Update 7-29: Tim Kaine?
Update 7-27: Obama's choices narrowed to about six.Republican Ann Veneman, who was agriculture secretary for Bush's first-term cabinet.
Politico: The search committee, now led by Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, raised Veneman's name — among others — in discussions with members of Congress, said two Democrats familiar with the conversations.
The mention of Veneman's name surprised Democratic lawmakers. The low-profile Republican was close to food and agriculture industries but clashed with farm-state Democrats and environmentalists during her tenure, which lasted from 2001 to 2004.
But Veneman, 59, has a biography that could be suited to Obama's unifying message. A Republican raised on a California peach farm, she rose to become the nation’s first female agriculture secretary. In 2002 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was treated successfully. Today she serves as executive director of the United Nations children's agency UNICEF.
The selection of a Republican could bolster Obama's unifying message, a Capitol Hill Democrat familiar with the discussion said.