When Will Hillary Clinton Choose A Vice President? The Presumptive Nominee Has Some Time On Her Hands
Now that the most raucous betting game of 2016 — who will be the official presidential nominees — has ended, it's time to begin playing the veep guessing game. On Monday night, the Associated Press announced that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, having, by their estimation, gained enough pledged, delegates and super delegates to clinch the nomination before Tuesday's primaries even began. While Bernie Sanders could still win in July, speculation about who might snag the coveted job of serving as Clinton's running mate began well before the former secretary of State officially secured the minimum number of required delegates to become her party's presumptive nominee. But when will Clinton announce her vice president?
If we've learned anything from the primaries, it's that this presidential election is hardly a predictable affair. At this point, there's no telling exactly when Clinton will reveal her running mate. She could go the traditional route and announce shortly before the Democratic National Convention, or opt to buck convention and declare her ticket straight out of the gate in an attempt to drum up momentum against Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.
Vice presidential candidates are most often announced in the weeks or days leading up to a party's national convention. Should Clinton keep to this tradition, it could be at least a month before we know who'll round out Clinton's general election ticket, as the Democratic National Convention isn't scheduled to take place in Philadelphia until July 25.
President Barack Obama, for example, announced Joe Biden as his running mate just two days before the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Republican nominee John McCain also waited until right before the GOP convention to reveal then-Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate that same year. In 1992, President Bill Clinton made his vice presidential pick of then-Sen. Al Gore public about four days before his party's national convention.
Although there's significant precedent for announcing a vice president amid the run up to a party convention some presidential nominees have defied convention with early announcements. Sen. Ted Cruz — who lost the nomination to Trump — sought to boost his campaign in its final hour by announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate. Cruz wasn't the first politician to name his running mate before tying up the nomination. Ronald Reagan named Pennsylvania Sen. Richard S. Schweiker as his vice president in 1976 in a failed attempt to take the nomination from Gerald Ford.
There's a slim chance Clinton will kick off her general election campaign with a VP announcement. It seems more likely the White House veteran will follow in the footsteps of the majority of presidential candidates and announce her running mate shortly before the Democratic National Convention.