As the primary election process is winding down, speculation is circulating about each party nominee’s possible choice for their vice president. The leaders of both parties, Trump of the Republicans and most likely Clinton of the Democrats, are both looking for different characteristics in their vice presidential picks. Trump will try to find somebody who has either responded well to some of his controversial proposals, provides him with a different demographic (gender, race, age), or has experience in Washington. On the contrary, Clinton is planning on finding someone who is either younger, of a different race, appeals to a different race, or all of the above. For Clinton, political experience is not a leading factor in her selection process since she has been a constant figure in the political world since the early 1990s. Here are just a few of the top candidates, on a list of many, that both the Republicans and Democrats might select.
Potential Republican Vice Presidential Nominees
Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, might just be the biggest political supporter of Donald Trump. For that reason, he will be inevitably considered for the number 2 position. Shortly after Christie abandoned his own candidacy, he endorsed Mr. Trump to the surprise of the media and political junkies everywhere. Since then, Christie has been campaigning for Trump all over the country and was recently chosen by the Trump campaign to lead the “White House Transition Team” if Trump is elected President. Christie has been supportive of Trump’s policies, but does not provide him with a different demographic or significant Washington experience.
As a young, rising star in the Republican party, people need to think about the possibility of a Trump-Rubio ticket. Rubio could provide Trump with increased favorability among Latinos since Rubio’s parents came to the US from Cuba. Also, being only 44 years old, Rubio helps bring younger voters into his party. However, there are numerous roadblocks that could stop Trump from making this choice. During the contentious primary, at a point when both of these men were candidates, Trump would refer to Rubio as “Little Marco” and often mock him and his statements. Rubio, also, read out some of Trump’s tweets to a crowd at a rally while mocking Mr. Trump’s tone and spelling errors. It is also not clear how Rubio feels about a number of Trump’s policy positions, like a wall on the Mexico border and a ban on Muslims entering the US. For the reasons pointed out above, Trump is unlikely to choose Rubio.
To many, this choice is considered to be out-of-the-box. Newt Gingrich has not held elected office since 1999 when he was Speaker of the House. Yet, in my opinion, he checks a lot of the boxes that Trump would need to have the most successful vice presidential choice. Most importantly, Gingrich knows how the US Congress functions. Gingrich served as a member of Congress for 20 years, leading the body as speaker for 4 years, and Trump recently stated that he wants his vice president to have knowledge and experience with regards to the political processes of Washington. Also, to add to this point, Gingrich has endorsed Trump for president, which obviously makes him an attractive option. Look out for Newt Gingrich as he is a real “dark horse” choice for vice president.
Potential Democratic Vice Presidential Nominees
Despite being in different parties, Booker is similar to Rubio in that they are both young, rising political stars that represent a racial minority. Booker, an African-American, is currently a senator from New Jersey. Not too long ago he was the mayor of the city of Newark, NJ, where he built up a national reputation for saving Newark citizens from burning buildings and sheltering stray dogs from the cold weather. With an uncontroversial image at 47 years old, Booker would help Clinton with two electability problems: controversy and young people. Cory Booker was an early supporter of the Clinton candidacy, formally endorsing her in June of 2015. He has actively campaigned for Hillary across the country in places like Iowa and Kentucky. Even though he has only served in the senate for a short time, I think that Cory Booker can be viewed as high on the Clinton campaign’s list of potential running mate choices.
Senator Tim Kaine, a senator from Virginia, has a few qualities that would make him a very strong vice presidential pick. Kaine is fluent in Spanish, which allows him to communicate well with Latino voters, a rapidly growing percentage of the electorate. Also, Kaine is from the state of Virginia, a true “battleground state”. It’s voters, which represent both the DC suburbs and rural Southern Virginia, are a good representation of the country in general. If Clinton wants to win in November, Virginia must be a crucial part of that winning strategy. Something that Kaine doesn’t bring to the table is his age. Being 58, Kaine would not dramatically increase Clinton’s appeal to younger voters. Kaine has a pretty accomplished resume though, including stints as Governor of Virginia, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and current position as a US Senator. Kaine is also probably high on Hillary’s list of possible vice presidents.
If the Clinton campaign decides to throw a curveball and make a game changing pick, Julián Castro is their guy. Even though his last name is the same as that of the infamous Fidel and Raul Castro of Cuba, this Castro is young, full of energy and smart. He got his undergraduate degree at Stanford and earned his law degree from Harvard. At only 41 years old, Castro currently serves as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Administration. He gave the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which typically leads to political prominence of the speaker down the road. President Obama gave the same speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention as a little known candidate for Senate. After that speech, the rest is history. Maybe Castro will strike the same luck.
Out of these six candidates, I expect the Democratic nominee to choose Senator Tim Kaine and I expect Mr. Trump to choose Speaker Newt Gingrich. Regardless of who is chosen, I expect this election process to be even more exciting and confusing than it even is right now. To clear up these future confusions, look out for some of my other political articles coming up soon!