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Tags: Julian Castro

Already Insufferable Speculation About a Clinton-Castro Ticket



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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 profilesa 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.

Tags: Julian Castro , Hillary Clinton

Marvel at the Power of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro!



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Remember San Antonio mayor Julian Castro? Ever since he was named keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, I’ve kept an eye on the man nearly universally touted as a rising star in Democratic-party politics, even though his record as mayor is . . . brief and thin, particularly in the areas of crime and education.

But now, to his credit, a radio station named Mayor Castro the fourth-most powerful person!

No, not in the Democratic party.

No, not in the state of Texas.

The fourth-most powerful person . . . in San Antonio.

WOAI San Antonio put San Antonio city manager Sheryl Sculley atop the list, followed by business leaders Graham Weston, “whose visionary leadership at Rackspace has helped transform San Antonio into a tech center,” and Charles Butt, the president of HEB.

Their profile of Castro notes, “San Antonio’s celebrity mayor has used his ill-defined office to promote himself and the city, and both in a very effective manner.”

Of course, self-promotion can take you far in this world.

Chuck Kerr, an artist at Current, emphasized Julian Castro’s seemingly preordained role in national Democratic politics:

He invited Campaign Spot readers to build their own Castro campaign posters, proudly endorsing the mayor for president, governor, senator, mayor, Jedi Master, or Top Chef contestant.

Tags: Julian Castro

An Orwellian Fundraising E-Mail for Wendy Davis



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Check out this fundraising e-mail from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a rising star in Democratic circles, touting gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis:

Friend –

I just had a great meeting with my friend Wendy Davis here in San Antonio.

We talked about job creation and economic empowerment for all Texans — and I left reminded of her extraordinary determination to make Texas even better than it already is.

If you caught Wendy’s announcement speech last week, you saw why she’s been able to inspire so many people, both here in Texas and across the country. I’m going to do everything I can between now and next November to make sure she gets to the Governor’s Mansion.

Show Senator Davis she’s not taking on this challenge alone — add your name to say you’re with Wendy for governor in 2014.

Wendy is fearless.

She overcame a background of poverty to put herself through Harvard law school.

She once stood for hours to filibuster a bill that would have resulted in billions of dollars in cuts to public education for our kids.

She’s a proven winner who brings Texans together — elected twice in a swing district that’s considered a microcosm of Texas, where Mitt Romney won easily last November. And she knows that bread-and-butter issues like public education and transportation infrastructure are essential to keep our vibrant economy going strong.

That’s who Wendy Davis is — and that’s why she can win next fall.

Let’s rally around her now and kick off this campaign with a strong show of support.

Join me and say you’re with Wendy:

http://join.battlegroundtx.com/Wendy-for-Texas

In this together,

Julián
 

Castro (or the staffer who wrote this) is just flat-out lying.  Davis made a one-hour-and-fifteen minute filibuster in 2011 about public education spending. The only time she stood for “hours” was in her 2013 filibuster to stop a bill that would ”ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet the same standards that hospital-style surgical centers do, and mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.”

The Castro e-mail is attempting to blur the lines between the two filibusters, perhaps hoping they can fool people that the more recent and high-profile filibuster wasn’t really about late-term abortions but about education.

In fact, you’ll notice the word “abortion” doesn’t appear at all in Castro’s e-mail, nor does the term “choice.”

Why would Castro (or his staffer) lie about this?

Above: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; state legislator, late-term abortion advocate, and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis; the mayor’s twin brother, congressman, and stunt double, Joaquín Castro.

Tags: Wendy Davis , Texas , Julian Castro

Julian Castro’s Star Continues to Rise, Sans Accomplishments



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Politico notes that by the end of October, Joaquin and Julian Castro — one twin brother a first-term congressman, and the other the mayor of San Antonio — will have appeared at major functions in at least 11 states outside their native Texas, and also on the sets of prominent national TV programs like NBC’s Meet the Press and ABC’s This Week.

As usual, the attention and focus is more on who they are than on anything they’ve actually done in their elected offices:

In the process, they have filled a void within their party, which despite fashioning itself as the home for a younger and more diverse America, has elevated few politicians during the Age of Obama who actually look like that emerging electorate . . . 

For a pair of junior Democrats who were relatively unknown at this time last year, it is an astonishingly ambitious itinerary — and a vivid illustration of how quickly a politician can advance in the present day when his biography and message line up with the political moment.

“The city I come from and the state I come from really represent the face of America in the coming decade,” said Joaquin Castro, who invokes his family’s story and the need for “an infrastructure of opportunity” in America as he tours the country.

Julian Castro put it even more plainly, suggesting that voters “see the future, oftentimes, in folks who are new to them and relatively young.”

The article goes on to speculate that either brother could be a running mate for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden in 2016.

