Apple CEO Tim Cook, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Bill and Melinda Gates were among several business leaders considered by Hillary Clinton’s campaign as possible running mates for the Democratic nominee.
Other business names on the vice presidential list included Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin and businessman and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, according to leaked emails apparently belonging to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
Bloomberg, New York City’s former mayor, has indicated presidential ambitions and had considered running as an independent candidate this year. Many of the other business leaders on the campaign’s long list were surprises, as they hadn’t previously run for any political office. But when this list was compiled in March 2016, Donald Trump, the real estate mogul, already seemed likely to become the GOP nominee.
The VP list also included the names of people long expected to have been contenders, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.
Clinton’s primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and her ultimate running mate pick, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, were also on the list.
The website Wikileaks has published thousands of Podesta’s emails in waves, offering a window into campaign operations. A hacking operation on the Democratic National Committee prompted the White House to officially accuse the Russian government of meddling in the U.S. election, after an intelligence investigation revealed Russia was responsible. The Clinton campaign has criticized the leak of Podesta’s emails as another example of meddling by Russian operatives and has not confirmed the authenticity of the leaked emails.