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VEEPstakes 2: Democratic Boogaloo

Uploaded: Jul 19, 2016

So, now that the GOP, meaning its candidate, has settled on/for Governor Pence after a thorough deliberation of several minutes (no wait!), we may turn our attention to the Dem side. In seeking to complement Hillary’s candidacy, the bidding will be quite different. Experience is not as crucial a criterion, but there’s an obvious need to counteract her strong perceived negatives (some of which are real), as well as throwing a bone to the Progressive wing (read: the Berners), millennial voters in general, and moderate Independents plus the twelve of them who remain in the GOP.

The choice should also not damage the down-ticket chance to re-take control of the Senate. Swing state appeal is a plus. It’s not clear to me that an ‘identity’ candidate from the ranks of women, Hispanics, LGBTQs, African-Americans or anyone with an obvious disability adds much political weight – those groups have been hand-delivered to the Clinton campaign with a bright blue bow.

With those goals in mind, here are the current favorites:

Tim Kaine (age 58): the Senator and former VA governor is the Safe Choice. He’s untouched by scandal, literally sings in his Richmond church choir and has demonstrated cross-the-aisle appeal for voters. The Dems also need Virginia in the Electoral College stakes, and he remains popular there. While not a dynamic campaigner (“I am boring”), he’d be up against the stolid Mr. Pence in the VP head-to-heads, and he’s reliably consistent. He’s not up for re-election in 2016, and incumbent Governor McAuliffe is a Dem. So, no hearts aflutter, but a solid prospect.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro (41): he IS the heartthrob choice. Boyishly handsome and self-made, he’s the former mayor of San Antonio. His identical twin brother is a Congressman (as he quipped on NPR’s ‘Wait-wait’: “we both live in Washington, but only I work there.”) He is passably glib (he has done well on the Talkies, and overcame a mild case of nerves on Wait-wait), liberal but possibly not progressive, and a strong generational pick. There’s no chance he’d deliver a home state so red that it’s burnt orange. He’s also had a recent dust-up with Hatch Act politicking, and can you recall anything noteworthy that’s come out of HUD, recently?

Labor Secretary Tom Perez (54): he’s a long-time Clinton ally (uh-oh, but as we all know, trust means a Lot to Mrs. Clinton), exceptionally popular with unions and an excellent, if obscure campaigner. He’s of Dominican heritage. Perez would be a strong, substantial voice on the subject of wage stagnation/income inequity and its various ties-into the 2016 campaign. More than any other prospect, he’d address those rigged-system themes that appeal to young voters and disaffected workers. He’s made the Bill Maher, Daily Show and Wait-wait circuits, and was sharp in those friendly confines. Intriguing possibility.

Former MA Gov. Deval Patrick (59): he has a good Dem record as two-termer in Mass., and has since served as General Counsel (= head lawyer) for Texaco and Coke. His home state is in the bag, however, and it’s not clear whether his executive suite business experience is a plus – or a source of suspicion for many traditional Democrat voters. He’d need to develop his themes quickly to have a positive impact for the campaign.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Sherrod Brown. Each adds something different – Warren as Progressive flame-thrower, Booker as young/gifted/black conciliator and Brown as popular in Ohio, the uberest-swing-state of them all. Each would be replaced by a Republican governor, however, thus possibly sacrificing what might be a very slim 2017 majority in the Senate. It’s not clear that they are not personally and professionally better-off where they are.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack (65), for reasons I do not comprehend, and former NATO chief General James Stavridis (61). The latter overlaps Clinton’s foreign policy chops but is a national security/tech warfare maven. Neither seems likely from here.

What about a Californian? LA-area Congressman Xavier Becerra has been mentioned, and would be a solid campaigner, as well as a reliably liberal, Hispanic-heritage choice. Gavin Newsom is an excellent campaigner, but still a … shall we say … cultural lightning rod (“like it or not”), and a guy whose past personal peccadilloes seem more tolerated here than they would be elsewhere. Better he bide his time locally before the expected governorship run. CA is not in-doubt electorally, so our status as campaign S&L will likely continue.

Who’ve I missed? And, since nobody won on the GOP side, I can now offer TWO subscriptions to the weeklies for the first winning entry.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Monkeyball, a resident of another community,
on Jul 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm

My left-field guess is still Kamala Harris. Yes, she just got the Big O endorsement, but Team Blue has the perfectly serviceable Loretta Sanchez as backup for the Senate race. (And since the CA GOP has tire-fired itself into non-existence, Sanchez and Harris are the only candidates on the ballot for the fall. Very definition of a safe seat.)

Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.

