Presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton is not considering her now vanquished challenger, Bernie Sanders, to be her running mate; but is still considering Elizabeth Warren, among others, according to a Wall Street Journal report which cites several people familiar with the selection process.
This is not exactly a surprise. Hillary does need to shore up some voters on the Sanders wing of the party but there are other, and quite frankly better, options out there. Plus, it is highly unlikely Sanders would want the job.
With Clinton the favorite to win the presidency in November, and Democrats a slight favorite to take back the Senate as a result, Sanders can wield his newfound influence as the next Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee as opposed to being second fiddle in a Clinton Administration.
As for the other names on the unofficial list, they include: Labor Secretary and former Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Perez, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, and Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Of course, each pick comes with pros and cons. I already delved into the risks and rewards of putting Warren on the ticket, so I won’t go into it again.
Tom Perez adds diversity to the ticket which will help shore up support from the rapidly growing Latino electorate; though Trump seems to be taking care of that part himself. He also brings a strong labor background that could help Clinton among pro-Union voters, specifically in Rust Belt States like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
However, outside of the political bubbles in DC and Montgomery County, he is largely unknown and has not held political office since 2006.
Castro seems like a very good pick, at least on paper. He is young (41 years-old), Latino, and he looks like the future electorate of the country. The downside is he is also largely unknown and pretty unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency given said youth and inexperience. Another high risk, high reward pick.
Tim Kaine is also someone that could help Clinton with white working class voters. It certainly doesn’t hurt he is the twice elected Senator from the swing state of Virginia either. But he is not exactly the most exciting politician out there and he could run into problems among the Democratic Party electorate given his personal opposition to abortion; though he does not believe it should be outlawed.
Sherrod Brown has strong, progressive bona fides, is the twice-elected Senator of Ohio, and could serve as a counterweight to Clinton’s views on trade policy. If I had to guess, I’d say he is the one Clinton wants to select out of all the names on this list.
The only problem with Sen. Brown being on a winning ticket is once the seat becomes vacant, Republican Gov. John Kasich will appoint his successor, flipping the seat, and perhaps the Senate back to the GOP.
Cory Booker is seen as a rising star in the party and will add diversity, experience, and charisma to the ticket. Though, putting him on the ticket does not give it any regional diversity, which I guess some people care about, and like Ohio, the state has a Republican Governor.
This is not an official campaign shortlist, and I am sure other names will be leaked out in due time.
As far as the names we currently have are concerned, with the exception of Castro, and to some extent, Perez, the others are a strong indication of a candidate perfectly fine making the safe choice, as opposed to a hail mary pick in an effort shake up the race.
If the polls remain where they are today, I do not see this thought process changing.
A lot will also depend of the state of the Senate races around the country. If it is clear Donald Trump is still as toxic as he is today, Clinton may conclude Democrats will pick up more than just the bare minimum of seats (4) they need to take back the chamber and may take a chance picking a Senator from a state with a Republican Governor.
If this is the case, my guess is she does indeed pick Sherrod Brown.
We’ll see. A lot can happen over the next few weeks.