Hillary Clinton tells PEOPLE she's loving the Tim Kaine nicknames

By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall and Tierney McAfee
Updated September 21, 2016 03:30 PM
Credit: Joe Pugliese

Who says Donald Trump has a monopoly on political nicknames?

After Tim Kaine was announced as the vice presidential running mate of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the nicknames started flowing from late-night hosts and social media users alike. To some, he was the living embodiment of Ned Flanders. Others instantly embraced him as “America’s stepdad.” Then John Oliver got a little more specific when he called Kaine “the human sweater vest,” and “a tall glass of Lactaid.”

“I hadn’t heard ‘the human sweater vest,’ ” Kaine said with a chuckle when asked about the playful monikers in a joint interview with Clinton for this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “That may be my new favorite.”

“I love it!” Clinton chimed in. “I love the way, once Tim was introduced to the American people, they immediately understood: Here is someone that we can relate to, who will take care of us. To me, that is such a high compliment.”

As Clinton and Kaine get to know each other as running mates, the former secretary of state says she’s come to believe something she’d suspected all along: that, as their campaign slogan says, they really are “stronger together.” “That was our slogan, and now we’re living it together,” Clinton said. “He has been absolutely the best asset I could have had.”

Added Kaine, “We’re [both] Midwesterners. We both come out of families with strong faith traditions. We both measure our lives by the effects we have on others’ lives. That’s what you need for a good team – similar values, different temperaments.”

“He loves getting up really early, and being a sensible man, getting to bed at a reasonable hour,” Clinton explained. “I get up sort of early, and stay up –”

“– Very late,” Kaine finished.

“So we’re going to have the entire world covered 24/7, don’t worry about that!” Clinton added.

For more from Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine on their historic team and facing down Donald Trump, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

There have also been some surprises along the way. For example, Clinton said she was surprised to learn that Kaine is “one heck of a harmonica player.”

“That just shows she doesn’t have very good musical taste,” Kaine joked in response.

Another revelation: Kaine “can’t control” one of his eyebrows. That’s why, he explained to PEOPLE, the emoji that best captures him is “the one with the weirdly cocked eyebrow.”

And the emoji that most accurately describes Clinton? “All the happy emojis, the heart eyes, the hug ones,” she said with a smile. “I use them with family.”

Did You Know Tim Kaine Is ‘One Heck of a Harmonica Player?’ He and Hillary Clinton Reveal All to PEOPLE

For more from Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, watch their full interview with PEOPLE above