Perez sounds good to me but is he a "Natural Born" Citizen? You said he's from the Dominican Republic, which isn't a US Territory like Puerto Rico. If the President is required to be a Natural Born Citizen, shouldn't that mean the Veep is too?

I'm against Warren because she should be President not VP. We don't know which way the election will go or if Trump will keep his Republican candidacy, but Hillary is damaged goods. Warren is pristine and would make a better candidate for Prez in 4 or 8 years.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Hi Roz -- Perez was born in Buffalo, NY. Here's some wikipedia stuff: " Thomas Edward 'Tom' Perez was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, to parents Rafael and Grace (née Brache) Perez, who were both first-generation Dominican immigrants. His father, who earned U.S. citizenship after enlisting in the U.S. Army after World War II, worked as a doctor in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving to Buffalo, where he worked as a physician at a Veterans Affairs hospital. His mother, Grace, came to the United States in 1930 after her father, Rafael Brache, was appointed as the Dominican Republic's Ambassador to the United States. She remained in the U.S. after Ambassador Brache was declared persona non grata by his own government, for speaking out against Dominican President Rafael Trujillo's regime.

His father died of a heart attack when Perez was 12 years old. Perez received his Bachelor of Arts in international relations and political science from Brown University in 1983. He covered the cost of attending Brown with scholarships and Pell Grants and by working as a trash collector and in a warehouse. He also worked in Brown's dining hall and for the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. In 1987, Perez received a Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School and a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 1986, while a student at Harvard, Perez worked as a law clerk for Attorney General Edward Meese."

Web Link

He had a lot to do with the new Overtime rules, and has accordingly earned the ire of the National Review. Sounds good to me.

Posted by otto, a resident of Pleasanton Heights,
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:12 pm

The Dems do Not need Virginia in the Electoral College.

Over the last few decades, presidential election outcomes within the majority of states have become more and more predictable.

From 1992- 2012
13 states (with 102 electoral votes) voted Republican every time
19 states (with 242) voted Democratic every time

If this 20 year pattern continues, without the National Popular Vote bill in effect,
Democrats only would need a mere 28 electoral votes from other states.
If Republicans lose Florida (29), they would lose.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Yup. Another way to look at it is that if she carries the 21 states (includes VA) where she currently has an estimated 75%-or-higher chance of winning, she's in with >270 electoral college votes. Another hundred or so votes are currently more-likely-than-not, which is landslide territory. But cautionary note -- that was before Melania Trump captivated the nation with Michelle Obama's speech, so you can just never be sure. Web Link

Posted by SteveErvin, a resident of Horizon High School,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 12:11 am

SteveErvin is a registered user.

I'm against Warren since she ought to be President not VP. We don't know which way the decision will go or if Trump will keep his Republican application, however Hillary is harmed products. His dad kicked the bucket of a heart assault when Perez was 12 years of age. Perez got his Bachelor of Arts in worldwide relations and political science from Brown University in 1983. And if anyone who want to hire assignment expert online academic service please visit our website. (spam weblink remov-ed)

Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 1:57 am

rosalindr is a registered user.


Are you paraphrasing or plagiarizing my and Tom's comments. Very suspicious. Also I wondered why so many British spellings and phrases kept popping up in my students' University of Phoenix assignments. Eventually that sort of thing catches up with people, especially if your spouse is running for President.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 8:04 am

@rosalindr :"Are you paraphrasing or plagiarizing my and Tom's comments. Very suspicious."

It was a pretty bad spam advertisement for an essay writing service, wasn't it? A student would have to be pretty stupid to use an essay writing service which advertises itself in a post featuring blatant plagiarism.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm

I tried to work for an essay writing service online but I made so many mistakes that I was terminated really ticked me off and hurt my feelings!

I seem to enjoy writing letters of complaint and signing the names of people that I don't like. It's always fun to think about and then to do it. I don't write poison pen letters. Just letters that annoy some folks.

yup...that's just the way I am.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 4:08 pm

By the way, what's the big deal about plagiarism? It's never annoyed me in the least.'s just another form of lying which EVERYBODY does.

What I don't appreciate are snitches. never...

I've never read any original thoughts on the Pleasanton Weekly anyways!

And...what is so bad about students paying for an essay? It helps out everybody involved. Please explain how it hurts you...duh...

Posted by Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Tom...I think that Tom Vilsack resembles meatloaf.

I prefer a Person of Color for VP or a Senator who was a comedian on Saturday Night Live! He is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay funny. I won't post anymore on this topic.



Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


I agree with Michael Moore: That "Trump is likely to get elected".

Hilary set up her private email server knowing full well she was engaging in an action that serves to prevent disclosure, serves to prevent transparency. In doing so, no doubt, consulted with at least one other person, or several other persons to get this server up and running. Which by definition is a conspiracy.

