Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is beginning the process of vetting numerous individuals as possible vice presidential running mates, according to numerous media reports over the weekend.
The New York Times reports Clinton’s campaign team has started the vetting process, saying the campaign was being “cautious” since it has not yet secured the required number of delegates to claim the Democratic presidential nomination on the first ballot, though prospects for Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to clinch the Democratic nomination either in a pre-election surprise string of primary victories or a contested convention are bleak at best and mathematically challenging.
According to the Times report, there are several names being considered.
“Among the names under discussion by Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Clinton and campaign advisers: Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, former governors from the key state of Virginia; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who represents both a more liberal wing of the party and a swing state; former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, a prominent African-American Democrat; and Thomas E. Perez, President Obama’s labor secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer.”
Patrick, a Harvard Law contemporary of President Barack Obama, shot to national fame as the first African-American governor of Massachusetts and for his response to the Boston Marathon bombings three years ago. Patrick’s coordination with state and local police to hunt down the suspects led to a virtual lockdown of much of the eastern half of the state.
Boston said Patrick has previously dismissed the notion he could join the Clinton campaign as a running mate, which would make him the first African-American vice presidential nominee of either party on a ticket with the first female nominee of either party.
“Last December, Patrick was asked by NECN if he would ‘rule out being a vice presidential candidate if called on or asked,’ and replied, ‘Yes I would. Yes I would,’” Boston reported, noting he had previously dismissed the possibility during an interview with the Boston Globe.
The Washington Post on Friday assembled a list of five potential candidates to join Clinton’s ticket for the November election. The number one pick? Obama cabinet secretary Julian Castro.
“Castro, on paper, is the person Clinton would like to pick. Why? He is a telegenic 41-year-old Latino from Texas. He complements her in virtually every way, demographically speaking. My working belief has long been that Castro was picked to be secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration at least in part so he would have the experience and profile to be part of a national ticket. Castro will absolutely be vetted; whether he passes that vet remains to be seen.”
While both Patrick and Castro reach out to core Democratic constituencies in parts of the country vital to a Democratic win – the northeast and Hispanic areas like Florida and New Mexico – another option would be creating the first-ever all female ticket with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. The New York Times reports that the strong results of Sanders throughout the Democratic primary is pushing Clinton closer and closer to choosing a more progressive running mate in order to not lose younger voters between the primary and the general. The Times said, “Clinton is also open to a woman.”
“[Warren] is hugely popular among progressive Democrats, though she has not been helpful to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, declining to endorse the former secretary of state,” the Times reported. “Still, Ms. Warren has not been ruled out, according to the campaign advisers.”
While vetting is reportedly starting now, the campaign has plenty of time between now and this summer’s convention to make a final decision.
If you were Clinton, who would you choose as a running mate?
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]