I wish I had a photo of Gina Kaine.
She and Stuart would see each other occasionally during his evening constitutionals.
She’s a sweet girl. Blondish. With a kind temperament. Just the sort of girl a guy would love to take home to meet mother.
She lives only steps away from where this photo was taken. Just around the corner from our house.
It’s not a fancy neighborhood. Not a gated community. Not streets lined with gazillion-square-feet mansions.
Just an old urban neighborhood with turn of the century homes of brick, stucco or weatherboard/clapboard with slate or terracotta tile roofs. Where some of the streets have wide median strips in front, most of the sidewalks have cracks, but every street has big trees. Lots of trees.
These days we can expect a few more big ‘ole black SUVs filled with security guards than normal in the neighborhood.
Because it’s Tim Kaine’s neighborhood. Gina lives with Tim. And Anne. And Woody. And Annella. And Nat.
The Kaines are a very real, very down to earth family. Good neighbors. Good people. (How can they not be? They adopted Gina from the SPCA. And she’s a terrier mix. Does it get any better than that?)
Tim’s going to be our next Vice President.
Gina’s house is on a corner. And we used to walk there almost every night. Around the block from our house.
You might remember that Stuart walked at his own pace. Which was never very fast. Anne, Tim’s wife, could take Gina out for a walk and be back before Stuart got to the end of her block.
Last night we walked around that same block. Trying to get back to a routine. Two people stopped to ask us where Stuart was. It shocked them to learn he’s gone, but we appreciated their interest.
Then, the conversation turned to how frightening it would be if Tim didn’t become Vice President.
“Frightening” really isn’t the word I’d use.
When Tim ran for city council a million years ago, he did it the old fashioned way. By walking door to door. Getting to know people. Hearing their concerns. Sharing his views. The Dad Peep answered the door when he came by. We lived a few blocks away from where we live now. BoBo was with us at the time.
“You won’t believe what just happened,” said the Dad Peep. “This nice guy just knocked on the door asking for our vote in the upcoming city council election. He’s really committed to Richmond and wants to represent us. He says he’ll work hard.”
So, he became councilman. Then, he became Mayor. Then, Lt. Governor. Then, Governor. Then, US Senator.
My opinion aside, he must have done something right all these years. Repeated democratic wins in a swing state speaks volumes.
So, there you have it. Gina’s dad hopes to put his skills to work for all Americans. And I do mean “all” – not just the chosen few. Not just one race of people. Not just people who look like he looks. Not just people who are afraid to open their hearts and minds. Not people who practice hate at every turn.
I have faith in my fellow Americans and their ability to do the right thing in November.
Stuart would be happy to know that his spirit will be six degrees away from the White House. Where Bo lives. Another black and white pooch. And where Barney once bit a reporter. Where America – which has always been great – will continue to rise to the world’s challenges.
And if that doesn’t make the case for your vote, let me say that Tim Kaine is really as nice as he appears on TV. He’s trustworthy. He’s steadfast. He’s caring. He’s loyal. He’s dedicated to good.
And I’ve never steered you wrong.