U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s Vice President running mate could’ve been Apple CEO Tim Cook. Mr. Cook is on a list of potential running mates John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, presented before Tim Kaine was selected.
Mr. Cook’s name appeared along with Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and several others. The list was found in an email from Mr. Podesta to Mrs. Clinton posted by WikiLeaks.
That email was sent in mid March, and by mid June the email trail says Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Cook were scheduling a one-on-one meeting. Fund raising specialist Lindsay Roitman told Mrs. Clinton in an email, “He’s supportive but new to this so I think we shouldn’t come on too strong.”
In the end, Mrs. Clinton chose Mr. Kaine as her running mate, and it’s likely she never formally asked Mr. Cook to take on the Vice President role. He did, however, host a fund raising event for Mrs. Clinton in August.
Still, the idea of Vice President Tim Cook is interesting. He’d have to give up his position as CEO of one of the world’s most valuable companies, and doesn’t have political experience. He’d also bring his strong support for equal rights and privacy to the White House at a time when the parts of the federal government have been pushing to strip away the protections encryption offers.
Mr. Cook openly resisted a court order earlier this year compelling Apple to create a hackable version of iOS so the FBI and Department of Justice could hack into an iPhone used by a suspect in the San Bernardino holiday party mass shooting. The FBI claimed the hackable operating system was necessary for the investigation, but Mr. Cook said it would set dangerous precedent to force other tech companies to do the same.
Apple saw the FBI’s demands as a real threat to personal privacy and online security, and was willing to go to court over refusing to comply with the order. The FBI eventually bought a hack from an unnamed company only to find there wasn’t any valuable information on the iPhone.
Tim Cook and Apple have been championing digital privacy and security even as the DOJ and FBI continue to push for back doors into our encrypted information. Putting him in the second highest position in the federal government, as well as president of the Senate, would’ve made for some interesting closed door discussions.