As presidential candidates Barack Obama ’91 and John McCain prepare for their parties’ nominating conventions, rumors are swirling around two Harvard Law graduates as likely vice presidential candidates. On the Democratic side, Governor Tim Kaine ’83 of Virginia is being talked about, while Mitt Romney ’75, former governor of Massachusetts, is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate on the Republican presidential ticket.
Kaine is a first-term governor and an early supporter of Obama’s campaign. Many political pundits have said that his selection would reinforce Obama’s position as a Washington outsider. Both of the candidates’ wives — Michelle Obama ’88 and Ann Holton Kaine ’83 — are also graduates of HLS. Kaine succeeded Governor Mark Warner ’80, who is currently running for the U.S. Senate in Virginia.
Romney ran a strong campaign for president earlier this year, but eventually conceded the race to McCain following the Florida primary contest. Since then, Romney has been an outspoken advocate for McCain’s candidacy. A former venture capitalist and head of the Salt Lake City Olympic games, Romney is well-versed in economic issues and is viewed as a good complement to McCain’s expertise on national security.
In recent years, other Harvard Law graduates have sought the White House, including 1988 Democratic party nominee Michael Dukakis ’60, also a former Massachusetts Governor. In 1980, John B. Anderson LL.M. ’49 ran a spirited race for president as an Independent candidate. More recently, Ralph Nader ’58 has run as the nominee of the Green Party.
In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes, a member of the HLS class of 1845, was elected the 19th president of the United States.