Early President Obama supporter, Senator Tim Kaine, has joined a growing list of top Democratic Senators who are ready for Hillary Clinton.
During a speech Saturday morning at a South Carolina Women’s Democratic Council breakfast, the Virginia Senator pledged his support for former Secretary of State Clinton should she decide to run for president in 2016, saying she is “the right person for the job.”
Kaine, a former chairperson of the Democratic National Committee and former governor of Virginia, a swing state, also announced that he has joined “Ready for Hillary,” the SuperPac encouraging Clinton to run – and urged others to do the same.
“Pledge your support right now so that Hillary Clinton will know that, should she take this step, there are millions of us ready to take the field with her and make sure she wins,” Kaine said.
In 2006, Kaine endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama over Clinton in the presidential primary, which he acknowledges in his prepared remarks.
“I made my decision early because I knew something—he was the right person for the job but getting there would be hard,” he said of his early support for Obama.
For the “same reason,” Kaine said, he is giving an early endorsement to Clinton, citing the extra challenges women face to “achieve top leadership spots in this country.”
Kaine joins a growing group of Democratic leaders who have urged Clinton to run in 2016.
Caroline Kennedy, the Ambassador to Japan and daughter of former president John F. Kennedy, told ABC News last month she would “absolutely” support Clinton in 2016. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and both Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly announced their support for a Clinton campaign last year. And in October it was revealed that every one of the 16 female Democratic senators signed a secret letter to Clinton encouraging her to run.
The letter included a signature from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who despite speculation has repeatedly insisted she will not be running for president herself in 2016, but who has not explicitly endorsed a Clinton candidacy either.
Clinton has also received public support from a range of people, not only politicians, including Star Trek star William Shatner and “Happy” singer, Pharrell Williams.
Recent polls show Hillary Clinton would be the clear front-runner should she decide to run.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week, Clinton leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush–who is seen by many top GOP leaders as the most promising candidate in the Republican party–by 53 to 41 percent. The poll also shows Clinton with a substantial lead among women, as well as with young voters — a key support group for Barack Obama in his two presidential elections.
The “Ready for Hillary” group, which models itself after President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaign tactics of garnering community support, says it has hauled in almost $6 million, almost all of it from small-dollar donors, since its launch.
With grassroots support, polling numbers to back her up, and high-level endorsements, Clinton essentially has a campaign waiting for her should she decide to run. Whether she will, however, remains a mystery.