Published On: Tue, Aug 9th, 2016

TRANSCRIPT: Tim Kaine accepts VP nomination, running with Hillary Clinton

TIM KAINE:  “Well, I’ve spent most of my life in public service because I believe in doing everything I can to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and I can see a lot of you out there who feel exactly the same way – exactly the same way.  I’m one of only 20 people in American history to serve as a mayor, a governor, and a United States senator. So I have been able to see how government works and how sometimes it doesn’t, from just about every perspective, and I’ve always believed that however you serve, what matters is whether you actually deliver results for people.  And that’s been my goal – that’s been my goal in every position I’ve ever held.

photo/ donkeyhotey

photo/ donkeyhotey

Now, I know for a lot of you, this might be the first time you’re hearing me speak, and hey, let me be honest, for many of you, this is the first time you’ve even heard my name.   But that’s okay, because I’m excited for us to get to know one another.  So today, I thought I might tell you a little bit about me and where I come from. Vice president was never a job I thought about growing up in Kansas. Like a lot of people in Kansas City, my parents weren’t that into politics – church, the Kansas City Royals, that’s the kind of thing that we spent time talking about.  They had too much else going on.  My dad ran a union-organized ironworking shop in the stockyards of Kansas City. And my mom, in addition to all the challenges of my two brothers and me, she was my dad’s best saleswoman.  That ironworking business was tough.  It’s the kind of job where you can’t cut corners; if you’re not careful, you can make one mistake and ruin an awful lot of work in an instant.  I learned that working in my dad’s shop.  My two brothers and I, we all pitched in.  Sometimes we were scheduled to pitch in and sometimes dad would just shake us in the morning and say, “I got an order to get out and I really need you guys today.”  I remember once, the last day of summer vacation, I was so looking forward to sleeping in, and then I felt that hand on my shoulder at about 6:00 – “I’ve really got to have your help to get an order out today.”  But that’s what families do.  We would go there early, especially in the summer, to try to get the work done before the day got hot.  That’s what families do.  That’s what families do.

My parents, Al and Kathy, and they’re alive and healthy, and they’re happy today – 81 years old, alive, healthy and happy. They taught me early lessons that have guided my life: the importance of hard work, of faith and kindness, of following your dreams.  My mom once told me – and I’ll say this, she wasn’t much of a lecturer, she just kind of liked to live and then we were supposed to follow the example – but she once told me this:  “Tim, you have to decide whether you want to be right or you want to do right.  If you want to be right, go ahead and be a pessimist.  But if you want to do right, be an optimist.”  And folks, I’ve been an optimist ever since.

I went to a Jesuit boys’ school, Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. And – alright, some Jesuits in the house.  I like that, I like that. The motto of my school, this boys’ school, was, “Men for others,” and that was the – that was what we were taught.  And that’s where my faith, which had been important to me because of my parents’ example, really grew into something more viable.  It became like my North Star, the organizing principle for what I wanted to do – even as a young man because of these great teachers I had and because of my parents’ example, I knew that I wanted to do something to devote myself to social justice.  And that’s why, after racing through the University of Missouri in three years and starting at Harvard Law School, I decided to take a year off from school to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras.  Hay hondureños aquí?  Hay algunos hondureños aquí?  Okay, un poquito, sí. Well, when I got to Honduras, it turned out that my recently acquired knowledge of constitutional law was pretty useless. But the experience of working in my dad’s ironworking shop was actually kind of helpful.  So I taught teenagers the basics of carpentry and welding, and they helped me learn Spanish. And I tell you, my time in Honduras changed my life in so many ways.  Aprendí los valores de mi pueblo: fe, familia y trabajo. Fe, familia y trabajo.  Los mismos valores de la comunidad latina aquí en nuestro país, ¿verdad?  And here’s something that really stuck with me.  I got a firsthand look at a system – this was 1980 and ’81 – a dictatorship where a few folks at the top had all the power, and everybody else got left behind.  And it convinced me that we’ve got to advance opportunity and equality for everybody, no matter where they come from, how much money they have, what they look like, what accent they have, or who they love.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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