Contact Us

Tim Kaine: Lawyer, VP Candidate, Harmonica Player

VP candidate Sen. Tim Kaine is a Harvard Law grad and speaks fluent Spanish. But he also has a lesser-known skill.


That skill: playing the harmonica. We caught a demonstration of his talent earlier this year before he was Clinton's VP pick, at the American Ireland Fund's 24th Annual National Gala in the National Building Museum in March.

Kaine jumped onstage to join the 19th Street Band for part of its after-dinner performance. (The word is that he generally carries around four harmonicas.)


The veep nominee didn't perform on harmonica at the DNC, but did play a few songs with bluegrass band No Speed Limit during his 2006 inauguration as governor of Virginia.

Kaine's father-in-law, Linwood Holton, has also spent time as the governor of Virginia. Kaine met Linwood's daughter, Anne Holton, while they were both at Harvard Law. They've now been married for almost 32 years. (We snapped the two with former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley at the American Ireland Fund gala.)

During his DNC speech, Kaine said that Linwood Holton helped inspire him as a civil rights lawyer. Before entering politics, Kaine spent 17 years practicing law in Virginia, focusing on fair housing law. One matter he mentioned in his speech spanned six years of fighting against an insurance company that discriminated against minority neighborhoods.

He's been a lawyer since the '80s, but he's played harmonica for even longer. As the New York Times writes, Kaine learned the skill during middle school.