A hacked email from the Hillary Clinton campaign reveals some interesting names considered early on as possible Democratic vice presidential picks. The names released by Wikileaks Tuesday included Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Melinda Gates.
Clinton’s top advisors brainstormed a list of 39 possible running mates back in March, before she had even secured the Democratic presidential nomination. The list emailed to Clinton featured a wide variety of mayors, senators, governors and retired generals along with titans of industry and the nonprofit world.
That latter category included the politically-active Starbucks boss from Seattle and the billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates. The Gates’ have shown no outward interest in political office.
Starbucks did not respond to request for comment from Howard Schultz nor did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of this or any of the hundreds of other emails released by Wikileaks over the past week. It’s unclear if the Northwesterners knew they were on Clinton’s list before another name on there, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, got the nod for vice president this summer.
Russia is suspected by U.S. authorities of being behind the hack of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta’s personal email account, from which this email was sent.
Other interesting names in the “first cut” of potential vice presidents included Apple CEO Tim Cook, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.
Podesta prefaced his list by writing that he categorized the names in “rough food groups.” The groups are not labeled, but Kaine was lumped in what appears to be the white guys politicians category. Presidential nomination rival Bernie Sanders was tacked on the bottom in a group by himself.