All signs point to a VP decision coming soon from the Clinton campaign. The Dallas Morning News puts Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia at the top of Clinton’s list. Following the stormy Republican National Convention in Cleveland and Donald Trump’s acceptance of the Republican presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton will certainly want to shift at least some of the media attention away from Trump and back on to her own campaign. Announcing her vice presidential choice as soon as possible prior to the Democratic Party’s own convention in Philadelphia could help Clinton do just that.
Clinton’s decision about her future VP has been debated by pundits for some time now. Several potential candidates have been floated, including the well-known Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and USDA head Tom Vilsack have also been considered. The Clinton campaign vetted these and other candidates and soon eliminated most of them for one reason or another.
While Sen. Warren has been one of the stars of the progressives in the Democratic Party, she strongly disagrees with Hillary Clinton on a number of issues, including banking and finance reform. However, following her decision to support Clinton over Bernie Sanders, it soon became apparent Warren had earned the ire of many on the left and could no longer be a guaranteed draw of progressives for the ticket. These last two points seem to have struck Warren from the VP list.
Asked by Stephen Colbert on The Late Show about Clinton’s decision regarding her VP, Warren is reported in the Washington Post as saying, “I think if it were me, I would know it by now, so probably not.”
Secretary Castro was one of the early favorites because of the advantages he could offer with the Hispanic community. But the political statements he made during a HUD interview apparently sank his chance for the VP spot. Instead, it seems that Castro will be acting as a surrogate for Clinton. In this role, Castro will soon be pointing out many of the highly negative statements that Donald Trump has made about illegal immigrants in recent months.
Along with his experience in government, Secretary Perez would have brought his Hispanic heritage to the ticket, which would have benefited the Clinton campaign in predominantly Hispanic areas of the country like Florida, New Mexico, and Arizona. But a relationship between Perez’s family and the Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo was soon uncovered that made the Secretary a less likely choice.
Along with Kaine himself, Tom Vilsack apparently made it to the final round of the VP selection process. But Sanders supporters are strongly opposed to Vilsack because of his close ties to the Monsanto Corporation and his opposition to strict GMO labeling. This opposition to Vilsack from the liberal wing soon made it apparent that Kaine was the last person standing in the Democratic Party’s veepstakes.
Unlike some of the others that Clinton has considered, Sen. Kaine brings a number of positives as Clinton’s VP running mate and very few negatives. As a former mayor of Richmond and governor of Virginia, Kaine could potentially give Clinton a boost in a major battleground state.
Kaine is a moderate who might also appeal to independents wavering between Clinton and Trump. He has a reputation for working with both the left and the right, including the Republican opposition.
While Hispanic voters may not see Kaine as an adequate substitute for Tom Perez or Julian Castro, he does speak fluent Spanish. This will allow Kaine, as the VP nominee, to reach out to Hispanic voters in a direct way that Hillary Clinton cannot. Of course, Clinton’s decision could be to select someone entirely unexpected. Either way, we can anticipate a VP decision soon.
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