Democratic VP candidate speculation focuses on Massachusetts

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There’s a scenario floating around that would potentially grease the skids for former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to land in the Oval Office by 2020.

A blog post by former New York Times Magazine editor Ed Klein theorizes that President Barack Obama will endorse his 72-year-old Vice President Joe Biden once the former Delaware Senator officially enters the primary race to succeed him. In exchange, Klein speculates, Obama will require Biden to pick Patrick for a running mate.

The Boston Herald picked up on the story and contacted Philip W. Johnston, a former state Democratic Party chairman who heads a public affairs consulting firm in Boston. Johnston promptly shot down the theory, labeling it “completely crazy” and adding that “there’s no way anyone can take that seriously.”

But Patrick, a Democrat whose 2006 campaign for the State House served as something of a model for Obama’s first White House run two years later, is known as an Obama ally. The ex-governor in April joined Bain Capital, the Boston-based private-equity firm cofounded by former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — before he became governor of the Bay State in 2003.

To keep the “crazy” theory ball rolling, so to speak, here are four other potential Democratic VP scenarios that are worthy of consideration:

1. Should she win the presidential nomination, pundits have speculated that Hillary Clinton may pick Texan Julian Castro as a running mate.
This move may make sense if one of the Latino GOP candidates (Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio) wins the Republican nomination. That could threaten to pull some Latino voters away from Clinton.

Putting Castro, currently secretary of Housing and Urban Development, on the Democratic ticket may be Clinton’s best move in that situation, the theory goes. Castro, whose grandparents came to the U.S. from Mexico, was San Antonio’s mayor before being named to his current post. Earlier this year, former HUD chief Henry Cisneros (who served under President Bill Clinton) suggested Castro was “first” the list to serve as Clinton’s running mate, citing top campaign officials.

2. If Biden wins the nomination, some race-watchers say he may pick Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
This speculation picked up some serious steam last month when Warren met privately with Biden at his official Naval Observatory residence in Washington. According to CNN, which first reported the meeting, their conversation focused on economic policy.

The Boston Globe has sent overtures to Warren in the form of a love letter penned by the broadsheet’s editorial board, pleading for her to enter the 2016 presidential race. Warren’s standing with Democrats soared as she crusaded for lower and middle-income Americans and ousted former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, the first Republican to be elected to that office from the Bay State in almost four decades.

3. Should Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders win the Democratic nod, he may choose Warren.
The logic of this scenario also stems from Warren’s party popularity. Sanders, a self-declared socialist, may be the biggest surprise of the early campaign season. While the Globe’s editorial board said that it would be “difficult to imagine” Sanders, 74, “thriving” on the campaign trail, he’s doing just that.

The Vermonter has drawn big crowds and has endorsed policies favored by liberals, such as raising the minimum wage and making college free.

4. Or, Sanders as nominee picks Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.
There’s nothing like populist from a major swing state to boost your chances in the presidential sweepstakes, and Brown’s roguishness coupled with Ohio’s 17 electoral votes might make him the perfect choice for Sanders.

A year ago, Washington Post columnist George Will outlined all the reasons why Brown would never survive a bid to secure the Democratic presidential nominee position, citing his diehard progressivism and championing of anti-Wall Street views. It is for these exact reasons why Brown would mesh with Sanders, if he becomes the party’s standard bearer in November 2016, and why the duo could potentially secure votes from disenchanted Democrats and liberal-minded independents.

While Brown said in January he had no interest in the VP job, times and circumstances change, and so can ambitions.

It is still early, however, so there’s plenty of time for further speculation.