Buzz grows that Tim Kaine will be Clinton's VP pick
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Virginia Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Warren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback Almost three-quarters say minimum age to buy tobacco should be 21: Gallup MORE has emerged as the clear favorite a day before Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces DHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump MORE is expected to announce her running mate. 

Clinton confidants and allies believe Kaine is the leading contender. And some top allies have recommended that Clinton pick the Virginia Democrat. 

“I would bet all my chips on Kaine,” one confidant of Clinton said on Thursday. 

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Kaine has long been seen as a favorite to be Clinton’s running mate, though a number of other names have made the cut. 

Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE is another top contender, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades Dayton mayor assigned extra security following verbal spat with Trump The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Labor Secretary Tom Perez have all been seen as finalists. 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (D-Mass.) has also met with Clinton and been in the mix, but it appears the always cautious Clinton is even more likely to pick a more centrist candidate given Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE’s decision to make Indiana Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceFormer sheriff's deputy files lawsuit claiming he was fired for not wanting to be alone with a woman Iceland's prime minister will not be in town for Pence's visit Trump's latest plan to undermine Social Security MORE his vice presidential candidate. 

One longtime Clinton friend said the Pence pick frees Clinton up “to go with someone who can be president immediately and with whom she has a strong relationship with no requirements to satisfy new demographic or diversity consideration.”

Clinton said earlier this week in an interview with Charlie Rose that she was “afflicted with the responsibility gene” and wanted someone who would be experienced above all. 

The New York Times also reported on Wednesday that Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDemocratic governors fizzle in presidential race Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE has signaled that he would like to see Kaine, the 58-year-old governor turned senator, on the ticket. 

And on Wednesday at the White House briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest, volunteered Kaine as a candidate whom President Obama would recommend. 

The selection process hasn’t been easy for Clinton. Those around her say she’s been intrigued by the excitement she’s been seeing from crowds as she appeared with Obama and Warren, and has considered selecting someone to generate that same buzz. 

Booker, whom The Washington Post said was still in the running on Thursday, headed to Cleveland in what some were labeling as a final tryout to criticize the tone of the Republican National Convention. 

Several Clinton aides cautioned that the VP information is being tightly held among a tight circle of aides — including top policy adviser Jake Sullivan, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chairman John Podesta, as well as longtime adviser Cheryl Mills — and that few details, such as the location and timing of the announcement, are known. 

With Clinton not appearing publicly for the last couple of days to decide on her running mate and taking part in other convention preparation, Kaine kept to business as usual. On Thursday, he held a roundtable discussion with local advocacy groups on immigration reform and then was expected to hold another discussion with leaders of the Northern Virginia interfaith and civil rights communities later in the day. 

A day earlier, he appeared at a commerce event in Virginia along with Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (D).