino onto the stage with him. Scavino is perhaps best known for the recent "Star of David" tweet.
* Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, told MSNBC yesterday that women will vote for Trump because their "husbands can't afford to pay their bills." No, really, that's what he said.
* As Rachel noted during last night's coverage, former KKK leader David Duke praised Trump's convention speech with great enthusiasm last night. "Couldn't have said it better!" Duke said.
* On a related note, as Trump accepted his party's presidential nomination last night, "a tweet from a white supremacist account was broadcast through the convention hall at Quicken Loans Arena."
* A Suffolk poll released yesterday found Trump and Hillary Clinton tied in Ohio with 44% each. When third-party candidates are added to the mix, Clinton leads by four points.
* Speaking of polls from swing states, a new University of New Hampshire poll shows Clinton up by two in the Granite State, 39% to 37%, though there are a lot of undecideds.