Bill and Melinda Gates were apparently under consideration for Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential nominee, according to an email from campaign chair John Podesta, released by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks.
The email, spotted by Bloomberg News, sorts potential running mates into demographic “food groups,” and the Gates Foundation founders both made the list of representatives from the business world. Starbucks Corp. CEO Howard Schultz, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and former New York Mayor and Bloomberg News founder Michael Bloomberg were also on the list.
WikiLeaks has been releasing tens of thousands of emails from members of the Clinton campaign for weeks, revealing details about the democratic presidential candidate’s strategy and organization. The campaign has not acknowledged the legitimacy of the emails and accuses foreign hackers of trying to interfere with the election.
Podesta said the hacks are “carried out by the Russian government in a clear attempt to interfere with the integrity of our elections,” in a statement.
It’s unclear from the email how serious the campaign was about Bill or Melinda Gates but it probably would have been a tough sell. Bill Gates has repeatedly said he isn’t interested in a career in politics.
“I like my current job at the Foundation better than I would being President,” Gates said in a Reddit AMA in March. “Also I wouldn’t be good at doing what you need to do to get elected.”
Prophetically, Gates added that another candidate on Clinton’s also wasn’t likely to set his sights on the White House.
“I thought Michael Bloomberg was thoughtful about why it didn’t make sense for him to try and run even though he is a great executive,” Gates said.
The full text of the alleged email from Podesta to Clinton is below.
Ok, I can breathe again! Congrats on a fabulous night.
I am feeling like it’s possible to get back to the longer term again. Cheryl and I met with Jim Hamilton on Friday to discuss lawyers who can help do the research and vetting that I outlined in the VP vet memo we discussed. We also met with Marc Elias to get his input on firms that have already provided substantial volunteer lawyer assistance and to get prepared to execute non-disclosure agreements with anyone we involve in the process.
We put together the attached notional teams of “report writers” (confidential profiles/public record vet) and “vettors” (deep-dive/oppo-book), and want to run it by you before we execute on the list. Let me know if there are people you would like to see added or removed before we begin the process.
Cheryl, Robby, Jake, Huma, Jennifer and I also did a first cut of people to consider for VP. I have organized names in rough food groups.