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Saturday, June 18, 2016



Sources:  Vox, Chicago Tribune,, YouTube 

On last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler and Colleen McCain Nelson broke the news that Hillary Clinton is vetting Elizabeth Warren for the vice presidency — but not vetting Bernie Sanders. In the process, they provided a shortlist of candidates that Clinton is considering:
Beyond the Massachusetts senator, other prospective candidates include Labor Secretary Tom Perez; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio, several Democrats said.
Now, this isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list, and Meckler and Nelson note that the vetting is still in early stages, using publicly available information rather than asking candidates to submit tax returns and the like.
Nonetheless, this list is the best information we've gotten about who Clinton is considering, and it includes some names that haven’t popped up in prior media speculation. All of these candidates have obvious strengths that have put them on this list, but of course, they each have their weaknesses as well. 
1) Elizabeth Warren
The case for picking her: Vox’s Andrew Prokop ably summarized the pros and cons of picking Warren here, but suffice it to say she’s one of the most famous and popular Democratic politicians in the country, with a huge social media following and passionate fans among the Democratic base.
She’s proven to be an excellent anti–Donald Trump attack dog already this cycle, and her anti–Wall Street credentials and populist approach to economic issues would help shore up Sanders supporters who might be skeptical of Clinton’s ties to the financial sector. She would attract considerable media coverage, preventing Trump from dominating the news cycle, and her reputation for fighting against corruption and corporate influence helps rebut Trump’s "Crooked Hillary" attack line.
Picking Warren would be massively important as a step for women’s political representation. Some have speculated that Clinton could easily appoint an all-woman Cabinet — Secretary of State Wendy Sherman (or Susan Rice or Samantha Power), Secretary of Treasury Lael Brainard, Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy, etc. — and having a female running mate would be a great start.
Finally, Warren’s research as a law professor gave her considerable insight into the working of the administrative state, especially as it relates to the economic conditions of middle-class families. That could translate into a skill at exploiting the federal bureaucracy for progressive ends, a skill that is more useful when in the executive branch than the Senate.
The case against picking her: Let’s start with the fact that Warren has accused Clinton of flip-flopping on bankruptcy legislation due to donations and pressure from the financial industry:
Warren was not planning on becoming a politician at this point, which helps explain her candor, but all the same it would be jarring for Clinton to pick someone who's accused her of being bought and paid for — and it's not a stretch to imagine Clinton would find it hard to work with someone who at least once thought so little of her.
Even if Clinton doesn’t find that disqualifying, Warren's independent profile suggests she might try to maintain an individual identity and avoid hewing too closely to Clinton’s message. That could prove aggravating to the would-be president, especially if Warren uses her command of the press to try to push the administration leftward.
An all-woman ticket would be a statement, but it also might be too much for the American people to handle, and the 2008 race suggested that Clinton is pretty small-c conservative about that kind of thing. Her VP shortlist then was then-Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH), then-Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA), and Joe Biden: all boring, safe white dudes.
Clinton could also be wary of pissing off financial sector donors, and it bears mentioning that rich people all over America hate Elizabeth Warren and regard her as a dangerous economically illiterate charlatan. "The prospect of a Warren vice presidency could well drive the 1 percent straight into Trump’s arms, help the billionaire solve his fundraising problems, and make for a closer race in the end," Prokop notes.
Last but not least, Massachusetts has a Republican governor, meaning that electing Warren would give Republicans an extra Senate seat for at least a little bit. There'd be a special election shortly thereafter, thanks to a 2004 change in the law meant to limit then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s ability to replace John Kerry should he have won the presidency, but Democrats should not be overly confident about their ability to win Senate special elections in the state after what happened in 2010.

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