Instead of being bold, Clinton errs in picking Kaine

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Klobuchar jokes to Cuomo: 'I feel you creeping over my shoulder' but 'not in a Trumpian manner' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE lost me – and I suspect the election - at Kaine.

Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Democratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Dems ask Justice Dept to release findings of Acosta-Epstein investigation 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 ObamaTrump's regulatory rollback boosts odds of a financial crisis Five town hall takeaways: Warren shines, Sanders gives ammo to critics Ex-Obama CIA official makes 'Game of Thrones' cameo 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 TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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 JohnsonPotential GOP primary challenger: Trump's 'contempt for the American people' behind possible bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration Former Mass. governor takes step toward Trump primary challenge 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 CruzMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Liberal survey: Sanders cruising, Buttigieg rising Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote MORE, I suspect I'll vote my Kainescience.

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