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Snarled by snow, Sen. Tim Kaine trapped in nearly 27-hour nightmare commute

Kaine, D-Va., a former Democratic vice presidential candidate, was one of the unlucky drivers trapped on I-95 for more than an entire day.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Dec. 7, 2021.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Dec. 7.Alex Brandon / Pool via Getty Images file

A two-hour commute turned into a nearly 27-hour ordeal for Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., one of the drivers stuck on snowy Interstate 95 in Virginia.

"I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol," Kaine tweeted Tuesday morning.

By midafternoon, he was still driving.

A spokesman said at around 2 p.m. ET that Kaine had about two more hours of driving ahead before he would reach the Capitol. The estimate wound up being fairly on target.

Kaine arrived on Capitol Hill shortly before 4 p.m. "26.5 hours later," he said after stretching.

“I once did it on my bicycle, and it took me 13 hours. I’d gladly do the bike trip again, and I would never want to do this again," he said. "And it was 26 hours, and the only thing I ate was one orange, and the only liquid I had was one 16-ounce Dr Pepper.”

Kaine was one of hundreds of drivers trapped in freezing temperatures on a 50-mile stretch of I-95 after a crash involving multiple vehicles brought traffic to a standstill and the first mid-Atlantic storm of the year dumped more than a foot of snow on the region.

Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 presidential campaign, said earlier in the day that his office had been in touch with the state Department of Transportation "to see how we can help other Virginians in this situation." But hours later, he still hadn't moved.

"I'm frustrated, but not in serious trouble," he tweeted shortly afterward.

Kaine said after he arrived that confinement to four wheels didn't stop him from getting work done.

“I probably had about 10 voting rights calls in the car," Kaine said. "I would rather have done them in person, but I wasn’t going to not do them.”

During the trip, he also gave a shout-out to a Connecticut family for a random act of kindness.

"A CT family returning in a packed car from Florida walked by in the middle of the night handing out oranges as we were stopped for hours on I-95. Bless them!" Kaine tweeted.

Gov. Ralph Northam said earlier in the day that his office was trying to get the roadway clear.

"State and local emergency personnel are continuing to clear downed trees, assist disabled vehicles, and re-route drivers," he tweeted in the morning.

More than seven hours later, Kaine finally arrived at his destination. He said officials need to figure out what left so many stranded on the roads for hours.

“It was incredibly icy last night. ... It was really, really icy,” he said.