An announcement is expected by as early as Monday that Julian Castro will be joining the Obama administration as Secretary of HUD (Housing Urban Development). If so, Castro who is currently the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas will follow in the footsteps of Henry Cisneros who was HUD’s chief in the first Clinton Administration, and who also served as the Mayor of San Antonio.
Young Castro received national attention as a keynote speaker during the Democratic Convention in 2012. Politically his appeal is vast as he represents a growing presence from the Latino community. Remember it was in 2004 that Barack Obama seemed to catch the nation by surprise in his fiery speech at the Democratic Convention. Some have suggested that speech catapulted Obama from an unknown to person who became part of the national discussion. Perhaps that is the strategy being suggested for Castro, as in addition to the upcoming 2016 election where Hillary Clinton is pegged as the front-runner, he could provide a boost as a Vice President nominee. On the other hand, he could be positioning himself for 2020?
Current HUD chief Shaun Donovan is said to be moving to another agency, opening the door for Castro. Previously Castro has rejected cabinet request, however as HUD chief the prospects of higher visibility are far greater.
An intriguing move
Olanisa Olalekan (Lanis) who is a Nigerian national and resides in Southern California follows the international landscape, particularly U.S. politics calls the move intriguing. “Obama is very crafty and tapping Castro is smart.”
When the announcement is made, Castro will have to gear up for what is expected to be a contentious confirmation process. Ever since Obama was elected president, the G.O.P. swore to a “blood oath” to block any cabinet nominees or any initiatives which might be considered positive by the voting public. Things had become so polarized that last year Senate Speaker Harry Reid pulled the “nuclear option” or reducing the number of votes needed for confirmation to expedite nominees who had been stalled. Among those was Mel Watt, who took over as FHFA chief, a key housing position.
With Watt as head of FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Administration) and Castro as HUD there could be some interesting initiatives dealing with housing as the Obama administration winds down their term.