Clinton to make VP call Friday; Kaine, Vilsack, Booker on short list

Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her vice presidential running mate on Friday, with three names reportedly on the short list, sources told Fox News.

The sources also said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has not told those on her short list who has been eliminated.

The top three reportedly are Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — a late entry.

Any announcement will be just days in advance of the opening of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia on Monday. Republican nominee Donald Trump followed a similar strategy, tweeting out his vice presidential choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the Friday before the Republican convention.

“I’m here to talk about the convention,” Booker told reporters pressing him in Cleveland about Clinton’s pick. “I know the Clinton campaign is in the midst of deciding. I’m very happy to be where I am.” 

Still, Booker also said that he would do whatever the campaign asks of him and that the “lies” being told at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland compelled him to go there.

hillaryhq_small1 Clinton to make VP call Friday; Kaine, Vilsack, Booker on short list

Kaine also made a public appearance Thursday, in northern Virginia.

After calling her VP pick, Clinton was expected to inform supporters via an email blast, to avoid a leak.

Clinton, who will be in Florida Friday, is trying to strike the right balance with the base as she weighs her running mate options, after a rigorous primary battle against progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who only recently endorsed Clinton.

Clinton also has met with several other prospects, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

A recent news report stated Clinton was also considering former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican turned Democrat. But the report was pulled back, and Crist downplayed the talk.

He told The Tampa Bay Times Clinton was coming to Tampa and they would meet but knew of no plans to consider him for the ticket.

“Not that I’m aware of,” he told the newspaper.

Booker, a Yale Law School graduate, was among the first prominent Democratic lawmakers to endorse Clinton and has been a strong advocate for her campaign since essentially the start of the election cycle.

Clinton does extremely well with African-American voters, based on recent and exit primary polls. But Booker, who is black, could help her expand her outreach among minority voters in her general election race against Trump.

Kaine, a Harvard Law School graduate, could help her in the battleground state of Virginia and among male voters, with whom she struggles to connect. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who is a longtime friend of the Clintons, could also help with the male vote.

Castro and Perez hit some turbulence over the past week.

Castro was just cited for violating federal law when he touted Clinton’s candidacy in an April news interview. 

The Wall Street Journal then published a potentially problematic report on Perez, who regularly retells the story of his grandfather, Rafael Brache, being forced to flee the Dominican Republic for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Perez has praised his grandfather as being “on the right side of history.”

What Perez didn’t offer up as often was that his grandfather was one of the dictator’s champions during the first five years of his three-decade rule. 

The Wall Street Journal said Brache also held a string of high-level offices in the Trujillo regime, including being ambassador to the U.S. Brache reportedly “expressed great optimism” for the regime as late as 1935 when political assassinations had been well documented.