With the Democratic National Convention less than a month away, there’s a lot of speculation right now that Hillary Clinton is closing in on picking a running mate. For months now, the media has centered its attention on a small group of Democrats from which Clinton will likely pick a vice presidential candidate. Much of this talk has focused on Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. According to ABC News, the Clinton campaign is currently vetting Sen. Warren, among others.
In recent days, Clinton’s camp has only fanned the flame of rumors regarding a Clinton-Warren ticket as the Massachusetts senator joined Clinton on the campaign trail in Ohio. Although Sen. Warren was initially skeptical to endorse Clinton after Sanders joined the race last summer, Warren has fully embraced Clinton’s candidacy since she clinched the Democratic nomination last month.
Sen. Warren herself was once viewed as a likely contender for the Democratic nomination with the backing of the Draft Warren group, which was supported by a large group of A-list celebrities, until the group disbanded last June. Warren is often a topic discussed by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump who has given her the nickname ‘Pocahontas’ as a jab at her supposed Indian heritage.
While Sen. Warren might be an asset for the Clinton campaign due to her frequent attacks on Trump, it is unlikely that she will be named Clinton’s VP pick. Last month, T.A. Frank at Vanity Fair wrote an excellent piece explaining why choosing Warren would be a disastrous mistake. Frank argues that Clinton fears losing the large group of Sanders supporters once he exits the race, but aptly points out that if Clinton fears low voter turn out, Democrat fear of a Trump presidency will take care of that for her.
Additionally, Frank points out that there is still much debate about whether having two women on the ticket “would be a plus or minus.” This is a risky move that Clinton likely won’t let get in her way of winning in November.
Finally, Frank says that it’s important for a presidential and vice presidential candidate to be equally yoked. He showcases how the odd pairing of John McCain and Sarah Palin didn’t jive in 2008, and the election results reflected it. “Warren is a Senate show horse, while Clinton thinks of herself as a Senate workhorse,” Frank points out.
Clinton is a cautious candidate, and precisely because she knows she’s cautious she might be tempted to take a risk. Being scripted and cautious got Clinton this far. Why quit now? When you’ve got a loose cannon on the other side, boringness can be a strength. By that measure, Clinton is indeed strong. And the rest of us will be O.K., even if we’d love the entertainment of Trump and Warren going head-to-head. There’s always Twitter.
If Clinton were to pick Warren as her running mate, there would be no person more elated than Donald Trump. Whenever Trump talks about Warren, whether at a rally or in a TV interview, he gets this glimmer in his eye. It’s obvious he truly enjoys poking the bear because he knows the media will cover his jabs at Warren, and it brings more attention to non-issues so that he doesn’t have to answer the tough policy questions he still appears to be unprepared for.
Clinton needs a reliable running mate who’s willing to stay out of the spotlight at times and go on the defensive when needed. She also needs someone who will help her win over major swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. Warren simply doesn’t fit the bill.
Despite Sen. Warren’s presence on the campaign trail, there’s no doubt that there is a lot going on behind the scenes. In recent days, long-time Clinton supporter Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) has risen in likelihood of being Clinton’s potential running mate. During an interview on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Sen. Kaine responded to speculation about being a potential vice presidential candidate by saying, “I am boring” which could be a characteristic the Clinton campaigns views in a positive light.
Since launching her campaign, Clinton has kept a low profile and let the Republican party dominate the news cycle. This has been a tactic that has worked out well thus far. Picking someone like Sen. Kaine who could help Clinton win Virginia, and not bring too much attention to himself could be a safe move.
Even though the Clinton campaign says that Warren is still in the running, her presence on the campaign trail is likely a diversion from the real vice presidential candidate talks going on at the Clinton campaign behind closed doors.