Ideas. Action. Results.

Robert Bauer and Charles Black: Choosing vice presidential candidates needs to start soon


Friday, April 22, 2016

For the presidential campaigns, beginning early and devoting adequate time to vetting and selecting a running mate has never been as important as it is this year.

Typically, a candidate’s campaign begins the vice presidential nominee selection process after mathematically securing their party’s nomination, and it requires at least eight weeks to be thorough. However, two factors complicate that time line this year.

First, the national party conventions are being held earlier this cycle than in any other presidential election in the past 20 years. The conventions’ early dates significantly shorten the window between the dates when a candidate mathematically clinches the nomination and the start of the party convention.

Second, the active phase of the primary campaign in 2016 may run later than in years past. This may not leave adequate time for the vetting and selection process. And if it is unclear who a party’s nominee will be going into the convention, there will be absolutely no time to follow the vetting schedule of previous campaigns.

Consequently, all candidates who are still in the race eight weeks before their conventions, or essentially near the end of May this year, should begin this process in earnest.