Setting up this private server in order to prevent transparency regarding her activity while serving the United States Government and the American people as Secretary of State was a dishonest activity intended to deceive, to block, and to hide her activity.

Hillarie's outrageous activity with email@gate will be her undoing.

Posted by Cameron656, a resident of Avignon,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

Cameron656 is a registered user.

I like your post thanks for sharing.

Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:26 am

Michael Austin seems to have fallen for Hillary's "briar patch" gambit. While the maniacal right wingers will chant "lock her up!" most rational Americans will yawn and ask "Wait - what? Who stole what? Nothing? What difference does it make where somebody's email server is located? And didn't the government's own servers get hacked? That has to be the lamest excuse for a "scandal" I've ever heard."

So keep it up, Michael. And remember, whatever you do, don't throw Hillary into that briar patch!

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

Michael: I am aware that you take a pretty straight-up view of right-and-wrong, so I think this chart might interest you. It's a rough comparison of the truthfulness of quite a few national politicians , since 2007, from an unaffiliated source. (Politifact, a fact-checking service).

You may be surprised at who wears the longest Pinochi-nose. Web Link

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

Peter Kluget: "Nothing? What difference does it make where somebody's email server is located? And didn't the government's own servers get hacked? That has to be the lamest excuse for a "scandal" I've ever heard.""

I agree that the Republicans have overplayed it. Hillary's private server was apparently used to service her unclassified email account. There should have been no classified emails associated with that account regardless of whether it was serviced by a government server or a private server. So the presence of classified emails is a separate issue from the use of a private server. And if classified emails are sent to an unclassified account, then the responsibility for that and the security infraction goes to the person who sent the classified email, not the person who received it.

As for what you say about the security of government servers, that's very true. I work at LLNL and hold a security clearance there. My last re-investigation paperwork, including my fingerprints and other personal info, are now undoubtedly in possession of the Chinese government thanks to the lax cybersecurity at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) whose computers got hacked by Chinese hackers. No doubt that my personal information is much more secure sitting inside my own personal computer (which I regularly update and maintain with robust passwords) than on the OPM computers.

Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 6:08 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.

There's only one way to keep a computer from being hacked and that's to keep it separate, off the net. When I worked at Relevant Business Systems in the early 2000's there was a virus going around and our servers caught the virus. The owner of the company, who was a computer techie guy, had our internal system taken off the external server. We transferred files the old fashioned way, with CDs, floppies, or USB drives. These were all cleaned and tested before and after anything was loaded on to them. It was annoying and time consuming but we never got a computer virus again.


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


Thank you for the link. Interesting four democrats and 16 republicans.
Kasich ranking better than Biden may be due to Biden Gaffs.

I have written previously on this forum that I would not vote for Trump and that I am not inclined to vote for Hillary, that I would concentrate on local races.

I have been a registered democrat for more than fifty years, but have been voting republican for the last several election years with the exception of voting for Swalwell, to help throw out that other guy, I forgot his name already.

Sorry that I woke up Peter Kluget.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


Regarding LLNL. I was scheduled to go on site several weeks ago for a business meeting. Seventy-two hours prior to my arrival, I was required to call a person at the badge office to give personal information for a back ground check prior to my arrival.

When I arrived, I was issued a badge, my contact met me and drove me to the site of our meeting. When we were finished, my contact drove me back to the badge office, where I returned the badge to the person that issued it to me.
About ten days later I received a letter asking me what I did with my badge. The letter provided a check list for me to check off on as to what I did with my Badge.

So, minor security issues persist at the LLNL.

Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 7:58 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.


You won your own contest. Congrats on picking Tim Kaine as the "safe choice" for Hillary's running mate. Now it is starting to shape up as an election.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Jul 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

@Michael Austin

Welcome to the real world, Mike.

Posted by Ben, a resident of Birdland,
on Jul 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Of course Tom would give a link to the liberal biased Politfact chart. Because we all know the St. Pete Tampa Bay Times newspaper in no way swings left....

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Jul 23, 2016 at 2:52 pm


The two scariest words in the world to Trump supporters: "Fact Check".

Facts are facts.

Please feel free to post an example of a fact check from Politifact that you think is unfair and "liberal biased". I've got a feeling that we're not going to be hearing from you again.

Posted by Alamo Peet, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 25, 2016 at 11:42 am

Monday July 25, 2016, Latest presidential polls (CNN):

Trump - 48

Clinton -45

Posted by Sheri J, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Jul 25, 2016 at 8:45 pm

Hey now, how 'bout them emails?

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