Speculation is swirling about the possibility of Hillary Clinton choosing Elizabeth Warren, the outspoken progressive U.S. senator from Massachusetts, as her running mate (though there are reasons to believe that won’t happen).
But even if the presumptive Democratic nominee does not pick Warren, with whom she met Friday morning after gaining her endorsement, there could be a place for Warren in a Clinton Cabinet – and for other accomplished women.
Among the women who could find a seat at a President Clinton’s table are:
A darling of the far left, Warren has been a fierce critic of Wall Street and is widely considered the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As a former Harvard Law professor and Republican with expertise in commercial law,
she has the credentials to be Treasury Secretary, among other positions, though the opposition from the financial community would presumably be fierce. Two black marks against her among Clintonistas: She and Hillary have had sometimes frosty relations, and she declined to back either Clinton or Bernie Sanders until it was apparent that the Vermont senator had lost.
Sandberg is another woman who could be fill a number of posts. Because of her best-selling book about women empowerment, Lean In, and her very public face as the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sandberg has significant name recognition. Picking her as a running mate might be a stretch (though she could bring in bundles of cash from Silicon Valley and Corporate America for the expensive general election campaign and would be the first Jewish vice-president). Sandberg also has Washington experience: She was chief of staff to Larry Summers when he served as Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton. Recently, Sandberg said she wasn’t interested in being a candidate to succeed Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, where she serves on the board.
The current Attorney General is one Barack Obama appointee who might retain her job in a Clinton presidency. A Harvard Law School grad and tough former federal prosecutor appointed as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York by Bill Clinton, Lynch also served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Lynch is the first African-American woman AG. She might be in a tricky position, however, if the FBI refers Hillary Clinton’s email case to the Justice Dept. for prosecution: Lynch would be the one who would have to decide whether to move forward.
A lawyer educated at Yale and the University of Chicago, Klobuchar is a former prosecutor and second-term senator from Minnesota. Because the Democrats want to regain control of the Senate, picking a senator for a Clinton Cabinet could be risky in some cases. But Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton whom Klobuchar succeeded as senator is (like Klobuchar) a member of the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party, and would be expected to appoint a member of his party to replace her.
Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York, is in a position similar to that of Klobuchar. If she moved from the Senate to a Clinton Cabinet, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would replace her with another Democrat. And since the state hasn’t had a non-Democratic senator since Conservative Jim Buckley was elected in 1970, the seat would almost certainly remain safely Democratic in a special election to fill Klobuchar’s unexpired term. Gillibrand was herself selected to replace Hillary when Clinton was chosen as Secretary of State by Obama. She has campaigned for Clinton but is seen as considerably more moderate or even conservative on some issues. As a corporate lawyer, she represented Philip Morris in tobacco litigation.
The first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company, Xerox Chairman and CEO Burns will step down when the corporation splits into two companies later this year. She will become chairman of the printer-copier company that comes out of the split but is expected to leave that post in 2017. Burns is a Democrat and Clinton donor with deep experience in Corporate America beyond her work at Xerox. She clearly has the chops for Commerce Secretary, among other jobs.
Duckworth is a former Army pilot and an Iraqi War veteran who lost both legs when her Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. An Asian-American who served as a representative from Illinois, Duckworth is running against Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who this week announced that he would not support his party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Duckworth was an assistant secretary in the Veterans Affairs Dept. in Obama’s first term. Should she lose in the race against Kirk, she could be a candidate for a position in a Clinton Cabinet.