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Who will Hillary choose as her VP?

Hillary Clinton's campaign won't admit it, but her team will soon start leaking VP names to the media in hopes of gauging how these different candidates fare with voters and donors.

The conventional VP pick would be someone who complements her weaknesses, but this is not a conventional election year.

So who are some of the VP names that will soon start appearing in the news? Or more importantly, which names are real candidates and who is pure PR spin?




Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Julian Castro

Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will definitely be leaked as a VP candidate and for many reasons. He is Latino, and young. He has federal experience as Secretary of HUD and local experience as the mayor of San Antonio. He's also from delegate-rich Texas and his Mexican-American background will resonate with neighboring states that have large Hispanic populations: New Mexico,Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and California.

But Castro won't be selected no matter how much Clinton publicly raves about him. Castro provides too much of a risk. At 41 years old, it will be very easy for the Republicans to position Castro as a "Dan Quayle"-like candidate. He also only has 18 months of experience in Washington. That might seem like a positive in the year of the anti-establishment, but it is too large of a bet. He also looks extremely young, especially next to Clinton on stage. Sure, it's superficial, but much of politics are perception and all perception is superficial.

Tom Perez

The Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, is another politician getting VP print but unlike Castro who is being leaked for headlines, Perez is a very strong VP pick for Clinton.

From a narrative perspective, Perez has a great story that resonates with the party base and competes with Sen. Marco Rubio's humble roots.

Perez is the son of Dominican immigrants with a long record of fighting for labor rights. He's not exactlyBernie Sanders, but he preaches a similar message of fighting for employer rights, education and affordable housing.

Perez was also assistant attorney general with the Department of Justice, so he is reasonably vetted as much as any candidate can be who hasn't run for national office.

Much of the country hasn't heard much from Perez, which provides another fresh perspective for voters. He's already had a trial run on the campaign with Clinton in South Carolina, which helped Clinton secure the Latino vote, so the introduction with voters has started on the right foot.

Elizabeth Warren

Of course many progressive Democrats are likely rooting for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Grab the pin now before your balloon gets too big. Warren will not be picked.

Yes, the base loves Warren and they will argue she will energize voters, but it's unlikely there will be two women at the top of the party, even in 2016. And remember, Clinton needs a candidate who complements her weakness. She doesn't need a VP candidate who will take her further to the left. The progressives won't leave Clinton for the likely GOP nominee, Donald Trump. Likewise, Clinton needs to start pivoting to the center now that her nomination is nearly locked-up – and a Warren pick takes her back to the left.

But remember 1992 when everyone said then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton had to pick a VP who wasn't from the South? We all remember how that turned out.

Commentary by Mark Macias, head of Macias PR, a global public-relations firm, that has run media and branding campaigns for politicians, tech start-ups, financial firms, nonprofits and companies. He's also author of the book, "Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media." Follow him on Twitter @markmacias.

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