Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, reportedly spent her weekend interviewing potential vice presidential picks. Her campaign seems likely to keep the media and the public guessing until after the Republican National Convention, when an announcement could steal the media’s focus.
Speculation began months ago but has consistently favored a few contenders. In recent days, however, some new names have been added to the list, making the prediction game more challenging.
Like Donald Trump, who announced his vice presidential candidate on Friday, via Twitter, Clinton has appeared on stage with some of the presumptive frontrunners, including Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tim Kaine.
Warren, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and Governor John Hickenlooper all met with Clinton at her home on Friday.
Clinton has not revealed how many people are in the running for the VP slot, but various media outlets have put these candidates on their versions of a short list.
Becerra, 58, is the Chair of the House Democratic Conference and represents part of the Los Angeles area in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has served in the House for more than 20 years.
Becerra met with Clinton in June and continues to be evasive when asked if he is being vetted for the Democratic ticket. He was a Clinton surrogate throughout the primary and has spoken out against Trump’s immigration proposals.
A relative unknown, Becerra is a first-generation Mexican-American who speaks fluent Spanish and had a long record as a progressive in Congress. A long-time member of the Congressional Progressive Congress (a group founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders), Becerra has the potential to help pull in Sanders supporters. He could also help Clinton solidify her support among Hispanic voters.
But Becerra comes with some difficult baggage: His failed campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2001 captured only six percent of the vote and was marred by controversy when his campaign hired a woman to pose as the L.A. County Supervisor and record robocalls attacking his opponents. He was also involved in President Bill Clinton’s commutation of a drug trafficker’s sentence after Becerra took thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the dealer’s father.
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