Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia have emerged as the leading candidates on a longer list of finalists Hillary Clinton is considering for her vice-presidential running mate, according to interviews with multiple Democrats with knowledge of her deliberations. Although her list is not limited to those two, Clinton has spoken highly of both in recent days to friends and advisers as she closes in on an announcement that could come as soon as Friday.
Much of the political world's focus is on the Republican National Convention, but in the background, there's big news on the horizon: Hillary Clinton will reportedly announce her running mate at an event in Florida in just two days.
In the meantime, as observers look for hints, there are a handful of names generating the most scuttlebutt. The Washington Post reported late yesterday:
The Post's article noted that Clinton has sought advice on the matter from, among others, President Obama.
This reporting follows a series of private meetings Clinton had last week with leading contenders, including Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.
And while many try to read the tea leaves, Clinton seemed to tilt her hand a bit on Monday during an interview with Charlie Rose, which included the presumptive Democratic nominee emphasizing "experience" as the key factor. "I am afflicted with the responsibility gene," she added.
The interview turned into a sort of word-association game. Asked about Kaine and his self-professed "boring" personality, Clinton said, "And I love that about him. I mean, he's never lost an election. He was a world-class mayor, governor and senator, and is one of the most highly respected senators I know."
Asked about Hickenlooper, Clinton said, "First class." Asked about Warren, she added, "Amazing. I mean, what she has done in relatively few years to put the agenda of inequality front and center is something that I think we should all be grateful for."
Watch this space.