Clinton Team Sorted Potential VP Picks Into 'Food Groups' by Race and Gender, Email Shows

Hillary Clinton campaign officials grouped potential vice presidential running mates by race, ethnicity and gender, according to a recently leaked email, further suggesting the degree to which her run for the White House appeared to be scripted.

Campaign chairman John Podesta - whose hacked emails have been published in regular installments by WikiLeaks, a site devoted to the cause of anti-secrecy - sent the March 17 email to Clinton shortly after she won a slate of primaries in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Florida, bolstering her chances for winning the Democratic nomination.

The list was sent after her Democratic opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, won what was widely considered a stunning upset in Michigan, revitalizing his campaign. The timing of the list seems to imply that despite whatever perceived threat Sanders posed to Clinton in the public eye, the Clinton camp was already, to some degree, looking beyond the primary battle.

In the email, Podesta writes that he "organized names in rough food groups" and goes on to list names by cluster - Hispanic, female, white male, black, military and business. Standing alone and appearing to defy categorization to Podesta is Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist.

"Let me know if there are people you would like to see added or removed before we begin the process," the email reads. "I have organized names in rough food groups."

He listed the following by name only, providing no titles or categories:

Rep. Xavier Becerra of California (whose name Podesta misspelled as Javier), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (Hispanics)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri (whose name he misspelled as McKaskill), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (women)

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico (whose name he misspelled as Heinreich), Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia (the ultimate selection), Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (white men)

Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina; Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey (whose name he misspelled as Corey); Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, Florida; former Attorney General Eric Holder; former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts; Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta; and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx (black men)

Retired Marine Corps four-star Gen. John Allen, former Navy Adm. Bill McRaven (whose name he misspelled as McCraven) and retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen (military leaders)

CEO Mary Barra of General Motors, media magnate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, CEO Ursula Burns of Xerox, CEO Tim Cook of Apple, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, businesswoman and philanthropist Melinda Gates, CEO Muhtar Kent of Coca-Cola, philanthropist Judith Rodin and CEO Howard Schultz of Starbucks (business leaders)

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Podesta has already received blowback for other emails urging Clinton to contact two "needy Latinos" to persuade them to endorse her for president.

"Needy Latinos and 1 easy call," Podesta wrote to Clinton in an email on Aug. 21, 2015.

The Clinton camp has not confirmed the authenticity of the emails or commented on Podesta's list of potential vice presidential candidates.

ABC News' MaryAlice Parks contributed to this story.
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