Kaine says he's 'Ready for Hillary'
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Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSenate moderates see influence grow after shutdown fight Shutdown leaves federal employees in the lurch McConnell promises immigration debate if government reopens MORE (D-Va.) is endorsing Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump appears to call out Samsung over missing FBI text messages House Judiciary Republican: Comey could be called to testify again Stakes intensify: Mueller seeks to question Trump MORE for president.

Kaine, an early and vocal supporter of President Obama in 2008, plans to unveil his support Saturday morning at the South Carolina Women's Democratic Council breakfast. There he will pledge to help Ready for Hillary, an outside group encouraging her to run.

"In 2006, nearly two years before the 2008 presidential election, I told my friend, then-Senator Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Regulation: Trump’s former chemical safety nominee leaving EPA | Senate confirms Powell as Fed chair | NTSB 'gathering information' on Tesla crash Obama officiates former staffers' wedding in DC Biden on Russia: Easy to say we should've said more MORE, that I would support him if he ran for President of the United States. I was and am proud that I was an early supporter of our great President," Kaine will say according to prepared remarks. "I made my decision early because I knew something — he was the right person for the job but getting there would be hard.

"I'm stating my support for Hillary Clinton today for the same reason. She’s the right person for the job. I'll be starting my fifth year in the Senate on Inauguration Day 2017 and she's the partner I know I'll want to be working with in the White House on all fronts," he will add.

Kaine, a former Virginia governor who was Obama's first Democratic National Committee chairman, is the latest in a string of big-name Democrats to lend their public support to Clinton, should she choose to run.

The former secretary of state is the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and has led her Republican opponents in most early polls of the race.