Hillary Rodham Clinton has been saying what presidential nominees — and presumed nominees — always say when asked about who to select as a vice-presidential running mate.
She wants someone who is prepared from Day One to become president. That’s what they all say, right? Sure it is.
That brings us to a young man who’s apparently on Clinton’s short list of candidates. Stand up and take a bow, Julian Castro.
Now he’d better sit back down.
Castro in many ways would make an attractive candidate for vice president. He’s young; he’s “telegenic,” meaning he’s handsome; he’s a Latino American with a compelling life story; he’s a former mayor of a major American city; he hails from Texas.
But he’s got less than two years of experience in the federal government. Castro is serving as housing secretary.
Castro once appealed to me greatly as a potential running mate for whoever would be the Democratic presidential nominee. Not so much now.
As the Texas Tribune reports, he is woefully short on the experience and seasoning needed to assume the presidency if necessity demanded it.
As the Tribune reported: “Fiercely protective of his legacy, Castro’s supporters chafe at the suggestion he is not qualified to be vice president. They acknowledge the obvious — he has little to no foreign policy experience — but argue he is the living, breathing embodiment of an American Dream that transcends mere lines on a resume.”
Another Texan, John Nance Garner, once said the vice presidency isn’t “worth a bucket of warm p***.” He was one of President Roosevelt’s vice presidents. Let it be said that he earned the nickname of “Cactus Jack.”
Well, the vice presidency has changed dramatically since the era when the VP’s main job was to attend funerals abroad. Many of them dating back to, oh, the days of Walter Mondale (1977-1981), have become major policy partners standing shoulder to shoulder with the president.
Julian Castro is a fine young man. Is he ready just yet to stand in the on-deck circle in the next president’s administration.
Umm. I don’t think so. Not just yet.