SEATTLE -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, were among the first cuts from Hillary Clinton's list of potential choices for vice-president. That's according to an email allegedly from campaign chair John Podesta that was released by WikiLeaks.
"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," Podesta allegedly wrote.
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The list of 39 was organized into what was described as seven "rough food groups." Each group focused on a clear demographic including women, blacks, military leaders, business leaders, and more.
Sen. Bernie Sanders was in one group all by himself.
Kasim Reed was on a list that included Columbia, S.C. Mayor Steve Benjamin, U.S. Sen. Corey Booker, Tallahassee Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
The list of business executives included Bill and Melinda Gates, who run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Howard Schultz; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Apple CEO Tim Cook; and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was also under consideration among other elected officials. The campaign ultimately settled on Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.
A spokesman for the Gates declined to comment on the list. Neither Bill nor Melinda have endorsed a candidate for president. "They don't weigh in on political races," according to spokeswoman Naomi Zeitlin.
However, Gates was asked about a presidential run during a recent Reddit AMA.
"I like my current job at the Foundation better than I would being President," he responded. "Also, I wouldn't be good at doing what you need to do to get elected."
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, meanwhile, doesn't appear to be ruling anything out down the road.
When asked the question by CNN, Schultz said "I am still a young man; let's see what the future holds."
In the same interview, he also endorsed Hillary Clinton.
However, Schultz earlier made statements indicating he was less than thrilled with primary season.
"I’ve struggled for weeks to find the right words to express the pain I feel about where America is headed and the cloud hanging over the American people," Schultz said during a Starbucks Shareholders meeting. "The dysfunction and the polarization has worsened. Broken promises void of truth and leadership."
Schultz also penned an OpEd for the New York Times, titled America Deserves a Servant Leader.
He used the piece to dispel rumors about a 2016 candidacy.
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