So many names have been floated, and only one will be the candidate.
“I think they’re all long shots just because there are so many names in play,” said Eric Sondermann, a longtime political analyst based in Denver.
A lot of the speculation around Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick centers on the politics of the choice. Should she shore up her left by picking Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown? Should she leverage anti-Trump sentiment with a Latino running mate like Rep. Xavier Becerra of California or Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro?
Both men’s names have been bandied about as potential running mates, but do these centrist middle-aged white men bring something Clinton needs to the ticket?
It practically doesn’t matter, Sondermann said, and it’s the wrong question.
“Given current polling that shows her with a significant lead and Trump having a very bad few weeks and his negatives being in the stratosphere, I think she is very much liberated,” Sondermann said. “She can pick pretty much anyone she wants.”
Bennet is well-regarded as a senator, Sondermann said, and at 51, he would bring some youth (“youth”) to the ticket. Like many, Sondermann interprets Hickenlooper’s book tour and prominent surrogate-ing as seeking to raise his national profile.
But if you’re a betting person trying to play the odds on Clinton’s pick, looking at demographics or geography isn’t the way to do it, Sondermann said. The last three presidents have not picked their vice presidents that way, and there’s no reason to think Hillary Clinton will or should.
Bill Clinton went with a fellow Southern white man in Al Gore of Tennessee, while George Bush and Barack Obama picked running mates whose states brought a whopping three electoral votes in Dick Cheney of Wyoming and Joe Biden of Delaware.
“I don’t know that this selection is going to be made through a political lens,” Sondermann said. “She has the freedom to pick who she wants as a governing partner. I don’t think this is about picking up Colorado’s electoral votes.”