Politics

Hillary Clinton Should Pick A Female Vice President

| by Nicholas Roberts
Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonFormer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, told Boston Globe reporter Annie Linskey on April 21 that there is "no question" there will be women on the candidate's list of potential running mates.

And why shouldn't Clinton consider potential female picks? Picking a female running mate could potentially help Clinton in the general election, and she has a strong bench to choose from.  

Selecting a female vice president would help Clinton play up the historic nature of her candidacy in a way which she was not able to do in 2008 against Barack Obama, as David Graham of The Atlantic notes.  

Clinton's current problem is that -- even though she is currently leading Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primaries by almost 3 million votes -- she does not seem to generate much visible enthusiasm, and the general electorate finds her somewhat untrustworthy.

If Clinton chooses a female nominee with solid legislative credentials, it could mitigate at least some of the apprehension some voters currently hold towards the candidate herself. Adding another woman to the ticket would make Clinton's 2016 candidacy truly historic, and it could be especially effective if the Republican nominee ends up being Donald Trump.

Some of the names that have reportedly been circulating as possibilities for potential running mates include Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Claire McCaskill, Jeanne Shaheen, Amy Klobuchar and Patty Murray; Govs. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island; and former Arizona Governor and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Clinton, of course, would have to consider carefully before picking a candidate, but there are a potential positives by having one of these women on the ticket. For example, if it becomes more clear that Trump will probably receive the GOP's eventual nomination, then Clinton will most likely have leeway to choose a more liberal running mate without serious consequence.

Warren might be a northeastern liberal potentially running on a ticket with an "establishment" Beltway Democrat like Clinton, but she would be in a unique position to attract progressives and supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and help to repair a growing rift between the centrist and progressive wings of the Democratic Party.

On the other hand, if the Republicans do not choose Trump and decide to nominate a candidate who appears to be more competitive against Clinton, Clinton might consider enlisting McCaskill or Klobuchar as her running mate to fight for moderates in swing states.

Clinton may eventually calculate that she should choose a male running mate, like Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro or Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. But she clearly has a deep bench of potential female running mates, and a female VP choice could be especially effective during this election cycle. 

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: The Atlantic, The Boston Globe / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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