Instead of being bold, Clinton errs in picking Kaine

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' 10 things we learned from Peter Strzok's congressional testimony Get ready for summit with no agenda and calculated risks MORE lost me – and I suspect the election - at Kaine.

Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Green Day's 'American Idiot' climbs UK charts ahead of Trump visit MORE, by all accounts, is a good man, but he's a bad choice to be Hillary's vice presidential nominee.

Clinton consistently misreads the populace. It's why, in part, she lost in 2008 to then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama in Kenya for launch of sister’s sports center Get ready for summit with no agenda and calculated risks US envoy to Russia: 'Highly unlikely' that Trump will recognize Russia annexation of Crimea MORE. People wanted change then; they demand it now. Then, as now, she ran as the candidate of experience.

In choosing a centrist, older, self-described “boring” white male, Hillary has ceded the mantle of hope to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE, not because Trump is optimistic, but because he offers some change. Any change.

By making the safest choice, we get an indication of how the next four to eight years might play out under a Clinton presidency. Ahead in the polls, and given the opportunity to make a bold choice, Hillary opted for the safe one.

In the interest of full disclosure, I hoped she would pick Julian Castro, the nation's housing secretary. I misguidedly thought she would.

The day he was announced as the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, I bought the domain name Had Clinton chosen Castro as her running mate, I planned to sell the domain to draw attention to the student loan crisis and draw down my student debt.

As Clinton whittled down her running mate shortlist, though, I prayed not for myself, but for the country. I prayed she make the right decision. And maybe she has. But I have significant doubts.

Like most Americans, my political beliefs can't be squashed into one of two boxes. I'm liberal on many things, conservative on others. I'm a registered independent. I voted twice for President Obama.

To me, Kaine's selection validates my suspicions about Hillary – that she is a smart, capable, and responsible leader, yes – but that if elected, we as a nation face four to eight years of calculated, poll-tested mediocrity. It is not my belief that Kaine himself is mediocre; on the contrary, as a person, he seems quite exceptional, and as an American (and a Catholic), I respect him.

But his selection has solidified my opinion that neither Clinton, nor Trump – whose rhetoric I deplore, and whose temperament and competency I question – are the leaders we need. Nor is Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonWithout ranked voting, Pennsylvania's slim margins hide voters' preferences If weed is no longer a crime, why are people still behind bars? Gary Johnson: Trump admin marijuana policy shift could cost him reelection MORE, nor Jill Stein. And I don't know where that leaves me in November.

I was a Bernie voter, not because I foolishly believed he could accomplish all of what he laid out, but because he gave me hope things could get better. In an era of stagnation, we need to pursue daring policy ideas. The nation needs an overhaul, not a tune-up.

I'm 27. I graduated college in December 2009, the month the nation saw its highest level of unemployment since the Great Depression. I've spent my career thus far consistently one step ahead of layoffs. I owe $80,000 in student loans.

I'm also half-Latino. My immigrant grandmother, the most selfless human being I've ever met, is voting for Trump.

As of now, I'm not sure what I'll do in November, but to paraphrase Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK Beto O'Rourke is dominating Ted Cruz in enthusiasm and fundraising — but he's still headed for defeat GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE, I suspect I'll vote my Kainescience.

Jonathan Walczak is a freelance investigative journalist. Follow him at @jonwalczak