WikiLeaks: Clinton aide sorted running-mate names by 'food groups'
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign sent her a list of 39 potential running mates listed by "rough food groups," such as women, blacks, Hispanics and business leaders, according to WikiLeaks.Among leaders from th...
WASHINGTON - The chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign sent her a list of 39 potential running mates listed by "rough food groups," such as women, blacks, Hispanics and business leaders, according to WikiLeaks.
Among leaders from the business world in John Podesta's "first cut" of potential vice presidential choices were Bill and Melinda Gates, Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook and General Motors Co.'s Mary Barra, according to a message posted by the site. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin were also on the list of potential candidates.
Clinton's campaign has declined to confirm the authenticity of alleged Podesta emails that Julian Assange's organization has been posting for more than a week, and has suggested some may have been altered. The campaign, citing U.S. intelligence community assessments, has blamed Russian hackers for targeting Democratic groups in an attempt to meddle in the U.S. election.
Clinton campaign spokesmen Glen Caplin and Brian Fallon didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
The alleged email on running mates was dated March 17, 2016, after Clinton scored a series of decisive primary wins. Standing alone - at the bottom of the list - was her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
While presidential contenders often say they want a running mate who's best-prepared to take over if needed, they also look to achieve geographical or ethnic balance on the ticket. Sometimes they leak names as trial balloons or to court different constituencies.
Other business leaders listed included Starbucks Corp.'s Howard Schultz, Coca-Cola Co.'s Muhtar Kent and former Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, whose organization donated $10 million to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to its website. Also listed was former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.
Podesta offered a category of female senators including Klobuchar, Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who had taken over Clinton's seat when she became secretary of state in 2009, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, whose fervor for tougher regulation of Wall Street appealed to some of the same young and liberal voters whom Sanders attracted.
A category of Latinos included House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (whose name was misspelled as "Javier"), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose heritage is Mexican, Jewish and Italian.
A list of black politicians included New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Military leaders included Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
White male politicians included Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend and fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton; Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown; and her eventual choice, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Podesta wrote to Clinton that he had come up with the list along with campaign manager Robby Mook, communications director Jennifer Palmieri and longtime Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, suggesting it had buy-in at high levels of the campaign, according to the message posted online. He also discussed arranging vetting for the candidates, according to the message.
The alleged message is one of more than 17,000 that WikiLeaks has released from what it says was Podesta's personal account. If genuine, they would give readers a nearly unprecedented view into an ongoing presidential campaign, from its political positions and speech planning to its confrontation of damaging stories and tensions between officials.
Clinton campaign officials have questioned whether associates of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have aided WikiLeaks to disseminating the messages.
Trump has repeatedly cited the emails, including alleged information about the campaign's handling of Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state and her speeches to Wall Street firms, to attack his rival.