According to news reports on Saturday, May 17, 2014 President Barack Obama plans to nominate Democratic Party rising star and three term San Antonio, Texas mayor Julian Castro, 39 to be the new Housing and Urban Development Secretary. Castro's hometown paper the San Antonio Express News was the first to report of the possible nomination, the White House will not confirm the report, but there are plans to formerly announce the nomination this upcoming week.
President Obama is shuffling his cabinet after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius steeped down. Since then the president nominated the Current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell to the HHS top post. Now President Obama is elevating current HUD secretary Shaun Donovan to the OMB spot and adding Castro to the cabinet. The White House did not want to confirm the reports, spokesman Eric Schultz only responded; "no personnel announcements at this time."
Both of the Castro twins are rising stars with the party; Obama chose Julian to deliver the plum keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Last year President Obama wanted him for the transportation secretary post, but then Castro wanted to run for a third two-year term as San Antonio mayor. Brother, Joaquin Castro represents the "San Antonio-area district," Texas district in the House of Representatives.
Julian Castro is being considered as a potential Vice President running mate for the 2016 Democratic candidate. Last week ABC News asked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the present front runner by a large margin in polls if she would chose either Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA or Julian Castro as a running mate, she responded; "They're both extraordinary leaders and great political advocates for a lot of what needs to be done in our country, and I admire both of them greatly."
Adding Castro, a high profile Hispanic politician known nationally, will help add diversity to the president's cabinet, which has been subject to criticism, because of its lack of diversity, now there will be three Hispanic's in the cabinet. President Obama is looking to excite minorities within the Democratic base in time for the midterm elections this fall and as the Washington Post put it Hispanics are "the nation's fastest-growing voter bloc."
Minority groups and Democrats in general vote less in midterm elections, and in the second midterm elections of a presidency, the president's party looses seats. This year control of the Senate is hanging in the balance with most polls predicting that the Republican will gain a majority. President Obama has been trying everything to appeal to Democratic voters, pushing his economic opportunity program, immigration reform, incessantly criticizing the Republican an now adding more minorities and a popular figure to his cabinet.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.