By David Todd McCarty | Thursday, June 27, 2019
Castro is polling under 1% nationally and isn’t widely known to most Americans, but in last night’s Democratic Primary Debates, he proved himself to be a valuable asset.
There weren’t too many surprises in last night’s Democratic Primary Debate. Warren was exactly who you expected her to be. Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke did their best to rise to the occasion and be heard. Jay Inslee was the climate change candidate. John Delaney was the centrist throwback candidate seemingly out of step with the rest of the party. Bill De Blasio got in some good shots, but mostly had to interrupt other candidates to be heard. Tim Ryan struggled to make any real headway and seemed strained. But Julián Castro, the former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama, and former San Antonio mayor, was probably the only candidate that may have moved the needle. It wasn’t enough to kick anyone out of the top five, let alone rise enough to become the nominee, but it was certainly enough to get noticed.
It was night one of a two-night split, each night featuring ten candidates on stage. The DNC claimed they were going to break the field into two equal groups, but it didn’t work out that way, with Elizabeth Warren being the only top five candidate on stage in the first round. She left the stage still on top of this field, with only one possible change, which was her solidified position on getting rid of private health insurance to make way for Medicare for All. This will certainly be a point of attack for Trump and his allies come the general, but it also has the potential to rally the Democratic base and the progressive Left in particular.
Political insiders wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Castro is knowledgeable, articulate and likeable, but the vast majority of America has never heard of him. Last night, he was able to not only own the immigration agenda, but lead the charge. He was also very articulate on women’s rights and civil rights.
Being a third generation Mexican American, living in a border state, with executive and cabinet experience, Castro has a lot of realistic bonafides. In another election, in another year, he might be a real contender. But in this election, with this crowd, he’s currently sixth or seventh at best, maybe even lower. Or he was until tonight.
There have been quite a few political pundits calling on some of these lower polling candidates, who might otherwise be qualified candidates, to run for an open Senate seat instead, and running for President, even if it’s a failed attempt, might get them the exposure they need to succeed on a smaller playing field.
It has been suggested that both Castro and O’Rourke could do more for the party at this time, by running for John Cornyn’s Senate seat in Texas. O’Rourke less of a shot at the Presidency than Castro does, but has shown he can compete in his home state, red or purple as it is.
But Castro has all the markings of a solid political asset as Vice President for a leading candidate. He’s Hispanic, Catholic, reasonably liberal, from a border state, articulate, capable and has executive experience.
Julián Castro might be President some day, but it’s highly unlikely that it will be in 2020. But he could make it to the Show riding shotgun for someone else. That would be something to see.