Tim Kaine’s former body man talks about ‘The Unlikely Politician’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Before Tim Kaine, the Democrat's nominee for Vice President, became a national political figure, Beau Cribbs carried his bag.

Cribbs was Kaine’s “body man” from 2007-2009, the final three years of Kaine's term as Governor of Virginia.

“You would just kind of be three feet behind him; you’d be his shadow; you’d be his right hand,” said Cribbs, who said his job gave him access to Kaine’s daily thought process during that time period.

As Kaine is preparing to debate Republican VP candidate Mike Pence Tuesday at Longwood University, Cribbs is reminded of the time Kaine was considering getting out of politics.

“I was with him during the end of his term as Governor, and he truly, sincerely thought he was done running for office when it was over,” said Cribbs, who added Kaine told him he was thinking about teaching law at the University of Richmond.

Tim Kaine

Tim Kaine

In fact, during a commencement address to the University of Richmond graduating class near the end of his time in the Governor’s mansion, Kaine told the crowd he did not think they would "see his name on a bumper sticker again.”

Unplanned political opportunities have followed the VP nominee throughout his career.

When Kaine won a seat on Richmond City Council in 1994, his first time holding public office, he won by less than 100 votes.

Kaine resigned as chairman of the DNC in 2012 to run for U.S. Senate, but only after Senator Jim Webb announced his retirement.

Tuesday night, in front of an international audience, may be the biggest moment of Kaine’s political career so far.

Cribbs said one of his friends did speech writing for Mike Pence when he was Governor of Indiana, and said Pence, like Kaine, is known as “one of the nice guys.”

Cribbs expects a policy focused debate Tuesday night.

Kaine will take the stage with one advantage, according to Cribbs: harmonica skills.

"I can confirm that yes, he does have 4-5 harmonicas in his bag, or on his person, at all times!” said Cribbs.

Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, Governor Mike Pence will hold a rally in Ashland Monday night.