Meet Hillary Clinton's Potential Vice Presidents In 100 Words The Democrat will already make history with her own nomination for president. Now the question is whether she wants to do it again with her choice of running mate by picking a second woman or Latino.
NPR logo Meet Hillary Clinton's Potential Vice Presidents In 100 Words

Meet Hillary Clinton's Potential Vice Presidents In 100 Words

Hillary Clinton will already make history with her nomination for president, becoming the first woman to lead a major presidential ticket. Now the question is whether she wants to do it again with her choice of running mate.

Clinton is expected to name her vice presidential pick sometime after the Republican National Convention ends and before her own convention begins in Philadelphia on July 25.

On her list are several Hispanic lawmakers, African-Americans and at least one woman.

Latino politicians like Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro offer an appealing contrast to Donald Trump's controversial comments on Mexican immigrants, plus he would bring youth to her ticket.

She also has a close relationship with Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who is beloved by labor unions.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren would excite supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Brown has been a vocal opponent of free trade agreements and is one of the Senate's most liberal members, while Warren was the original progressive hero who has long railed against Wall Street.

But both Brown and Warren, along with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, have a big complicating factor — they come from states with Republican governors who would nominate their replacements if the Clinton ticket wins. And with control of the Senate hanging in the balance this November too, losing a Senate seat may be too risky of a gamble for Democrats.

Ultimately though, Clinton may go with a safer, non-historic pick. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is a solid choice who was a finalist in President Obama's search eight years ago. Kaine himself has admitted he is a "boring" choice, but boring isn't necessarily a bad thing in politics, and he does come from a swing state too.

That's the same with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has emerged as a late, top possible pick for Clinton. The former Iowa governor comes from an important state and is a longtime friend of the Clintons too.

Below are some of the potential candidates Clinton's team is weighing. Check out Trump's potential VPs here.


California Rep. Xavier Becerra

Rep. Xavier Becerra speaks to members of the media as he arrives at a closed briefing for members of the House of Representatives in 2013. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Xavier Becerra speaks to members of the media as he arrives at a closed briefing for members of the House of Representatives in 2013.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Age: 58 (born Jan. 26, 1958, in Sacramento, Calif.)

Current residence: Los Angeles

Education: 1980, Stanford University, B.A.; 1984, Stanford University, J.D.

Family: Married to Dr. Carolina Reyes, 3 children

Religion: Catholic

Fast facts:

  • The son of a Mexican immigrant, he was the first in his family to get a college degree
  • Made a failed bid for Los Angeles mayor in 2001, finishing a disappointing fifth in the Democratic primary
  • Has advocated for a National Museum of the American Latino through the Smithsonian that would be built on the National Mall

Becerra is the current chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, making him the highest-ranking Latino in the House. Elected to Congress in 1992, he previously served in the state Assembly and was the California deputy attorney general. In 2008, President Obama offered him the position of U.S. trade representative, but he turned it down, saying he would have more influence in Congress. Becerra has stumped for Clinton in both English and Spanish and could be a powerful voice for her on issues of immigration. Once a supporter of NAFTA, he now says he opposes it and voted against CAFTA.


New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker takes a photo with a supporter as he arrives at a campaign event for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in February. Mark Makela/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Makela/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Booker takes a photo with a supporter as he arrives at a campaign event for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in February.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

Age: 47 (born April 27, 1969, in Washington, D.C.)

Current residence: Newark, N.J.

Education: 1991, Stanford University, B.A., political science; 1992, Stanford University, M.A., sociology; 1994: Oxford University, Rhodes scholar; 1997, Yale Law School, J.D.

Family: Single

Religion: Baptist

Fast facts:

  • Played football for Stanford University where he was chosen as class president; later selected as a Rhodes scholar
  • Lived for eight years in Brick Towers, a low-income housing complex, while on the Newark City Council, to publicize the drug and crime problems coupled with inadequate resources there
  • His 2000 losing campaign for mayor was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Street Fight

Booker cultivated a popular social media presence and a national profile even before he was elected to the Senate in 2013. During his seven years as Newark mayor, he became well-known for shoveling residents' driveways after snowstorms, rescuing a woman from a house fire and living on food stamps. Booker could energize African-Americans and young voters. But as a freshman senator, his experience will be a question (even though he has served the same amount of time that Barack Obama did before becoming president). His attention-getting tactics also make him something of a wild card who could upstage Clinton.


Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown

Sen. Sherrod Brown at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in June. Angelo Merendino/Getty Images hide caption

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Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Sen. Sherrod Brown at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in June.

Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Age: 63 (born: Nov. 9, 1952, in Mansfield, Ohio)

Current residence: Cleveland

Education: 1974, Yale University, B.A., Russian studies; 1979, Ohio State University, M.A., education; 1981, Ohio State University, M.A., public administration

Family: Married to Connie Schultz (one ex-wife); 2 children, 2 stepchildren, 2 grandchildren

Religion: Lutheran

Fast facts:

  • Became the youngest state representative in Ohio state history after winning a seat in 1975
  • Huge baseball fan whose personal email address begins with "DamnYankees" and who took his wife to Wrigley Field on their honeymoon
  • His wife, Connie Schultz, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary while at the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Brown, two-term senator of one of the most critical swing states, would bring a geographic advantage to a Clinton ticket. He also would help with reaching blue-collar Democrats who might be swayed by Donald Trump's populist appeal. He has been a strong surrogate for Clinton when it comes to labor issues. Brown is also a vocal opponent of free trade and critic of NAFTA, an issue where progressives who backed Sanders are skeptical of Clinton's recent conversion. Before being elected to the Senate in 2006, he served in the House for 14 years and was previously the Ohio secretary of state.


HUD Secretary Julian Castro

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro speaks during a roundtable discussion in April. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro speaks during a roundtable discussion in April.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Age: 41 (born Sept. 16, 1974, in San Antonio)

Current residence: San Antonio

Education: 1996, Stanford University; 2000, Harvard Law School, J.D.

Family: Married to Erica Lira Castro; 2 children

Religion: Catholic

Fast facts:

  • His twin brother, Joaquin, is a Democratic congressman in Texas; in 2005, he was criticized for having his brother take his place in the City Council's parade float
  • Credits affirmative action for helping him get into Stanford and later Harvard Law School
  • Studied Latin and Japanese in school but doesn't speak fluent Spanish

The current secretary of housing and urban development, Castro is a rising star in the Democratic Party. In 2009, when he was just 35, he was elected the mayor of San Antonio — the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city. He delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. He would be the first Hispanic on a presidential ticket and would provide a contrast to Trump's controversial remarks about Latinos. But recent reports say he has slipped on Clinton's list owing to concerns he lacks the experience to step into the presidency if necessary.


Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine

Sen. Tim Kaine walks up to speak at a news conference in 2015. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Kaine walks up to speak at a news conference in 2015.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Age: 58 (born Feb. 26, 1958, in St. Paul, Minn.)

Current home: Richmond, Va.

Education: 1979, University of Missouri, B.A.; 1983, Harvard Law School, J.D.

Family: Married to Anne Bright Holton; 3 children

Religion: Catholic

Fast facts:

  • In law school, spent nine months in Honduras running a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries
  • His father-in-law, Linwood Holton, was a former Republican governor of Virginia
  • Has said the Obama administration needs to get authorization from Congress to use force against ISIS, and has been critical of Congress for not granting an Authorization for Use of Military Force

Kaine would be a more traditional choice for vice president, but that may be exactly what Clinton needs. Last month, he even admitted he lacks the pizazz of some other candidates, telling Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, "I am boring." He's an effective surrogate, comes from a swing state and has good relationships on both sides of the aisle. He has arguably the most political experience of her possible running mates, including service as mayor of Richmond, governor of Virginia and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He is fluent in Spanish and was an early Clinton endorser.


Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick speaks at a news conference in 2009. Darren McCollester/Getty Images hide caption

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Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick speaks at a news conference in 2009.

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Age: 59 (born July 31, 1956, in Chicago)

Current residence: Richmond, Mass.

Education: 1978, Harvard College, B.A., English and American literature; 1982, Harvard Law School, J.D.

Family: Married to Diane Patrick; 2 children

Religion: Presbyterian

Fast facts:

  • After graduating from Harvard undergrad, worked for a year on a U.N. youth project in the Darfur region of Sudan
  • Was the first African-American governor of Massachusetts and just the second black governor in U.S. history when he was elected in 2006
  • Is a friend of President Obama, who phoned in to WGBH during Patrick's outgoing appearance as governor of Massachusetts

A former two-term governor of Massachusetts, Patrick would add diversity to the Clinton ticket. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Patrick as an assistant attorney general, putting him in charge of the civil rights division of the Department of Justice. Later, he went into private practice as general counsel of Texaco and Coca-Cola. He endorsed President Obama in 2008; Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, consulted on Patrick's 2006 gubernatorial race and later helped in his tough 2010 re-election. While Massachusetts isn't a swing state, Patrick's business and executive experience could be useful as a counterpoint to Trump.


Labor Secretary Tom Perez

U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez speaks at the 84th annual Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in January. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez speaks at the 84th annual Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in January.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Age: 54 (born Oct. 7, 1961, in Buffalo, N.Y.)

