Politics

Deval Patrick reflects on ‘beloved’ Harvard Law classmate Tim Kaine

Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate.

Count former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick among those who never thought they’d see “beloved” Harvard Law School classmate Tim Kaine become the Democratic party’s vice presidential nominee.

“He’s probably the last person any of us imagined would go into politics,” Patrick said Monday on “The Axe Files,” a podcast with David Axelrod, a former aide to President Obama. “He was so earnest and kind in a very wide open way. No guile. By the way, he’s still that way. Deeply, deeply faithful as a Catholic.”

Kaine, the Virginia senator, was chosen as Hillary Clinton’s running mate for his extensive experience in politics as a senator, governor, and mayor in Virginia. But before his political days, he attended Harvard Law School and was starkly different from the many go-getters and careerists on campus, Patrick said.

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“He was a very outward-facing person by disposition and also by behavior in a place that was full of careerists,” Patrick said. “Really brilliant, fabulous, caring careerists, but still people who were thinking about their careers. And he was just thinking, as he said very beautifully the other day at the convention, just how to do as much good as possible.”

After his first year on campus, Kaine took a leave of absence to venture to Honduras for nine months and help out Jesuit missionaries. Patrick’s description of Kaine as an exception to Harvard Law School’s competitive campus is similar to what other classmates told The Boston Globe in a profile last week.

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“If you had asked me who would have been the least likely person to go into elected politics, he would have been the one,” said former classmate and New Hampshire energy investor Scott Brown.

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