With Super Tuesday upon us, it seems an appropriate time to start thinking about whom Hillary Clinton might select as her running mate, should she win the Democratic Party’s nomination at its July national convention. While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is still very much in it to win it, Clinton emerged as frontrunner after her big win in Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
Who might Hillary select as her vice president? The candidate hasn’t named her would-be V.P. yet, but speculation has been swirling for some time now. There are many possibilities: Elizabeth Warren, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown — even her current opponent Sanders, the apparent choice of 26% of Democrats polled in a recent survey.
That seems unlikely, but Clinton may well opt for someone whose politics and professional track clock with Sanders’ progressive ethos. Here are three people whose names have been tossed around as potential vice presidents.
Julian Castro is the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; he is also, according to the Los Angeles Times, a distinct possibility when it comes to Clinton V.P. choices. When he campaigned for Clinton in Iowa, the Times reported, the Secretary — whose background and rapid rise within the party have prompted people to compare him to President Obama — spoke in cities throughout the state, warning Latino populations of the threat posed by a Republican presidency.
According to Politico, he’s spent time building bridges within Congress, a strategy that could serve him well as second-in-command to a president Republicans would likely see as an extension of the Obama administration. He’s also much younger than Clinton; at 41, he could help sway the younger voters who have, so far, gravitated toward Sanders.
And as Reuters reported in October, Clinton has already pledged close consideration of Castro when considering V.P. candidates. “I am going to look really hard at him for anything, because that’s how good he is,” she said of Castro, who later endorsed her, at a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held in San Antonio, Texas.
Tom Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, is another buzzed-about contender for the coveted VP slot, especially in recent days as she reestablishes her lead over Sanders. Perez, some have speculated, could help the Clinton campaign to attract the party’s progressive element, a goal he highlighted when he endorsed the candidate in December.
Before joining the Obama administration in 2013, Perez was Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice; he fought against discrimination in housing, education, employment, voting and law enforcement.
And then, his parents are both Dominican immigrants; this, combined with his experience working for labor rights means he is an ideal choice to reach some of the key voter demographics whose votes Clinton will need to secure the presidency. Indeed, the Washington Post has called him “one of Obama’s top emissaries to liberal, labor and Latino constituencies.”
Perez has already helped her there, rallying Latino support for the former Secretary of State leading into the South Carolina primary, which proved a major victory for her.
Another Democratic up-and-comer who turned out for Clinton in Iowa was Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, New Jersey and current junior senator. As the Washington Post reported, Clinton and Booker made an appearance at Cedar Rapids' Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where Booker gave a sermon to the majority African American members.
Afterward, Clinton praised the junior senator’s continual self-sacrifice in the interest of equal opportunity and said something that may or may not be construed as a VP hint. “It gives me such a sense of gratification that he is here, supporting me in this very important election, because there is nobody I’d rather have by my side,” Clinton said of Booker.
Of course, Clinton didn’t clarify whether or not she meant “have by my side as a vice president” or simply, “campaign with,” but Booker’s name had been dropped in conversations surrounding V.P. picks even before that. NBC listed him as one of seven potential contenders for the position in early January, noting his skill with social media.
For his part, Booker has been a strong Clinton supporter from the start, formally endorsing her in June and saying that he could think of “few candidates in history who are as qualified or ready for the job of president as Hillary Clinton.” Recently, he defended her stance on Wall Street against attack from Sanders. He’s also called her a civil rights “champion” whom black and Latino voters can trust to work for equality.
The largest obstacle to a Clinton-Booker ticket? The 46-year-old is relatively inexperienced. Clinton may do better to pick someone with a longer track record in Washington.