Hacked email: Clinton team eyed Atlanta mayor, Coke CEO for VP slot

Mayor Kasim Reed (left) and Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent both appeared on a list of 39 potential running mates that was submitted to Hillary Clinton in March, according to an email attributed to Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta that was posted Tuesday on WikiLeaks. Others on the list included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
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Mayor Kasim Reed (left) and Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent both appeared on a list of 39 potential running mates that was submitted to Hillary Clinton in March, according to an email attributed to Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta that was posted Tuesday on WikiLeaks. Others on the list included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM


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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent were on a long list of potential vice presidential candidates that Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta sent to the candidate in March, according to a hacked email released Tuesday.

In an email that appeared to be hacked from Podesta’s account and posted on WikiLeaks, Reed and Kent were among 39 people on a list of potential running mates that also included Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz; and New York businessman Michael Bloomberg.

Podesta sent the list to Clinton in March — long before she secured the party’s nomination — and called it a “first cut of people to consider for VP.” He lumped the names into seven categories. Kent’s name was included with other business leaders and philanthropists while Reed was one of seven African-American politicians.

Clinton ultimately selected Virginia U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a bilingual politician with a reputation for moderate views.

Reed, a two-term mayor who is one of Clinton’s top supporters in Georgia, was long the subject of swirling rumors about a possible vice presidential pick. After he appeared with Clinton at a February campaign event, he said “the only thing I’m focused on is being mayor.”

Kent’s name is more of a surprise. The New York native, who has been Coke’s chief executive since 2008, is a donor to Clinton’s campaign and a supporter of the Clinton Global Initiative. But he’s not as active in national political circles as some of the other names on Clinton’s potential veep list.

Reed and Kent both declined to comment.

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