Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are busy keeping us guessing as to who will be their Vice Presidential choices.
After so much speculation, it turns out, according to latest hints, that others not originally considered likely choices, are surging ahead.
So for the Republicans, Indiana Governor and former Congressman Mike Pence seems like the front runner, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions also becoming part of the discussion.
And for the Democrats, suddenly, Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack seems like a possible choice, with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez of Maryland and Virginia Senator, former Governor, and former Mayor of Richmond Tim Kaine as other possible choices.
Compared to bigger names, such as Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie on the Republican side, or Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro on the Democratic side, these potential choices seem less exciting and dramatic, but that does not mean that there is not an argument for them.
Pence is less controversial than other VP choices for the Republicans, although he signed a bill against the civil rights of gays and lesbians in public accommodations that had to be changed under protest, and with many businesses canceling plans to expand into Indiana, and with him concerned about a gubernatorial race that looks very difficult to win. He is a hard right wing conservative Republican who the Christian right loves, which makes him unable to expand the base of the Republican Party. But Pence does not have a big mouth, and is not considered a bully, as Gingrich and Christie are.
Sessions is the typical Southern conservative very similar to past Southern Democrats up to the 1960s, very hard line on immigration, but the first US Senator to endorse Trump. He is not appealing personally as Pence is.
Tom Vilsack was actually considered on the short list for VP for John Kerry in 2004 and for Hillary Clinton, had she won the nomination of the Democrats in 2008, and is a pleasant enough fellow, and is from a “swing” state.
Tom Perez is Hispanic, Dominican heritage, and also very well liked by Hillary Clinton, and a very effective Secretary of Labor for Barack Obama.
Both Vilsack and Perez as cabinet members do not endanger any Senate seats, which is a plus for both of them.
Kaine was on the short list for VP in 2008, and is well liked, and has been Mayor of Richmond, as well as Governor and Senator, and also Democratic National Chairman, and also well liked by Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, with a Democratic governor in Virginia, an appointment to replace him would be a Democrat. And to top it off, Kaine speaks perfect Spanish, as this blogger has seen on the news reports, a very impressive plus, considering that 55 million Americans, out of 320 million speak or are od Spanish origin.
Trying to guess the ultimate choices for Vice President has become more complex and difficult, so we shall have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to witness what transpires!