US Elections 2016: THE SEARCH FOR A RUNNING MATE: Democrats

Candidates lining up to audition for the job

Mr Perez, the Labour Secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer, is a favourite of unions. Mrs Warren is a favourite of liberal Democrats, though an all-female ticket is unlikely. Mr Castro, the Housing Secretary, is said to also have the chemistry
Mr Perez, the Labour Secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer, is a favourite of unions.
Mr Perez, the Labour Secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer, is a favourite of unions. Mrs Warren is a favourite of liberal Democrats, though an all-female ticket is unlikely. Mr Castro, the Housing Secretary, is said to also have the chemistry
Mrs Warren is a favourite of liberal Democrats, though an all-female ticket is unlikely.
Mr Perez, the Labour Secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer, is a favourite of unions. Mrs Warren is a favourite of liberal Democrats, though an all-female ticket is unlikely. Mr Castro, the Housing Secretary, is said to also have the chemistry
Mr Castro, the Housing Secretary, is said to also have the chemistry factor.

WASHINGTON • Ambitious Democrats have started to audition as their presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton considers her choice of running mate.

There is much for Mrs. Clinton to consider, including competence, agreement on policy and geography. Yet her advisers and those who have gone through the process emphasise an equally important, if more elusive, quality: chemistry.

She needs a No. 2 who can ease into the insular Clinton orbit, and who could help present a joyful picture, after a dreary primary season.

"When the chemistry works, it communicates enthusiasm and a team and the likelihood of success and progress," said Mr Michael Feldman, an aide to former vice-president Al Gore. "But it can't be an arranged marriage with someone she meshes well with on paper."

The contenders most often mentioned include Mr Thomas Perez, President Barack Obama's Labour Secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer. Advisers say Mrs Clinton has relished policy conversations with Mr Perez, a union favourite.

Others include Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado; Representative Xavier Becerra of California; and Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both former governors of Virginia. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is a favourite of liberal Democrats, though an all-female ticket is unlikely.

And there are others who appear to have the "chemistry" factor.

In Texas recently, Mrs Clinton seemed to light up in the presence of Mr Julián Castro, the Secretary of Housing in the Obama administration. She grabbed his hand and thrust it skyward at a rally. Photos of Mrs Clinton, 68, and Mr Castro, 41, turned out so well that cable networks often show them.

And there are others who appear to have the "chemistry" factor.

In Ohio, Representative Tim Ryan and Mrs Clinton made a surprise visit to a pub, Mrs Clinton leaning comfortably on the bar next to Mr Ryan and smiling widely. Also in Ohio, Mrs Clinton warmly embraced Senator Sherrod Brown, whose policy expertise Mrs Clinton has said she admires.

"Her body is leaning into his, and she never leans into anybody. She adores that guy," body language expert Lillian Glass said.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline 'Candidates lining up to audition for the job'. Print Edition | Subscribe