Op-ed pick: Ready for VP Castro?

Julian Castro spoke at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, last April. (Getty Images/Deborah Cannon-Pool)

Maybe it’s too soon to assume that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, but some Democrats are eagerly advising her on the choice of a running mate. They’re urging the selection of Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, Texas.

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, columnist Steve Chapman has this reaction: “Stop it. Stop it right now.”

Castro would be the least qualified person on paper nominated for the office since Sarah Palin. He’s done a creditable job as mayor, but San Antonio’s government gives the mayor little power. That experience is not nearly enough to compensate for his lack of exposure to matters of national security and foreign affairs.

Castro is President Obama’s likely choice to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Chapman does not think a tour at HUD would be sufficient to plug the gaps in Castro’s resume. He argues that the vice president’s chief qualification is his or her ability to serve as president:

That consideration should carry especially great weight in the case of Clinton, who would be the second oldest person ever inaugurated. She has a higher than average chance of dying or being incapacitated in office. So she has an especially heavy responsibility to choose someone capable of taking over the top job in a heartbeat.

Read Chapman’s column here.