The Hillary Clinton campaign has quietly begun considering potential running mates in the increasingly-likely chance that she will win the Democratic nomination later this summer, Fox News is reporting.
Clinton’s campaign aides and strategists have already begun compiling a list — expected to ultimately contain 15-20 names — of potential vice-presidential candidates who will ultimately share the 2016 Democratic ticket with Hillary.
Any person who is considered for the job of running mate will have to be able to contend with a couple of skeletons in Clinton’s closet. First, as New York Magazine notes, any Clinton running mate would have to deal with the “outsized role” of potential First Gentleman Bill Clinton. Also, should Clinton favor a female running mate, the campaign would have to consider whether or not the American voters are prepared for an all-female ticket.
As of this writing, the Clinton campaign has not officially named any potential candidates for the job of running mate. However, the New York Times, speaking with unnamed “allies and advisers of the Clintons and prominent Democrats,” compiled the following list of potential running mates.
- Elizabeth Warren: The senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, described by the Times as a “superstar among the progressive left,” may help Clinton woo disappointed Sanders voters, although by some measures she may actually be too far to the left, to the point that she may be off-putting to moderate Democrats, particularly males. She would also serve as the second half of an all-female ticket, something that the Clinton campaign may deem too unpalatable to voters.
- Amy Klobuchar: Another U.S. Senator, this time from Minnesota. Another possible candidate for an all-female ticket, Klobuchar lacks name-recognition and comes from a state that Democrats are probably going to win anyway.
- Sherrod Brown: The U.S. Senator from Ohio brings an important symbolic role to the ticket, as Ohio is considered a swing state and, as the old saying goes, “As Ohio goes, so goes the presidency.” However, if he vacates his Senate seat to join Hillary on the 2016 Democratic ticket, that will leave a vacancy in the Senate, and Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, will almost certainly fill that seat with a Republican.
- Tim Kaine: Like Brown, Kaine is a U.S. Senator from a swing state, in this case Virginia. He’s also fluent in Spanish — a potential boon to Clinton’s need to court Latino voters — and is considered somewhat temperate when it comes to military policy, in contrast to Hillary, who is seen by some observers as too hawkish. However, adding another white male to the list of potential occupants of the White House might not impress Democrats.
- Julián Castro: The former mayor of San Antonio, and current federal housing secretary, could woo the Latino vote in an election where it’s crucial. The Times describes him as a “powerful and telegenic speechmaker,” and “one of the Democratic Party’s most high-profile Hispanics.” However, at 41, he’s young as players in presidential politics go.
- Deval Patrick: the former governor of Massachusetts grew up in crushing poverty in Chicago, but went on to be successful in business and politics. As an African-American, putting him on the ticket could woo minority voters, but Democrats are likely to win Massachusetts anyway.
Regardless of whom she names as her running mate, one thing Clinton does not seem to be focused on is wooing disappointed Sanders voters. Polling data seems to support the notion that most “Berners” will automatically support the Clinton campaign, should she get the nomination this summer.
Who do you think should be Hillary Clinton’s running mate?
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