Current residence: Takoma Park, Md.

Education: 1983, Brown University, international relations and political science; 1987, Harvard University, M.P.P. and J.D.

Family: Ann Marie Staudenmaier; 3 children

Religion: Catholic

Fast facts:

  • Was the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County, Md., council
  • The son of Dominican immigrants, his grandfather was the ambassador to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in the 1930s
  • Coaches his children's basketball and baseball teams

Perez has long been mentioned as a possible running mate for Clinton. The current secretary of labor was first appointed by Obama as an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. The son of Dominican immigrants, he would help excite the Hispanic electorate. He is also beloved by labor unions — so much so that they campaigned against his nomination to replace Eric Holder as attorney general in 2014 because they wanted Perez to stay at the Labor Department. He is less well known than some of Clinton's other possible picks, though, but has been unafraid to attack Trump.


Former NATO Commander James Stavridis

Adm. James Stavridis, co-chairman of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition National Security Advisory Council, spoke during a Senate State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing in March 2015 Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Adm. James Stavridis, co-chairman of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition National Security Advisory Council, spoke during a Senate State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing in March 2015

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Age: 61 (born on February 15, 1955 in West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Current residence: Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Education: 1976, U.S. Naval Academy, B.S.; 1984: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, PhD, International Relations and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy; 1992: distinguished graduate of National War College

Wife: Married to Laura Hall; 2 children

Fast facts:

  • Led Deep Blue, a Navy operational think tank, after the 9/11 attacks
  • Has over 50 US and international medals and decorations, including 28 from foreign countries
  • Wrote a memoir called "The Accidental Admiral"

A newly-floated name Clinton is reportedly vetting, Stavridis would lend considerable military experience and national security credibility to a Clinton ticket. He spent over thirty years in the Navy and rose to the rank of a 4-star Admiral. For four years, he served as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Balkans, and piracy off the coast of Africa. He is currently the Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has criticized Donald Trump, calling his foreign policy "naive and dangerous."


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participates in a discussion on "The Opioid Epidemic" in April 2016. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participates in a discussion on "The Opioid Epidemic" in April 2016.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Age: 65 (born December 13, 1950 in Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Current residence: Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

Education: 1972, Hamilton College, B.A., history; 1975, Albany Law School, J.D.

Family: Married to Christie Vilsack; 2 children, 4 grandchildren

Religion: Catholic

Fast Facts:

  • Was born into an orphanage and adopted in 1951
  • Has talked about his adoptive mother's prescription drug addiction and revealed she abused him
  • In 1998, was the first Democrat elected Iowa governor in more than thirty years

Vilsack has served at almost every level of government, beginning as mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in 1987. He went on to serve as a state senator and the two-term the governor of Iowa. He's the current Secretary of Agriculture and is the only remaining member of President Obama's original cabinet. Like Kaine, he's a safe pick for Clinton and was already vetted for the vice presidency by John Kerry in 2004. He briefly ran for president in the 2008 cycle but dropped out in early 2007. He endorsed Clinton and served as her national co-chair.


Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the dedication ceremony for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in 2015. Paul Marotta/Getty Images hide caption

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the dedication ceremony for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in 2015.

Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Age: 67 (born June 22, 1949, in Oklahoma City)

Current residence: Cambridge, Mass.

Education: 1970, University of Houston, B.S., speech pathology; 1976, Rutgers School of Law, J.D.

Family: Married to Bruce Mann (one ex-husband); 2 children, 3 grandchildren

Religion: Methodist

Fast facts:

  • Skipped sixth grade and graduated from high school at 16
  • Nominated for an Emmy in the spoken word category for her book, A Fighting Chance
  • Time called her a "New Sheriff of Wall Street" for her work following the 2008 financial crisis

When Warren campaigned with Clinton last month, it was many Democrats' dream ticket. She has been a ferocious Trump attack dog, firing back as the presumptive GOP nominee derided her with nicknames such as "Pocahontas." Even before she was elected, she became a hero for progressives after creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and speaking out against Wall Street influence. Many liberal groups urged her to run for president herself this year, but she rebuffed their advances. Now, Warren on the ticket could be an olive branch to Sanders supporters. Others think that an all-woman ticket would alienate some male voters.

Correction July 12, 2016

A previous version of this article incorrectly said Xavier Becerra ran for Los Angeles mayor in 2011; in fact, he ran in 2001. Also, the article has been updated to reflect Becerra's current position on NAFTA: He's against it.

Added July 22: A previous photo identification misspelled James Stavridis' last name as Stavirdis.