Tim Kaine was sworn in as the newest senator from Virginia this week.
Vice President Joe Biden presided over a mock ceremony after the official one on the Senate floor, and Anne Holton, Kaine's wife, proudly held a Bible as her husband was sworn in as Virginia's junior senator at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
"I feel wonderful — rested and ready," Kaine said at a reception in his honor at the Hart Senate Office Building. "Life doesn't happen unless you are able to listen and compromise. With this beginning of the 113th Congress, the Senate has 15 newcomers... and I've watched group dynamics just as you have, and when you have that much change it opens the windows and rescrambles assumptions."
Kaine, a former Virginia governor, then quoted from Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural addresss: "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia's senior senator, is also a former Virginia governor and has known Kaine for more than 30 years. "(Being in the Senate is) a lot different from being a governor," he said. "This is an institution that has a proud history, but a lot of its actions over the last few years have not lived up to that tradition. So, my hope is that Tim and a number of these new senators on both sides will be part of being able to get us back on the path where we actually work in a bipartisan way to tackle some problems."
Warner said he gave Kaine some advice. "There may be times when he'll have to hold his tongue," he said. "But Tim's got a much better temperament to be a U.S. Senator than I've got."
Kaine, the 70th governor of Virginia and former chair of the Democratic National Committee, defeated Republican and former U.S. Sen. George Allen with about 53 percent of the vote in November.