As conventions approach, vice presidential searches intensifies

by | Jul 7, 2016 | Elections | Comments

With both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump now the presumptive nominees of their respective parties, both candidates have accelerated their search for potential vice presidential candidates.

Speculation has been particularly rife on the Democratic side of the aisle, with Hillary Clinton holding her first joint rally with senior Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Warren, a well-known spokesperson for liberal causes, has garnered national attention in recent weeks for her harsh attacks on Donald Trump.  Her attack-dog approach could be valuable to Clinton in a race seeing increasingly personal attacks from the presumptive nominees.  Many Democrats also believe that a Clinton-Warren ticket would unite the party in the fall, endearing the former Secretary of State to Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

Despite their successful and enthusiastic rally, Clinton and Warren are not known to work well together– in 2004, Warren attacked Clinton on her position on bankruptcy legislation.  Additionally, choosing Warren would not offer Clinton any clear electoral advantages– Massachusetts has traditionally voted strongly democratic.  Despite this, sources say the the Clinton team is still vetting Warren seriously.

Warren is not the only candidate on Clinton’s shortlist.  Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro are also frontrunners, with a handful of others farther down the list.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is among the leading contenders for Trump’s vice presidential pick.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is among the leading contenders for Trump’s vice presidential pick.

The choices for presumptive republican nominee Donald Trump are far less clear, with speculation revolving around a long list of political figures, ranging from former rivals such as Ted Cruz and John Kasich to 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.  Complicating Trump’s search is the fact the he is a toxic candidate, alienating many potential allies in the Republican Party.  New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have emerged as favorites.  Governor Christie in particular has been a reliable surrogate for Trump, fundraising and attempting to build bridges with the Republican establishment.