Clinton moves towards running mate announcement

  • 23/07/2016
Clinton moves towards running mate announcement

Hillary Clinton is moving closer to introducing her running mate, snatching attention from newly crowned Republican nominee Donald Trump just hours after he closed out his convention with a fiery and foreboding turn at the podium.

Crews were still sweeping confetti from the GOP convention hall floor, as the Clinton campaign signalled an announcement was coming soon.

In a tweet on Friday morning, her campaign urged supporters to text the campaign to get first word.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has emerged as the leading contender, according to Democrats familiar with Ms Clinton's search.

The news could quickly steal Mr Trump's thunder, after a 75-minute speech on Thursday night in which the Republican promised to champion disaffected Americans.

Democrats offered a different assessment; with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta arguing that Mr Trump "offered no real solutions to help working families get ahead or to keep our country safe, just more prejudice and paranoia. America is better than this. America is better than Donald Trump."

Ms Clinton opens a two-day campaign swing on Friday in Florida and is expected to introduce her running mate either at a Friday afternoon rally at the state fairgrounds in Tampa or on Saturday at Florida International University in Miami.

The Democratic convention in Philadelphia, which starts on Monday, is expected to be a more orderly affair than the Republicans robust convention.

Mr Kaine, 58, appears to be the favourite for her choice, according to two Democrats, who both cautioned that Ms Clinton has not made a decision and could change direction.

The senator has been active in the Senate on foreign relations and military affairs and built a reputation for working with both parties as Virginia's governor and mayor of Richmond.

"I'm glad the waiting game is nearly over," Mr Kaine said on Thursday.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a longtime friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton, is still in the mix, according to one of the two Democrats.

Both Democrats are familiar with the selection process and spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss it publicly.

Mr Kaine's selection would not be without complication.

Liberals have expressed wariness of Mr Kaine for his support of putting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement on a "fast track" to approval, which both Ms Clinton and primary rival Bernie Sanders oppose.

They also note that Mr Kaine recently signed onto a letter asking for less burdensome regulation of regional banks.