The Corner

Politics & Policy

Hillary Clinton’s Unbearably Boring Veep Options

Noah Rothman asked why we’re seeing so much less interest in Hillary Clinton’s running mate search than Trump’s.

A couple of reasons, high among them that Hillary Clinton, as the leading candidate, doesn’t need a dramatic, race-changing pick. Trump’s pick might be his best chance to shake up the race and give skeptical Americans a reason to give him a second look; Hillary just wants the status quo between now and November. Because of Trump’s lack of interest in policy detail, his vice president, if elected, would likely have an unusually influential say in policy.

But the biggest reason, I’d argue, is that most of the names mentioned as potential Clinton running mates are exceptionally boring. How many people have a strong view about Virginia Senator Tim Kaine? How many Americans could pick him out of a lineup of middle-aged white males in suits?

Sherrod Brown has been in Ohio politics forever, having won his first race in 1975… and yet somehow he’s managed to remain little-known; even political junkies don’t think about him often or have strong opinions about him.

Yes, I have written quite a bit about Julian Castro since 2012. But he’s been at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the political equivalent of the Witness Protection Program, since 2014.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez? A radical who’s remained largely unknown outside of policy wonk circles. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker? He enjoyed quite a bit of national hype in his initial rise in Garden State politics, but hasn’t had a particularly high profile in the Senate.

The only really big, head-turning name being mentioned as a running mate for Hillary Clinton is Elizabeth Warren – and that’s an unlikely pick.

The modern Democratic party doesn’t have much of a bench. Of course, with their advantages in the electoral college and the flaws of their foe, they don’t really need one. 

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