Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has yet to even announce a run for president in 2016, will pick up the support of Virginia's junior U.S. Senator on Sunday.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D), a former governor of Virginia and close ally of President Barack Obama, will encourage Mrs. Clinton and get into the 2016 race and pledge his full support in a speech to the South Carolina Women’s Democratic Council breakfast in Columbia.
Kaine is in South Carolina to headline the state's Jefferson-Jackson dinner fundraiser.
Early endorsements of presidential candidates are becoming a habit for Kaine. In 2006 he gambled and backed a rising star, then Sen. Barack Obama, instead of Clinton.
Obama of course went on to win the nomination and has been elected president twice. Kaine's early support of Obama led to a close personal friendship and landed him on the short list of potential Vice-Presidential candidates.
Kaine once said Obama told him he was his "heart"pick for VP, while then Sen. Joe Biden was his "head" pick.
This time around Kaine is getting out in front, but instead backing the heavy favorite.
In excerpts of his remarks obtained by NBC12, Kaine says now is Clinton's time.
"Secretary Hillary Clinton is the best person to be our 45th President for many reasons," Kaine said. 'She is a classic American optimist with the background and experiences necessary to lead this country in a very complicated world."
Kaine said he is getting behind Clinton now for some of the same reasons he got behind Obama so early.
"She’s the right person for the job," he said "I’ll be starting my fifth year in the Senate on Inauguration Day 2017 and she’s the partner I know I’ll want to be working with in the White House on all fronts."
There is of course the minor problem that Clinton hasn't actually announced her plans for 2016. Kaine risks nothing by getting out in front and backing the front runner now.If she does not decide to run he will easily be able to get behind whichever candidate from a very open field he decides is best.
However- having a heavyweight like Kaine on the ground supporting her in a critical swing state will be a benefit.
Keep in mind the winner of the last four presidential elections won Virginia. It is becoming a must win state if you want to be president.