Who will be the 2016 running mates?
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Now that GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE has released the names of some of his foreign policy advisers, it's only a matter of time before pundits, reporters and voters start demanding to know whom he intends to pick as his vice presidential running mate.

When politely asked now, Trump responds, "I need to win the nomination first. After that, I'll think about it."

To the untrained eye, this seems like a reasonable answer; however, no insider I know believes The Donald hasn't already begun to create a short list of possible candidates.

Ditto Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Ballot initiatives in Colorado, Louisiana could restrict abortion access Trump mocks Joe Biden's drive-in rallies at North Carolina event MORE. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has been around the block too many times not to have several running mates in mind, even if it still is March.


So whom will Trump and Clinton pick? My crystal ball is really fuzzy when it comes to naming running mates. In 2000 and 2004, I urged Democratic nominees Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreFox News president warns of calling winner too soon on election night: 2000 still 'lingers over everyone' Older voters helped put Trump in office; they will help take him out Debate is Harris's turn at bat, but will she score? MORE and John KerryJohn Forbes KerrySeinfeld's Jason Alexander compares Trump dance video to iconic Elaine dance This time, for Democrats, Catholics matter President's job approval is surest sign Trump will lose reelection MORE to name Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D) of San Jose, Calif., to their tickets. Lofgren, who represents Silicon Valley, has been — and still is — a very savvy, battle-tested lawmaker.

Four years ago, I urged Republican nominee Mitt Romney to pick Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day Lou Dobbs goes after Lindsey Graham: 'I don't know why anyone' would vote for him  MORE (R) of South Carolina. The response I received was quick and candid. The prevailing thought at the time was Graham, a quintessential Washington insider, would be a disaster for Romney.

The day after the 2014 midterm elections, I predicted Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session McConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning MORE of Illinois would be the Republican and Democratic running mates in 2016, respectively. Today, every time a reporter asks Kasich if he's interested in the No. 2 position, he laughs hysterically. To my knowledge, no one has asked Durbin what he thinks of my idea.

If there is one thing we have learned from this year's presidential campaign, it's this: The old political playbooks don't seem to apply any longer. Just ask the early supporters of former Republican candidates Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker or Rick Perry. They know what I mean.

The same is true for Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Trump mocks Joe Biden's drive-in rallies at North Carolina event Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE. Who in their right mind could have predicted a year ago that a little-known senator from Vermont would be creating political tidal waves in the Democratic primaries? Surely no one in Camp Clinton thought so.

To many, running for president seems like an individual pursuit, but it isn't. Anyone who's been in the arena knows it takes a team (or a village) to run for the highest office in the land.

With this last thought in mind, voters deserve to know who will be asked to serve in the next administration. While it's true people are keenly interested in knowing whom Trump and Clinton will pick as their running mates, they also want to know whom each would select as secretary of State, Defense or the Treasury, for example.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have yet to lock up the presidential nominations of their respective parties, but you know they have some ideas about possible running mates. It's time for the pundits, reporters and voters to press them on their ideas now.

Freidenrich writes from Laguna Beach, Calif. His letters and commentaries have run in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register and many other newspapers. He can be reached on Twitter @freidomreport.