Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was among those considered by to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, though it’s not clear how seriously the Clinton family confidante was considered.
McAuliffe was among nearly 40 elected officials, military leaders and corporate CEOs listed in the spring for the vice presidential nomination by the Clinton campaign. The list was included among hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman disclosed by WikiLeaks.
While McAuliffe’s close friendship with Clinton is well known, he was not widely considered a potential vice presidential pick.
McAuliffe led the effort to raise money for Bill Clinton’s re-election bid, vacationed with the couple after the Monica Lewinsky scandal and secured a $1.35 million mortgage on their house in Chappaqua, New York, after they left the White House swamped by legal debts. He traveled the world with Bill Clinton as a board member for the Clinton Global Initiative, his post-presidential foundation, and helped manage Hillary Clinton’s 2008 run for president.
That closeness may have been why McAuliffe wasn’t picked.
In an unrelated email from 2015, also disclosed by WikiLeaks, Clinton campaign Robby Mook said he worried associating McAuliffe with Hillary Clinton could be bad for her image.
“And reinforcing that (Terry) is close to her may not help her either. He conjures the 90s stuff,” wrote Mook, who also managed McAuliffe’s 2013 gubernatorial campaign
Mook and Clinton aides were discussing a potential comedy bit McAuliffe could perform at the annual Gridiron dinner, an invite-only yearly jokefest featuring journalists and politicians in Washington, D.C.
The list of potential VP picks sent by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta seemed a mix of traditional choices as well as some out-of-the box choices like Tim Cook of Apple, and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates.
Clinton campaign spokesman Glen Caplin declined to comment directly on the emails, but said that the leaks were part of an effort by Russia to “steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election.”
McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy declined to comment, except to say that the governor’s performance “killed” at the Gridiron dinner.
Clinton ultimately chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who was also on the list, to be her running mate. McAuliffe was a strong backer of Kaine, both in public and in private.
At a party with Virginia Democrats following the vice presidential debates last month, Kaine thanked McAuliffe for his support.
“I wouldn’t be on this ticket if it weren’t for him. And I could give you about 30 reasons why that’s true,” Kaine said.