Yes we Kaine? Clinton tipped to reveal VP pick in Florida

Clinton is expected to announce her pick on Friday. © Carlos Barria
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is expected to finally put to rest rumors by naming her vice presidential pick early Friday ahead of the party’s national convention next week.

Some political commentators are hotly tipping Virginia Senator Tim Kaine for the post, while Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker have also been linked to Clinton's VP shortlist.

Sources told CNN that Kaine would be announced in a message to Clinton supporters on Friday morning before appearing with her at a rally in Miami, Florida on Saturday.

Clinton has repeatedly said she would require someone who could step into the position of president if required. She will be hoping Kaine can help her win Virginia, a swing state which Barack Obama secured in 2008 - the first Democrat to do so since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

A victory in Virginia could ensure a Clinton presidency even if Trump takes Florida and Ohio.

The selection of Kaine, 58, would not please Bernie Sanders supporters who were hoping for a liberal pick. Last year Kaine voted to give the president the authority to “fast track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries has been opposed by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Clinton initially supported the TPP but she has gradually shifted her position during the course of the campaign and now opposes it.

READ MORE: TPP becomes wedge issue for Democrats ahead of national convention

Despite opposing capital punishment during his 2005 gubernatorial campaign, Kaine oversaw the execution of 11 men as Governor of Virginia. Christopher Scott Emmett, who was executed in 2008 after being convicted of murder, said in his final statement "Tell my family and friends I love them, tell the governor he just lost my vote. Y'all hurry this along, I'm dying to get out of here."

Kaine has had a similar turnaround on LGBT rights to that of Clinton, opposing adoption by gay couples in Virginia in 2005 before switching his position to support same-sex marriage and the “legal benefits and responsibilities of marriage under the Constitution”, he told the Washington Blade in a statement in 2013.

In an interview last year Clinton attempted to justify the introduction of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by her husband, then-president Bill Clinton, as a means to prevent attempts to ban gay marriage from “going further.” The act, which stated that marriage was between a man and a woman, was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

READ MORE: was a different time’: Clinton calls to scrap his anti-gay DOMA law

If Kaine becomes Clinton’s vice president pick he will have beaten other rumored contenders such as Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a selection more likely to please Sanders voters. Perez previously served as assistant attorney general for civil rights. His Dominican Republic heritage might have helped Clinton to attract Latino voters unimpressed by Trump.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack was also a rumored runner for the spot. The former governor of Iowa is the longest serving member of Obama’s cabinet and has known Clinton since the ’70s. He was previously considered for the role by John Kerry in 2004.

New Jersey Senator Booker is also in contention. The 47-year-old African American proved popular with white voters, particularly women, during his 2013 Senate run. If chosen though, Republican Chris Christie would take his seat in the Senate.

Clinton’s decision on her vice president pick is to come days before the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia on July 25.