Last year I looked at Castro’s then three years as mayor of San Antonio and saw little to brag about in the areas of crime or education: “Castro was elected by a populace facing serious problems, and in his time in office, the city has made very little measurable progress in addressing those problems.” But apparently that doesn’t matter.

Politico’s profile hits at least three of my six rules for a Julian Castro profile, offered last year: It emphasizes his/their youth, emphasizes the political importance of the Hispanic demographic, and soft-pedals the radical politics of his/their mother. Perhaps the stories of Obama’s mistaking Julian Castro for an intern and the mayor’s taunting of Charles Barkley have run their course as colorful anecdotes.

Chuck Kerr, an artist at Current, emphasized Julian Castro’s seemingly pre-ordained role in national Democratic politics:

He invited Campaign Spot readers to build their own Castro campaign posters, proudly endorsing the mayor for president, governor, senator, mayor, Jedi Master, or Top Chef contestant.

Tags: Julian Castro , Joaquin Castro

What a Surprise, Julian Castro Is Visiting D.C. Again.



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Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and the keynote speaker at last year’s Democratic National Convention, will be appearing at Obama’s White House event in favor of immigration reform today.

Last year I looked at what Castro had done in his three years as mayor, and found limited results, particularly in the areas of crime and education. But that hasn’t prevented Castro from being a frequent visitor to Washington:

It is not an exaggeration to say that Castro visits the White House more frequently than some top military leaders; according to White House visitor logs, Castro had visited the White House twelve times as of August 1. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey had visited eleven times.

Tags: Julian Castro

All of the Non-Michelle Speeches (Condensed Version)



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Tomorrow’s Morning Jolt will feature quite a few thoughts on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. I think Michelle Obama gave about as persuasive a case as can be made for her husband’s reelection — primarily because it so quickly and casually glanced at the record of her husband and focused instead on the tales of a much poorer, little-known Barack and Michelle starting their family life, with coffee tables out of dumpsters and cars with holes in the floor. As more than a few noticed on Twitter, about 90 percent of Michelle Obama’s speech could have been given four years ago.

The early governors all seemed to aim to hit the same note, and if any of them broke through, it was Deval Patrick. But Ted Strickland, Martin O’Malley, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro . . . they all blended together. It’s as if the convention organizers gave them a template to personalize, only slightly:

“The country was on the edge of economic apocalypse when Barack Obama took office. It was entirely the fault of free-market economics, and policies encouraging large home loans to people who had spotty or worse credit ratings had absolutely nothing to do with it. Since then, we . . . have . . . made . . . progress! Don’t look too hard at how much progress, or whether 8.3 percent unemployment with a lower labor-force participation rate really counts as progress to you, or whether that’s even remotely close to what we promised four years ago. Lilly Ledbetter now has a much longer period of time to sue her employers, and this is the single most important development for women in the workplace since Rosie the Riveter! If this speech is before 9:45 p.m. Eastern, we must protect women’s right to abortion! If this speech is after 9:45 p.m. Eastern, we trust women to make the best choices . . . (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) about their bodies! We must keep government away from the all-important doctor-patient relationship! Also, we passed health-care reform, and ignore all of that polling you’ve seen since passage, you’re going to love it! The 26-year-old kids among you most of all!”

“And then there’s Mitt Romney. He’s out of touch! He has a Swiss bank account! He’s out of touch from his Swiss bank account! He’s got money in lots of places, and you and I both know, there must be something criminal involved! The Romney-Ryan budget calls for taking away all of your money! And giving it to millionaires and billionaires — and just the ones you really don’t like, not the celebrities and movie stars you’ll be hearing from later this week!”

Tags: Deval Patrick , Julian Castro , Martin O'Malley , Michelle Obama

The Six Requirements of a Gushing Julian Castro Profile



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If you have any doubt about what Democrats think of their keynote speaker tonight, San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, take a gander at this cover image from the San Antonio Current, one of the alternative weeklies out there:

Beside the C in the style of the Obama logo, in case you can’t read the small print at the bottom, it says, “CASTRO FOR (insert here)”.

When convention organizers announced Castro would be their keynote speaker, I took a look at his record . . . and found little to cheer about in his three years as mayor:

When Democrats announced that San Antonio mayor Julián Castro would deliver the keynote address of the 2012 party convention, the media’s comparisons of the mayor to President Obama intensified: a little-known, charismatic member of a minority group, getting a big opportunity to address his party and the country — perhaps a steppingstone to the highest of offices.

In fact, Castro’s dramatic debut on the national stage seems almost preordained: In May 2010, The New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy profile portraying Castro as “The Post-Hispanic Hispanic Politician,” with explicit comparisons to President Obama and predictions that he will be the first Hispanic president of the United States. NPR notes he’s been called “the great Latino hope.” CNN’s Soledad O’Brien featured Castro in a documentary about Latinos in America. He’s given a TED talk on “The Power of Education: How It Changed My World.”

