Tim Kaine 2002: Clinton Should've Resigned Over Lewinsky Affair

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Aug 18, 2016 2:05 PM
Tim Kaine 2002: Clinton Should've Resigned Over Lewinsky Affair

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton’s running mate, really wasn’t a fan of the power couple in the early 2000s, where the then-Lt. Gov. Kaine said that Bill Clinton should’ve resigned after the allegations that he had a sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky turned out to be true. What set off this declaration was reported by The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, who rehashed an old 2002 sexual harassment episode with then-Speaker of the House of Delegates Vance Wilkins, who allegedly groped a woman named Jennifer Thompson. He offered $100,000 and a confidentiality agreement to sweep the issue under the rug, which never works. People found out, and many in the state, including future Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore, called on Wilkins to resign. This is where Kaine comes in on the matter [bold text indicates Richmond Times/Washington Post]:

…[A]ccording to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he said he also believed Bill Clinton should have resigned from the presidency over his own sex scandals.

Here’s what the paper wrote, in a story published June 8, 2002:

If the allegations are true, he should definitely resign,” Kaine said, adding he held the same view about President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

“That is an intolerable way to treat women and it’s not something that the state should be dragged through.”

The Times-Dispatch story is behind a paywall in its archive.

A report in The Washington Post, also published on June 8, 2002, characterized his views the same way:

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who may face [state Attorney General Jerry] Kilgore in the 2005 governor’s race, likened the matter to the sexual scandal of President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky, saying, “If the allegations are true, he ought to resign.”

“Somebody in public life shouldn’t behave that way toward women,” Kaine said. “It’s tawdry. It’s not the leadership that Virginia should have.”

So, Clinton should’ve respected the office enough to leave it after the world found out about his relationship with Monica. Over at Hot Air, Ed noted that this is an interesting what-if scenario, though aptly noted that if a FBI investigation into her private email arrangement couldn’t shake Democratic support, a sex scandal surely wouldn’t create a big enough shockwave to break Democratic ranks. At the same time, it does show that a) Republicans aren’t the only ones having weird running mate issues, with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence directing some media inquiries to the Trump campaign... which he’s part of; and b) the next probable vice president of the United States really didn’t like Bill—and pretty much thought his sexual escapades tarnished the institution. The same way Speaker Wilkins was imbruing the state legislature with his alleged sexual harassment antics. At the same time, this was back in the 1990s. That’s like a thousand years in politics. Heck, we’ve seen some transformations occur within months this cycle, with Govs. Rick Perry and Chris Christie backing Trump after they tore into him during the primaries. 

That's fine. It doesn't negate the fact that the Beast's find is just a tad embarrassing.