Kaine calls Florida ‘Checkmate State’ at Rally

Students and Tallahassee residents gathered at the Tim Kaine Rally 


Friday, undecided and decided voters poured into Florida State University’s Oglesby Student Union to hear Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine speak on his and Hillary Clinton’s political platform points.

When voters entered, they were met with the echoes of Katie Perry’s “Roar” and “Wake Up Everybody” sung by John Legend, Melanie Fiona and The Roots. The music foreshadowed the afternoon’s eager and passionate energy.

Expressions of happiness were plastered on the faces of students and Tallahassee natives as they entered seeing the stage painted in the positive affirmation, “Stronger Together.”

Students like Alyssa Davenport, of Florida State University, looked forward to hearing the views of Tim Kaine and simply experiencing his positive personality and attitude in person.  

“I think he has really good views and so it’s exciting. With all the negativity, to see that we are getting closer and many people are still so happy and excited for, like, the party to strike out,”  said Davenport.

Before Kaine appeared on stage, supporters such as Florida’s Democratic Chairman Allison Tant, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Congresswoman Gabby Gifford and her husband Mark Kelly, spoke about the reasons they supported the Clinton Kaine ticket. They also encouraged early voting and prevention of gun violence.

The audience roared as Tant encouraged supporters to not get “comfortable, complacent, or over confident,” about Clinton and Kaine’s presidential win.

“We have 11 more days!” Tant exclaimed. “If you think you are tired — we don’t know tired. Think of Hillary, Think of Tim!”  

Mayor Andrew Gillum followed suit, asking if anyone was “Fired up” and “Ready to vote!”

Gillum started his introduction by acknowledging Donald J. Trump’s visit to Tallahassee earlier this week as a “stench that doesn’t last that long.”

Gillum gave praise to Tant for preparing to send 28 Electoral College votes, voting to make Hillary Clinton the President of the United States,. Then he quickly let the audience know that it would take their persistence at the polls to assist Tant in making history.

Gifford and Kelly were introduced soon after. As the couple approached the stage, the audience began chanting, “Gabby!” Gifford answered their cheers with a wave of her hand in rhythm to the chant. 

“Gabby, I think they like you,” Kelly said as the crowd calmed down then burst into laughter.

Kelly explained why voters should continue to support Clinton and Kaine.

He said, they “are the only candidates in the race that have the courage to stand up to the gun lobbyist. They have a record to prove it and a plan to create an America that is safer for our kids and grandkids from gun violence.”

Gifford stepped to the podium to share her opinion on Clinton, “Hillary is tough. Hillary is courageous. She will fight to make our families safer. In the White House, she will stand up to the gun lobby. That’s why I am voting for Hillary.”

Kaine followed Gifford’s speech by thanking and praising all of the speakers for their hard work and efforts.

Kaine reminded Florida voters of the level of importance their votes held.

“If we win Florida, we win it all,” Kaine exclaimed.  "Florida is checkmate in this election. Why don't you change your name already from the Sunshine State to the Really-Close State."

Kaine took time to showcase and comb through the faults in Trump's campaign beginning with his process of isolating and insulting different groups of people such as African Americans, immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims and women.

A call to action was demanded from Kaine to Trump, "Why are you talking us down so much? If you think this poorly of our country, of our democratic traditions of our voters of our elections officials, why do you want to be president?"

Kaine also touched on Trump not paying his taxes, which takes away from veterans.

“Donald Trump, is saying ‘hey I stiffed them all; I am smart’,” Kaine said. “A lot of words come to mind, and smart ain’t one of them.”

Trumps belief that climate change is a myth was also touched on during Kaine’s speech.

“Hillary and I believe in science, our climate is changing,” he said. “That is a consensus that is very clear. It was not a myth created by the Chinese.”

Kaine concluded his speech reminding voters of the importance of early voting and to never be complacent. "Polls can be wrong," said Kaine. "I'm the underdog until I'm called the winner."

Kaine left supporters pumped and determined for Clinton’s seat in the White House.

According to undecided voter Vang Vinh, a Vietnam native, she felt like the speakers had a great message to get out to Florida voters.

“It is great. The energy is great, being surrounded by a great group of students and everyone [on stage] is driving a good message,” he said. Then he admitted, “The election this year is very negative.”

For Florida State student Jalicia Lewis,  this is an experience she would never forget and the rally “definitely” solidified her vote.

“I was provided with the reason why Hillary Clinton was the best choice and also why Tim Kaine was the best choice.” Lewis said. “He is a very gifted speaker and confident about what he says. He knows what he needs to focus on.”