Team Hillary starts list of running mate choices – who made the cut?

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You can be sure Team Hillary focus-grouped the selection of a vice presidential running mate to death and while there does not appear to be a clear favorite, the campaign is compiling a list of 15 to 20 potential picks to start vetting soon.

Among the possibilities is an all-female ticket and while she has yet to secure the nomination, the New York Times reported Saturday that, according to sources, Clinton “is confident enough of victory that she has described a vision of a running mate and objectives for the search.”

Clinton does not appear to “feel the Bern,” as rival Bernie Sanders’ name warrants little consideration, but that could be in deference to his still active campaign. Another long shot might be Rob Lowe, considering Clinton’s got the hots for him — think about it, the actor offers “vast” experience in the West Wing and, as a conservative, would help balance the ticket.

As for those who are mentioned, The Times reported:

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.

But Mrs. Clinton is also open to a woman, campaign advisers said. One obvious possibility is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who 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.

 

Additional names bandied include Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is black, and Housing Secretary Julian Castro, who is Hispanic, giving Clinton more options for an African-American or Hispanic running mate.

Clinton is expected to make her pick for a running mate soon after the GOP ticket is known, according to Democrats close to the campaign and has reportedly offered general guidance as the search begins.

The Times said “she cares less about ideological and personal compatibility than about picking a winner, someone who can dominate the vice-presidential debate and convince Americans that Mrs. Clinton is their best choice.”

Another key factor will be the ability to know who’s the boss in a Clinton administration in which former President Bill Clinton is expected to wield strong influence.

“Hillary understands how the vice presidency can work well, and not work well, far better than anyone running or anyone on her staff,” Richard W. Riley, a Clinton friend who was the education secretary under Mr. Clinton, told The Times.

“And she and Bill Clinton know he’d have to be very careful about how he relates to the vice president,” he added. “Hillary is the decision maker now.”

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Tom Tillison

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