ICYMI on PennLive over the weekend, here is Triad Partner Tony May's column on Hillary Clinton's VP process:
Democrats meet in convention in Philadelphia in just about a month and speculation is building over who Hillary Rodham Clinton will choose as a running mate in an effort to seal Donald Trump's doom. Will she tap another to capitalize on the growing gender gap between supporters for the two presumptive major party nominees?
Will she choose a Latino to mobilize Hispanic turnout? Will it be someone from Florida or Ohio or some other critical swing state in an effort to lock down critical electoral college votes?
The so-called national experts are touting a "short list" that's longer than the menu in a Greek-owned diner.
In alphabetical order, it includes California Congressman Xavier Becerra, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The list in and of itself follows the narrative of conventional wisdom.
If the office of vice president were a committee, the list would ooze political correctness.
A prominent, progressive woman, a charismatic African American, enough Spanish speakers to staff a soccer team and a smattering of faces from key swing states (can you say, "Ohio?")
"Early money" tends to discount an Elizabeth Warren nomination even though she would wow disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters.
If Clinton doesn't have the woman's vote sewed up yet, there's still plenty of time for Trump to deliver it to her with a new round of misogynistic rants.
And if any Democrat couldn't carry Massachusetts, the election is lost already. Cory Booker has a great deal of appeal but New Jersey is another state well within the "safe" column for Democratic presidential candidates.
A Latino strategy is implicit in the large number of Hispanic surnames on the Clinton list.
Becerra is a popular congressman who worked his way up quickly in California politics after graduating both from Stanford and Stanford Law. Castro, whose twin brother Joaquin is a member of Congress, served previously as Mayor of San Antonio.
Winning Texas would be a particularly sweet prize for the Democrats. Garcetti got his surname from his Italian immigrant great grandfather – to Mexico – and is the son of Mexican-Americans Unlike the Castro brothers and Becerra, who went to Stanford, Garcetti went to Columbia and the London School of Economics.
Kaine, a Harvard Law grad, is a fluent Spanish speaker thanks to his experience as a worker in a Jesuit mission in Honduras during his college years. Virginia, also, would be a key state with its 13 electoral votes.
Perez is the sleeper contestant among the "Latino strategy" candidates. Born to immigrants from the Dominican Republic, he was raised in Buffalo, NY, and is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law.
His experience in elective office has been confined to the county level in Maryland but he has been at the forefront of high profile cases with the U.S. Justice Department during the Obama years ranging from health care to labor and civil rights issues. He has strong support from organized labor.
Brown and Ryan are somewhat carbon copies from different generations.
Both are classic liberal Democrats who could mobilize Bernie Sanders supporters.
Brown and Ryan have both represented some of the same parts of Ohio in the Congress. Both have similar voting records. Brown is in his 60s and Ryan in his 40s. Clinton really, really needs to win Ohio.
Brown, back in March, said he wasn't interested in running for vice president – which makes him all the more attractive.
Castro is clearly in a favorable position if a credible case could be made that slating him could help deliver Texas's 38 electoral votes (Ohio has18).
In choosing a running mate, Clinton has to remember, first, the McCain Imperative: "First, do no harm." John McCain forgot that concept in 2008 when he slated Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee and it cost him the election.
And don't be surprised if you see Clinton/Brown or Clinton/Castro yard signs come autumn.