Ohio Senator Is a Strong Choice as Clinton’s Vice President

Sherrod Brown brings populist credentials to the ticket
March 17, 2016 Updated: April 3, 2016

Democratic candidate and presumed nominee Hillary Clinton is entering general election campaign mode, and that means speculating about possible picks for Vice-President.

In the wake of Clinton’s victory in Ohio, the buzz is around Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown as her likely running mate—and it appears like a logical choice.

Clinton-Brown Ticket Would Have Populist Credentials

One of Clinton’s most difficult questions when picking a running mate is how to appeal to supporters of populists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Sherrod Brown is one of the biggest union supporters and fits the mold of Sanders and Warren populism without actually being Sanders or Warren.

Brown would also give Clinton a much needed boost of support in the important “rust belt”—Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan. This is especially so with the prospect of running against Donald Trump—who’s done well with white working-class voters—in the general election.  

I put Sherrod Brown now front of the list
— Chuck Todd, MSNBC

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd weighed in on the speculation:

“I put Sherrod Brown now front of the list, front of the line, as a potential running mate for her, because she’s going to need somebody who appeals to the Sanders-Warren wing,” Todd told The Hill.

In the days leading up to the Ohio primary, Brown campaigned with Clinton, and his support in Ohio is going to be an important factor in the general election whether or not he’s the running mate.

Lack of Diversity May Be What Clinton Needs

Before Donald Trump was the most likely candidate on the Republican side, Democrats and pundits were predicting that Clinton would choose a younger Latino running mate, Julián Castro.

Castro is the Mayor of Antonio, Texas and endorsed Clinton in October 2015. He got positive signs from the nominee who said she would “really look hard at him for anything because that’s how good he is.”    

I do not want to be vice president. I love working for the people of Ohio, and I have a lot more work to do as their senator.
— Sherrod Brown

However, with Trump as the leader of the Republican field, and Clinton lagging behind Sanders in the primaries with white working class men (in Michigan, for example, she lost 42 percent to 56 percent to Sanders), it would make sense for her to choose a white running mate with a solid record with working class voters.

As for Brown, he recently disavowed his chances as Hillary’s running mate telling The Hill in an email:

“I do not want to be vice president. I love working for the people of Ohio, and I have a lot more work to do as their senator.”