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Friday, 18 June 2021

Clinton's VP pick coming, Virginia senator frontrunner: Reports

AFP , Friday 22 Jul 2016
This file photo taken on July 19, 2016 shows Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she addresses the (AFSCME) American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at their conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo: AFP)

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could announce her vice presidential pick as early as Friday, with reports suggesting she is leaning towards Spanish-speaking Senator Tim Kaine from the battleground state of Virginia.

Clinton is scheduled to campaign in Florida on Friday and Saturday, but The Wall Street Journal -- citing people familiar with the former secretary of state's selection process -- said the news could come Friday in a text message to supporters.

The Washington Post said Clinton would likely introduce her pick either later Friday or at a Saturday rally in the Sunshine State. The Journal and the Post, citing unnamed sources, said Kaine has emerged as the frontrunner.

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign had no comment, when asked about the reports.

Kaine is seen as a leading contender for several reasons: he could help Clinton claim Virginia, a key battleground state and one her campaign believes is key to victory, and also could help cement her overwhelming lead with Hispanic voters.

The 58-year-old senator also has strong foreign policy experience -- he currently serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees. And he is seen as helping Clinton win votes from independent male voters.

Also on the short list are: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has been friends with the Clintons for decades and is from another key battleground state, Pennsylvania; and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, a Latino seen as a true liberal.

Clinton, 68, has said she wants a running mate with enough experience to "literally get up one day and be the president of the United States."

Her Republican challenger Donald Trump, who accepted his party's nomination on Thursday with a speech painting a dark picture of an America in crisis, has chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

The Democratic National Convention, at which Clinton will be formally crowned the party's White House candidate, begins Monday in Philadelphia.

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