Also in today’s Jolt:
Urgh: Already Insufferable Speculation About a Clinton-Castro Ticket
Because it’s perfectly normal for a newly-appointed 39-year-old Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to be discussed as a potential running mate, right?
As she expands her political network in advance of an expected presidential run, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband have been cultivating an important ally who some believe could become her vice presidential running mate.
Former president Bill Clinton invited Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and incoming Obama Cabinet secretary, to the Clintons’ home in Washington last week for a private dinner that friends described as a chance for Democratic leaders from different generations to become better acquainted.
The fact that Democrats continue to insist Castro is ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency indicates how intense and unyielding identity politics and television charisma grip their criteria for a potential national leader.
(Chuck Kerr, the artist at Current who created the memorable image above, invites Campaign Spot readers to build their own Castro campaign posters, proudly endorsing Castro for president, governor, senator, mayor, Jedi master, or Top Chef contestant.)
As I keep pointing out, Julian Castro failed to tangibly improve his city much in five years as mayor:
Castro leveraged his rise-from-humble-roots narrative and the occasional wacky joke into national press coverage that most senators and governors would envy – major national magazine profiles, a TED talk, an appearance on Meet the Press, a six-figure memoir deal. It’s fair to wonder whether Castro would get the same attention if he were not a member of a demographic increasingly important for national politics.
Castro’s record suggests that, if he is in fact nominated and confirmed as secretary of HUD, he will be one of the most-covered and most-discussed members of President Obama’s Cabinet. His record also suggests that he will leave the department in about the same condition as when he entered it.