Instead of being bold, Clinton errs in picking Kaine

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE lost me – and I suspect the election - at Kaine.

Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSave lives, restore congressional respect by strengthening opioids’ seizure Overnight Finance: Lawmakers, Treasury look to close tax law loopholes | Trump says he backs gas tax hike | Markets rise despite higher inflation | Fannie Mae asks for .7B Bipartisan Senate group says they have immigration deal 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 ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia 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 TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA 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 JohnsonIf weed is no longer a crime, why are people still behind bars? Gary Johnson: Trump admin marijuana policy shift could cost him reelection When pro-Clinton trolls went after me during the election 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 CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE, I suspect I'll vote my Kainescience.

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