With all eyes on GOP nominee Donald Trump this week, presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton is, no doubt, anxious to reclaim at least a fragment of the news cycle and excitement.
And it appears that she will begin trying to grab that in earnest starting Friday, when she is expected to announce her vice presidential pick. Today, less than 24 hours before she’s set to announce it, Democrat sources reveal that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as the leading contender for Hillary’s vice president.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as the leading contender to join the Democratic ticket as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, according to two Democrats, who both cautioned that Clinton has not made a final decision and could yet change directions.
The announcement of Clinton’s pick could come as early as Friday afternoon in Florida, a crucial general election battleground state. The timing is aimed at shifting attention away from the end of Donald Trump’s Republican convention and generating excitement before the start of Clinton’s own convention next week in Philadelphia.
Kaine, 58, has been a favorite for the vice presidential slot since the start of Clinton’s search process. He has been active in the Senate on foreign relations and military affairs and built a reputation for working across the aisle as Virginia’s governor and as mayor of Richmond.
“I’m glad the waiting game is nearly over,” Kaine told reporters Thursday after an event in northern Virginia, deflecting questions about whether he was about to join the ticket.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a longtime friend of Clinton’s, is still in the mix, according to one of the two Democrats, who is close to the Clintons. Both Democrats are familiar with the selection process and spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Clinton’s campaign declined to comment.
If indeed it turns out to be Sen. Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s will be stunning for the fact that she will have passed over all of her other chances to play additional identity politics — with the likes of Sen. Corey Booker, HUD Secretary Julian Castro (who also has the added element in common of having violated federal law) or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who could’ve offered the double whammy of a second woman on the ticket and a phony Native American — for a middle-aged white guy.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]