Hillary’s V.P. Choices

Now that Hillary is the nominee (yes, I know the convention is still a month away and no, I don’t care) it’s time for her to start looking for a running mate. Since I recently accepted a job, I’m unavailable. However, I did come up with a list of candidates that she should be seriously considering. Here is the list and a break down on the reasoning:

1. Tim Kaine
2. Julian Castro
3. Al Franken
4. Mark Warner
5. Deval Patrick
6. Kamala Harris
7. Martin O’Malley
8. Kirsten Gillibrand
9. Elizabeth Warren
10. Cory Booker

A lot of people are screaming that it’s critical for Hillary to win Bernie’s voters over. I don’t necessarily buy that as being the most important thing for this election. No, I think the most important thing for Hillary to do is to keep the Obama coalition intact and ride that to victory. Fortunately she’ll have a very formidable ally in her corner to help with this: the man who created the coalition and is the current sitting President of the United States. To do so, there are a handful of states that she will need to focus on…which brings us to the list.

Virginia is a critical state for Democrats to win in 2016. Hillary is going to have to put a lot of focus here. What better way to do that than have a V.P. from here? Tim Kaine (#1 on my list) is the junior Senator from Virginia and is quickly becoming more and more popular in Democratic circles. Mark Warner (#4) is the former governor of Virginia and is the other Senator representing the state. Terry McAuliffe (not listed) is another viable option for Clinton.

The next place that Clinton needs to focus on is the rust belt. She needs states like Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan to stay in her corner. Al Franken (#3) is a great candidate to do just that. Franken will not only help keep these states in line, he’s also to the left of Hillary and may sway Bernie voters to come aboard the Hillary train. Staying with that idea, Deval Patrick (#5), Kamala Harris (#6), Martin O’Malley (#7), and Kristen Gillibrand (#8) are all to the left of Hillary and could be the progressive running mate that the Sanders supporters could begrudgingly support.

Julian Castro (#2) is ranked highly because of all the popularity and the optics surrounding him. A young, up-and-coming Democrat who is Latino. He gave the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (similar to one Barack Obama in 2004). He was a popular mayor of San Antonio and was moved to a cabinet position in the Obama administration. There’s plenty of upside to him and plenty of reason to consider him.

If she wants to stay on the minority path, she has Deval Patrick, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker (#10). All three come from states that are safe locks for the Democrats (Massachusetts, California, and New Jersey). Of the three, Deval Patrick is the most likely choice, being the most experienced. Kamala Harris doesn’t have the name recognition yet, but she has served as the Attorney General in California and really pushed a progressive agenda throughout the state. Cory Booker is more popular thanks to social media. While mayor of Newark, Booker frequently would communicate with residents via Twitter. Now that he’s a sitting Senator from New Jersey, he still uses social media regularly to chat with constituents. He would immediately help with minorities and with young people, but he’s not quite ready yet. 2024 may be his time to shine.

Finally if she wants nominate a female V.P. then there are dozens of qualified candidates. I listed three that progressive women that would give those on the far left someone to support. I’ve already talked about Kamala Harris, but also Elizabeth Warren (#9) and Kirsten Gillibrand (#8). Warren is getting a lot of talk and attention. Several progressives wanted her to run for president instead of Bernie, and quite frankly I think she would have done better. She’s certainly someone Bernie would support and would actively try and get his fans on board. Gillibrand is a Senator from New York. She filled Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2009 when she left to become Secretary of State. Gillibrand actually reminds me a lot of a young Hillary Clinton. I think with all their similarities—literally holding the same Senate seat, from the same state, both females—she won’t be considered…then again crazier things have happened.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t include my main man, Martin O’Malley. This poor guy got completely looked over during the Democratic primaries. I argued for him to be the progressive darling but somehow Bernie stole the spotlight. He’s a young, attractive, progressive Democrat. His beliefs fall almost directly in line with President Obama’s. I STILL don’t see how he didn’t get any more attention than he did! Regardless, he would be a great V.P. that would fight to ensure that the Obama legacy continues and would really back up Hillary’s agenda without obstructing her. He would also be set up perfectly for a run in 2024…with, perhaps Cory Booker as his V.P.? See how I circled back to that?

So there you have it! Let me know what you think in the comments. Do you agree, disagree? Names that I left out or you think I should rule out that I listed?

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