Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

She may not have her party’s nomination officially in the bag, but Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is reportedly busy sizing up prospects for her vice presidential running mate.

Amid rumors from the right’s inner circles that GOP strategists are questioning presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s abilities to raise money and keep up the momentum he built earlier in the election cycle, Clinton’s camp appears to be working to shore up their candidate by vetting strong options for her second in command.

The Associated Press, The Chicago Tribune, Vox and other sources named three legislators as those atop the current short list:

Those on the shortlist include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of progressives who has emerged as a blistering critic of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump; Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a well-liked lawmaker from an important general election battleground state; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, a rising star in the Democratic Party.

… Warren, Kaine and Castro represent the two schools of thinking about the running mate pick that have emerged among those closest to Clinton’s campaign.

Some advisers believe Clinton should pick a running-mate that would energize Democrats: a woman, a staunch liberal or a minority. Others argue that Trump’s deep unpopularity gives Clinton an opportunity to win over a share of independents and Republican-leaning voters with a more centrist pick, such as Kaine.

Clinton is also said to be cognizant about the risks of tapping a senator who would be replaced by a Republican governor if Democrats won in November. That’s a particular liability for Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Clinton’s campaign is said to have considered both, but it was unclear Monday whether either would be fully vetted for the vice presidential slot.

Vox’s Matthew Yglesias provided additional insights into the VP sweepstakes, focusing on Castro in particular:

The case for and against Warren has been well-covered in the media, and Kaine seems like a safe, unremarkable pick. Castro is not ideologically controversial in the same way that Warren is, but would nonetheless be a choice with more upsides and downsides than Kaine. He’s been marked as a rising star in Democratic Party circles for years, underscored by his selection as a keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic Convention when he was a young, fairly obscure San Antonio mayor.

The pros of vice presidential nominee Julián Castro

Castro would bring a lot of useful thematic and demographic balance to the Democratic ticket — a young Hispanic man to complement an older white woman.

Clinton, Castro, and Obama would in many ways form a perfect three-headed dragon to attack Donald Trump, represent the modern Democratic Party, and advance a policy agenda that’s distinctly progressive without adding any ideological innovations that would alarm Trump-skeptical white college graduates.

Castro also has a good eye for skating where the puck is going, politically speaking, and staying in the ideological mainstream of Democratic Party politics. This is a little boring, but it’s very vice presidential and also reflects Clinton’s own approach. His signature initiative as San Antonio’s mayor was starting a preschool program, and under his leadership the city also launched a bicycle sharing system that, though wildly inappropriate to the city’s actual urban form, put him in line with a fashionable cause in coastal urbanism.

The selection process is being overseen by longtime Clinton allies John Podesta and Cheryl Mills, according to the AP.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.