If it hadn’t been Tim Kaine, it might have been Tim Cook.
Hillary Clinton’s aides considered the Apple CEO among a surprising array of potential vice presidential candidates, including business executives, lawmakers and military leaders, before settling on the Virginia Senator, internal campaign emails published on Wikileaks show.
Among a list of preliminary names sent to Clinton in March 2016 were General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, both Bill and Melinda Gates, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Navy Admiral Bill McRaven and Marine Corps four-star general John Allen.
Also on what list were more traditional candidates, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders, as well as Kaine.
The names come from the hacked email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails have been posted on the website Wikileaks. The Clinton campaign has not verified their authenticity.
In Podesta’s email to Clinton, he tells the Democratic nominee that he has organized the names “in rough food groups” and assembled teams of lawyers to vet and profile the possible vice presidential candidates. It is unclear whether Clinton responded to Podesta, as Wikileaks has not published a return email. It is clear from the list, however, that is an early-stage draft.
The Clinton campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the election and seeking to help elect Donald Trump, and several news outlets have reported that the FBI suspects Russia is responsible for the hack of Podesta’s emails.
The email suggests the Clinton campaign was closely considering the ethnicity and gender of their vice presidential pick.
One group of names appeared to be Latino lawmakers, such as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Another group includes women lawmakers like Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and yet another is white male lawmakers, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado.
Another group of names consists of black male politicians—former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, former attorney general Eric Holder and Sen. Cory Booker, for example—and another includes the military leaders. Finally, there are the business executives, including Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, as well as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, choices that may have served Clinton well against Donald Trump.
Ultimately, Clinton decided on Kaine, a well-respected and avuncular lawmaker who is expected to have a smooth relationship with former president Bill Clinton as well as Hillary.
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