I’ve heard of being a little quick on the draw to order new curtains for the Oval Office, but Hillary Clinton may be skipping a few steps in the normal process if she’s already setting up living quarters for her Vice President. Still, you have to admire confidence in a competitor. So who shall it be? The Hill reported on Saturday that there’s really only one choice.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is likely to choose Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro or another Hispanic politician to be her running mate, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros said in an interview that will air Sunday.
“What I am hearing in Washington, including from people in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is that the first person on their lists is Julián Castro, the … Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who use[d] to be the Mayor of San Antonio,” he said in an interview with Univision’s “Al Punto.”
“They don’t have a second option, because he is the superior candidate considering his record, personality, demeanor and Latin heritage.”
There are two quotes there of particular interest. First, it must make Secretary Castro feel particularly warm and fuzzy to hear that the only real choice is him or some other Hispanic. In other words, his particular qualifications for the job really don’t have anything to do with it, much as is the case with the prospective President Hillary. It’s all about diversity and making sure you check all the right boxes. We’ve had the First Black President and they are working on The First Female President. Lucky Julian has pulled the short straw to become The First Hispanic President, at least in the eyes of Democrat strategists. If you ran some boring old white male people might start asking questions about what they actually plan to do.
The other fascinating quote coming out of that story is the admission that “they don’t have a second option.” The obvious Democrat spin is that Castro is so qualified, why would you look at anyone else? But Jim Geraghty suspects there may be less to that line of argument than meets the eye.
A one-option veep list? That Democratic bench isn’t just thin, it’s anorexic. And do Democrats really want to put the 40–year-old Castro a heartbeat away from the presidency? If this pans out, we’ll get to watch Democrats and the media insisting that Castro’s time as mayor of San Antonio and two years at HUD represented some sort of American policy renaissance and an era of bold leadership.
Castro has something in common with a number of other high profile Democrat “rising stars” from all appearances. He rose to fame and success based on a “humble roots narrative” rather than any early accomplishments. And to be sure, it’s a great narrative. One of a pair of twins, he was the child of a political activist in San Antonio and didn’t have a wealthy background. But once he achieved success, his list of triumphs was rather thin to say the least. And if being the mayor of a city which saw little to no improvement under his watch and going on to be nearly invisible in an appointed cabinet role is a great resume to be president, then… oh, wait. I forgot about Hillary. Perhaps it’s a fine resume after all.
On the positive side, no matter who the eventual GOP nominee picks as a running mate, they should have a good idea who to prep for. Game on, guys.