Sen. Angus King knows Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine better than most.

King, an independent, and Kaine, a Democrat, are seat-mates in the Senate and serve on two committees together. And since they’re both former governors, they tend to consult each other often.

Though King issued only a brief statement praising Hillary Clinton’s choice of Kaine as her running mate – “He’s a great choice,” King said through a spokesman Friday night – the Maine independent made clear in an article that ran Wednesday on The Daily Beast that he’s a big Kaine fan.

The article contained 15 reasons why Clinton, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee, should pick Kaine, the first three being that Kaine would make “an excellent president, if the circumstances demanded it.”

After repeating the line the third time, King wrote, “You may notice that I think this is far and away the most important criterion.”

King went on to say that Kaine would also make a good vice president because “he is smart, honest, has good judgment, and is highly principled – but he is also pragmatic, not ideological or dogmatic.”

King’s praise even included a subtle dig at the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, who often touts his experience in real estate development as a reason voters should back him.

Kaine, King said, has executive experience as a mayor, lieutenant governor and governor. King noted that the executive experience was “in government, which is different from business – I know; I’ve done both.”

Among Kaine’s other attributes, King wrote, is his knowledge of foreign affairs, a lack of “excessive partisanship,” and his influence among other senators.

“When he stands up to speak in the Democratic caucus, people literally stop eating or conversing and listen,” King said. “I have seen him change minds, including mine.”

King and Kaine serve together on the Senate’s Armed Services and Budget committees.

King also praised Kaine’s “deep (but not showy) faith,” noting that Kaine took a year to serve as a Catholic missionary in Central America,

King went on to say Kaine is a proven leader from a diverse state, lacks pretense, cares about the country and its people, is a problem-solver and is fun to be with, which King said is an underestimated quality that a vice president should have.


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