With the Democratic National Convention just over a month away, Hillary Clinton’s search for a running mate is narrowing, according to several Democrats. The good news is Sen. Bernie Sander is not on the short list. The bad news: Sen. Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren and HUD Secretary Julian Castro — the man leading President Obama’s “war on the suburbs” appear to be among the finalists.
As the Associated Press reports:
Those on the shortlist include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of progressives who has emerged as a blistering critic of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump; Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a well-liked lawmaker from an important general election battleground state; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, a rising star in the Democratic Party.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s toughest primary rival, is not on the shortlist of vice presidential candidates, according to one Democrat.
A small group of Clinton campaign confidants has been sifting through publicly available information about more than two dozen possible contenders for more than a month. But with Democratic primary voting wrapping up last week, the list has been culled significantly and the campaign has begun contacting those under consideration.
In addition to interviewing candidates, Clinton aides will be asking for reams of personal information from potential running mates.
Several Democrats described Clinton’s vice presidential search process on the condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized by her campaign to publicly discuss it. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon would not comment.
Warren, Kaine and Castro represent the two schools of thinking about the running mate pick that have emerged among those closest to Clinton’s campaign.
Some advisers believe Clinton should pick a running-mate that would energize Democrats: a woman, a staunch liberal or a minority. Others argue that Trump’s deep unpopularity gives Clinton an opportunity to win over a share of independents and Republican-leaning voters with a more centrist pick, such as Kaine.
Clinton is also said to be cognizant about the risks of tapping a senator who would be replaced by a Republican governor if Democrats won in November. That’s a particular liability for Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Clinton’s campaign is said to have considered both, but it was unclear Monday whether either would be fully vetted for the vice presidential slot.
Hard to imagine that a centrist white male like Sen. Kaine stands a chance in the Democrat thought process, where identity trumps qualifications — and in an election season where moderation is seen as a liability.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]