Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, stopped by Hillary Clinton’s Raleigh campaign headquarters Tuesday to urge volunteers to “work like we’re underdogs” despite positive polling numbers for Democrats.
Holton spoke briefly to dozens of campaign volunteers who took a break from making phone calls to potential supporters. The wife of the Virginia senator is a political veteran herself, serving until recently as Virginia’s secretary of education. She’s also served as a district court judge, and her father was governor of Virginia in the 1970s.
Holton said her Raleigh appearance was her first solo campaign event since her husband became Clinton’s running mate last month. Holton was in North Carolina to join Kaine at rallies in Asheville and Fayetteville on Monday and Tuesday.
“I think this will not be my last trip to North Carolina,” she said, noting the state’s battleground status. “You all are so important.”
Holton noted recent polls that have Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump in the state, despite Republican Mitt Romney’s victory here in 2012. Last week, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of registered North Carolina voters gave Clinton a nine-point lead.
“It’s kind of exciting to see the North Carolina polls,” Holton said, adding that Clinton supporters shouldn’t get too confident.
She noted that Kaine has won eight straight elections, from Richmond, Va., city council to U.S. Senate, often by narrow margins. “His philosophy, and Hillary’s too, is to work like we’re underdogs all the time until victory is ours,” she said. “He intends to keep that record going and make it nine and zip.”
Holton said she’s gotten to listen in on backroom discussions between Clinton and Kaine about complex issues such as foreign policy. “That’s what they do when they’re behind the scenes,” Holton said. “She’s a bit of a policy wonk, it’s safe to say, and so is my husband.”
Holton noted that 2016 “is really a historic election” because Clinton would be the first woman elected president – and she’d be in office for the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. “We definitely don’t want that other guy having that opportunity,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, Holton joined Kaine on stage for a rally at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, where he promoted Clinton’s economic proposals and said Donald Trump’s plan would cost the country millions of jobs.
“She’ll be a ‘you’re hired’ president,” Kaine said of Clinton. “He’s going to be a ‘you’re fired’ president. We cannot afford to hand it over to a ‘you’re fired’ guy.”
Kaine was referring to Trump’s signature phrase from his TV show “The Apprentice.”
Holton later stopped at Entropy Solar, a solar farm in Hope Mills that employs military veterans, before arriving in Raleigh. She’s scheduled to remain in the state Wednesday, stopping at Clinton campaign offices in Greensboro and Charlotte to meet volunteers.
Kaine’s Asheville harmonica jam
Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine showed off his musical abilities – and his appreciation for craft beer – at an unannounced campaign stop in Asheville on Monday night.
After a planned rally, Hillary Clinton’s running mate stopped by Catawba Brewing Company in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood. He took out his harmonica and joined musicians Nikki Talley and Jason Sharp on stage for a cover of the Old Crow Medicine Show song “Wagon Wheel.”
Wagon Wheel is particularly popular in North Carolina, due in part to bar patrons’ proclivity to shout out the lyric “if I die in Raleigh, at least I will die free.”
The trio also played “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mountains,” which prompted his wife, Anne Holton, to briefly show off her clogging abilities.
Before leaving Asheville, Kaine and Holton sampled some North Carolina craft beer from Catawba.
The musical moment might have looked spontaneous – Catawba was scheduled to hold an open mic night Monday – but Talley and Sharp had already been working with the Clinton campaign. They’d played the national anthem at the rally earlier in the day.