Hillary Clinton seen picking Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as running mate

Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kain at a campaign rally in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14, 2016.
Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kain at a campaign rally in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Hillary Clinton is poised to unveil her choice of a running mate as soon as Friday (July 22) via a text message to supporters, according to a person familiar with the plans, as she seeks to recapture the attention of voters following a week in which Donald Trump and the Republican Party dominated the news.

One of the leading contenders for Clinton’s running mate is said to be Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, according to several other people. Members of the Obama administration have been advocating for Kaine, who was considered for the vice presidential nomination by President Barack Obama in 2008, one of the people said.

He’s also gotten the ear of former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband.  

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also are said to be high on Clinton’s list, two people familiar with the selection process said.

 

Other contenders who’ve been under consideration include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Labour Secretary Tom Perez and retired Admiral James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of Nato.

She also has discussed the vice presidency with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – who told TV host Stephen Colbert in a sketch posted online Friday she is “probably not” Clinton’s choice – and Housing Secretary Julian Castro.  

Clinton met with several candidates July 15 at her home in Washington.  The timing for the unveiling of her choice is unclear.

All of those who spoke about the planning asked for anonymity because the discussions have been private.  

The announcement would come three days before Democrats open their national convention in Philadelphia, a chance for the party to showcase the themes and messages that will be the foundation for Clinton’s campaign to win the White House in November.

Clinton is scheduled to campaign Friday and Saturday in Florida, a key swing state.  

The party conventions have served as deadlines for Clinton and Trump to round out their tickets. Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, were formally nominated by Republicans at their convention in Cleveland on Tuesday.  

Trump’s choice of Pence, a staunch conservative with a mild-mannered campaign style, may make it easier for Clinton to pick someone like Kaine or Vilsack, who are known for their even demeanor on the stump.

Clinton has declined to discuss individual potential running mates before her decision is announced. She said in an interview Monday with Charlie Rose for CBS News that she has met with a “bunch” of candidates and said, “I am blessed with a broad group of people to choose from.”

She previously has indicated she’s is focused on selecting a candidate who could fulfill the responsibilities of being president. But even on that basis, political considerations will come into play.  

Republicans during their convention have focused on national security and domestic unrest, accusing Clinton and the Obama administration of decisions that have weakened the US and allowed its enemies to thrive.

Although Clinton served as secretary of state for four years and Trump has no experience in government, recent polls have showed him pulling closer to Clinton on the question of who is better able to handle security and deal with terrorism.