SocraticGadfly: Julian Castro named to head HUD — #Hillary2016 tie-in? (updated)

May 24, 2014

Julian Castro named to head HUD — #Hillary2016 tie-in? (updated)

Julian Castro — Hillary Clinton's new BFF?
Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News via Associated Press
Well, this is interesting indeed. The New York Times says that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is President Barack Obama's choice to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Update, May 24: The Dallas Morning News goes more in-depth on both the in-state and out-state political ramifications.

Yes, it "could" provide a boost to Texas Democrats' political hopes. So could finding Greg Abbott in the sack with Rick Perry. Let's not hold our breath too much.

Back to the original Times piece. It only gives half a nutgraf, when it notes that there's been talk about Castro as a Veep candidate in 2016. 

No. Or, not just that.

Before Wendy Davis' filibuster last summer, the talk was of Castro running either for governor of Texas or senator in 2018. And frankly, even with Battleground Texas' over-optimism in this election cycle and an uphill slug in the future, that might be his more likely option, anyway. Sorry, Dems, but Wendy ain't getting elected, short of Greg Abbott being found by that Travis County grand jury to have been having sex with Rick Perry in the middle of a CPRIT meeting.

If Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic presidential nomination, I consider it highly doubtful she'd tap somebody 25 years younger than her as her running mate. Rightly or wrongly, as women age, it can get noted more than with men, and a Castro that young would make for bad optics. 

And, the Morning News piece notes that HUD's never been a launching pad to a Veep spot, and with rare exceptions like Andrew Cuomo, it's not been too much of a political launch  pad in general.

Also per the NYT story, that notes that Dear Leader had previously asked him to serve as Transportation secretary, I wonder what changed his mind? If it was angling for a 2016 Veep run, for the reason above, it may not be smart. But, he is enough of a neolib that otherwise, he wouldn't mind running with Hillary if she decided it would be a smart political move.

It may have been timing, in part. Or, it may have been the particular positions. Among second-rank Cabinet posts, I'll venture that Democrats see HUD as half a notch above Transportation. 

In any case, there's political strategery afoot. And, if he did have eyeballs on either one of the 2018 state races, I'm not sure why he'd take a Cabinet job. 

Matt Angle, guru of Battleground Texas and other places, comments in the Snooze article:
“He’s already a credible candidate for any statewide office that comes available, whether it’s 2018, 2020 or 2022,” said Matt Angle, a top Texas Democratic strategist.

Cabinet service will only help, he added.

“It gives him a chance to burnish an already stellar résumé,” Angle said. Regardless of any direct impact on voters, “it does take you to another level with opinion leaders and potential donors.”
Well, again, probably not, Matt. But, talk like this doesn't surprise me. It does little to raise his in-Texas profile. It may connect him to some Houston, Dallas and Austin donors that he didn't know before, but that's about it.

Anyway, both he and twin Joaquin ARE that neolib, at least from this corner of the world. Basically, they're Texas Hispanic Cory Bookers. (Of course, the real Cory Booker is inimitable, as the New Yorker tells us.)

And, if eyeballing the possibility of being Hillary's running mate is why he changed his mind, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

As for Texas Democratic chairman Gilberto Hinojosa saying Hillary + Julian puts Texas in play in 2016, after I cleaned my mouth out, I started laughing my head off.

Meanwhile, I have no doubt that Obot types in particular or two-party-only folks in general, think this is the latest greatest thing since sliced bread.

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