Hillary Clinton has not even declared herself a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, yet the persistent rumor is she has already picked her running mate for the 2016 election. Prepare for the Clinton-Castro 2016 ticket. Hillary Clinton is grooming Julian Castro for her vice presidential running mate. Is it gall or good politics?
A graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law, Castro returned to his home state of Texas to become the youngest person to ever serve on San Antonio City Council before winning three-terms as mayor of San Antonio. He resigned that position recently to join the Obama administration.
His ethnicity, electoral-heavy state and relative youth make the new Housing and Urban Development Secretary (see attached video) a perfect choice for the Hispanic vote-pandering Democrats. Former HUD Secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Henry Cisneros, told the Washington Post, “Clearly, if you were putting together a list of five people in the country who could potentially be a contributing running mate, you would have to put Julian Castro on that list.”
Cisnero’s comments were seconded by Democratic strategist Maria Cardona who told Real Clear Politics last year, “A lot of people have mentioned the Clinton-Castro ticket, which I think would be very attractive.”
Although Castro has been on the Democratic radar for national office the past few years, until recently he didn't have the kind of national profile or experience generally associated with the nation's second in command. When President Obama nominated him last May for the HUD post, that all changed. At the ripe old age of 39, he is easily the youngest member of Obama's Cabinet.
Cisneros, his longtime mentor, told the New York Times last spring, “I advised that he accept a position for President Obama. I thought that if he was going to be vice-presidential material in 2016.”
Castro is no stranger to the limelight. The Democrats, like the Republicans, have been searching for prime-time Hispanic men and women to serve in their respective parties. With the growing population of voters from south of the border, both parties want the votes.
In 2012 Castro became the first Latino to give a Democratic National Convention keynote address, rocketing him to national prominence. Like so many rising politicians, he has a book coming out in 2015, an important item on the presidential checklist.
While Castro is most certainly a rising star for the Democrats, the irony is he doesn’t speak the Spanish language. Many would perceive that factor as a transparent and disingenuous political ploy to woe Hispanic votes. Yet the Democrats hope to utilize young Castro as their answer to two influential Hispanic Republicans; fellow Texas politician Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, both potential 2016 presidential contenders.
It is no secret that both parties are heavily considering a “token” Hispanic on their national tickets. It is the politically correct thing to do, much like 1984 Democratic VP candidate, oh yes, and woman, Geraldine Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale’s "token" in his failed presidential bid against Ronald Reagan.
The rumors of Hillary and Castro are strengthened by his increasing presence. He appeared by her side last month at an event in New York City and visited one of her homes in Washington, D.C. for dinner. Those close to the situation say Castro didn’t talk, but instead discussed his future as her boy lap dog.
Many political insiders feel Castro is a shoo-in as Hillary’s running mate choice. The problem is she hasn’t declared her candidacy nor has she won the nomination. Nipping at her heels is the feisty senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, who is prepared to pick up the pieces if Hillary continues to slide in the polls.
This could be Castro's all-too-brief moment in the sun. Sen. Warren would search for her own "token." The words sound rough, but so is the world of politics.
* If you have enjoyed this column, may I suggest you scroll down this page and press the SUBSCRIBE box? It's FREE. Thank you for your patronage.
** Send your comments to: email@example.com
*** Read my book, “Redistribution of Common Sense: Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009 – 2014,” now available at amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and many other book outlets nationwide.