(CN) - Hillary Clinton's campaign circulated an a list of nearly 40 individuals including Bill and Melinda Gates, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Sen. Bernie Sanders to be considered as her running mate, hacked emails disclosed by WikiLeaks revealed Tuesday.
The list was emailed by campaign chief John Podesta to Clinton on March 17, two days after she won primary victories over a then-surging Sanders in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.
"Ok, I can breathe again! Congrats on a fabulous night," Podesta said, revealing how uncertain the Clinton campaign was about its ability to defeat a then-surging Sanders.
"I am feeling like it's possible to get back to the longer term again," Podesta said.
Days earlier, Podesta and top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills met with Jim Hamilton, a veteran Washington lawyer, who had been a key behind-the-scenes member of the Clinton-Gore transition team.
The reason for the meeting as to discuss lawyers who could help with the vetting of potential VP candidates. They also met with Marc Elias, general counsel to the Clinton campaign, to talk about law firms that had already provided "substantial volunteer lawyer assistance" and to get prepared to execute non-disclosure agreements with anyone the campaign involved in the process.
Based on those discussions that assembled hypothetical teams they divided into "report writers" - those charged with compiling confidential profiles of potential vice presidential candidates and their public record and "vettors," who would be assigned to do a "deep-dive" on finalists.
The list emailed to Clinton included a number of Democratic senators, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the eventual choice, Tim Kaine of Virginia.
Sen. Sanders' name was added to the bottom of the list.
The so-called list of "rough food groups" of potential running mates also included Obama administration Cabinet members Julian Castro, of Housing and Urban Development, and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
In addition to Elizabeth Warren, other women considered included Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Claire McCaskill, of Missouri.
The most eye-opening portion of the list are those potential choices from outside the political mainstream.
They included Tim Cook of Apple, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks.
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