Castro is indeed a lot like the Barack Obama of 2004: a subject of endless glowing media profiles, touted as the voice of an entire ethnic group, charisma by the bucketful . . . and a short record of quite modest achievements. The vast majority of the discussion about Castro focuses on his enormous potential and what is to come, not on his accomplishments and what he has done.

That is not an accident. Castro was elected by a populace facing serious problems, and in his time in office, the city has made very little measurable progress in addressing those problems.

Today and tomorrow, every morning paper/newsweekly/politico will run their Castro profiles, and almost all of them will include the same five or six things:

  1. He’s a rising star.
  2. Stanford undergrad! Harvard Law! Swoon!
  3. Hispanics are a growing demographic.
  4. He’s so young! Obama asked if he was an intern, tee-hee!
  5. His complicated heritage (here they’ll soft-pedal his mother).
  6. He went up against Charles Barkley to defend his city’s reputation!

But as Representative Bobby Rush asked of congressional candidate Barack Obama, “What’s he done?” It is kind of creepy to see just how many hurrahs and hosannas a politician can generate without actually doing much of anything, particularly on bread-and-butter issues like crime and education. If a Castro defender wants to argue he’s only been in office three years, fine . . . but that just raises the question of why an unaccomplished mayor is giving the keynote address. It’s like watching the Obama playbook from 2004 all over again . . .

UPDATE: For those not familiar with Rosie Castro, the mayor’s mother:

She handles her ‘First Mom’ status with quiet equanimity, pausing to smile and greet all passersby. When I ask her which one of her sons will become President, she smiles mischievously, “You mean which one will become President first?”

And there, dear reader, is one of the savviest politically correct answer of the year. Enjoy!

“I was born in San Antonio and I’ve lived here my whole life. I was an only child, raised by my mother, who emigrated from San Luis Potosí, Mexico when she was 8. Mom died the year Julián and Joaquín graduated from Stanford. I grew up in the neighborhood around Culebra and Zarzamora, near the Little Flower Basilica. I moved a couple of times when the boys were younger but we spent their junior high to high school years living right by St. Mary’s University. They both graduated from Jefferson High.”

“At the time I was growing up, Mexican-American women weren’t typically involved in politics. When I attended Our Lady of the Lake, I had a mentor, Dr. Margaret Kramer, who introduced me to a lot of local politicians. I got involved with the Young Democrats and later became chair of the Bexar County Raza Unida Party for a time. I ran for city council in 1971 with the ‘Committee for Barrio Betterment.’ I didn’t win but I learned a very valuable lesson: I’m a good organizational person. I like working behind the scenes and pulling it together.

From the Times profile of the mayor:

She was born in San Antonio in 1947 to an immigrant mother who didn’t get past fourth grade; she didn’t meet her father till she was 34. To Rosie, the Alamo is a symbol of bad times. “They used to take us there when we were schoolchildren,” she told me. “They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.

To Julian Castro’s credit, when your mother hates the Alamo and you are elected mayor of San Antonio twice, you have some serious campaigning skills.

UPDATE: 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 the mayor for President, Governor, Senator, Mayor, Jedi Master, or ‘Top Chef’ contestant.

Tags: Julian Castro

Meet the Democrats’ Keynote Speaker, Mayor Castro.



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Over on NRO’s homepage, a long look at the record of the Democrats’ 2012 Convention Keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro:

Castro’s dramatic debut on the national stage seems almost preordained: In May 2010, The New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy profile portraying Castro as “The Post-Hispanic Hispanic Politician,” with explicit comparisons to President Obama and predictions that he will be the first Hispanic president of the United States. NPR notes he’s been called “the great Latino hope.” CNN’s Soledad O’Brien featured Castro in a documentary about Latinos in America. He’s given a TED talk on “The Power of Education: How It Changed My World.”

Castro is indeed a lot like the Barack Obama of 2004: a subject of endless glowing media profiles, touted as the voice of an entire ethnic group, charisma by the bucketful . . . and a short record of quite modest achievements. The vast majority of the discussion about Castro focuses on his enormous potential and what is to come, not on his accomplishments and what he has done.

That is not an accident. Castro was elected by a populace facing serious problems, and in his time in office, the city has made very little measurable progress in addressing those problems.

With little progress on serious city problems in crime and education, and a regional economy fueled by factors well beyond the reach of Castro’s policies, one can argue that after three years on the job, he’s not a bad mayor… just not a particularly effective problem-solver. Or at least not yet; perhaps it is unrealistic to expect dramatic results after three years on the job (although some mayors, like Rudy Giuliani in New York City, do generate dramatic results within a few years). But if Castro is a charismatic young city leader with a lot of potential but few concrete results… should he really be discussed as a potential president? Shouldn’t a political figure have to demonstrate some real changes for the better in his community before he gets all this hype?

Tags: Barack Obama , Julian Castro

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