On Friday, after Hillary announced via txt that Tim Kaine would join her on the Democratic ticket, the Forward published an article boldly titled “5 Reasons Tim Kaine Will Be the Jewiest Vice President Pick for Hillary Clinton“. Those five reasons (spoiler alert): He supports the two-state solution “even when others don’t”, is a religious Catholic, helped Sabra attract a factory to Virginia, has hosted several Passover seders, and once set up a Rabbi’s daughter.
Without getting into whether even one of these five things suffices to make someone — politician or otherwise — “Jewy” to any degree (or, as in the case of #2, seemingly rules that possibility out entirely), let’s consider something the article sorely lacks: context. After all, the ‘iest’ in “Jewiest” implies Kaine is “Jewy” compared to at least one someone else. So we shall proceed by process of elimination.
One possibility is that the Forward believes Kaine is the “Jewiest” compared to others on Hillary’s short-list (her prior elimination of all other alternatives notwithstanding). Just one problem: according to the Forward itself, one of those finalists was none other than New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and it’s hard to argue that — even without defining or really understanding the term in question — Booker isn’t “Jewier” by every possible measure (aside from the fact that Booker is not a Catholic, which I suppose makes him incrementally less likely to be a converso, as so many Spanish speakers like Kaine may very well be? – I still haven’t figured that second reason out).
So maybe the Forward instead meant to suggest Kaine would be the “Jewiest” Vice Presidential candidate in American history — but, uh, Joe Lieberman says shalom.
Which leaves just one outstanding possibility: that Tim Kaine is the Jewiest among Hillary’s one actual Vice Presidential pick. Admittedly, he’s also the Catholiciest and the Protestantiest and the Muslimiest and the Hinduiest and the Mormoniest and the Buddhistiest and so on, because there is quite literally no one else on earth qualified to challenge him for that status. But that’s alright, because “Jewiest” was never the operative word at all — Kaine is really just the Vice Presidentiest Vice President Pick of them all.