According to the Houston Chronicle, Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. He will speak on Sept 4, just after First Lady Michelle Obama.
First Latino to deliver keynote at a Democratic convention
According to the Chronicle account, Mayor Castro will be the first Latino to deliver the Keynote Address at a Democratic National Convention. According to the Washington Post, this is no accident. It is an indication that the Obama campaign intends to put up a full effort to turn out Hispanic votes, who tend to vote more Democratic, in the November election. This may prove to be the margin of victory in certain western states such as Nevada and Colorado. Obama took two-thirds of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 campaign.
Mayor of San Antonio
According to the city of San Antonio website, Mayor Castro is 37 and the youngest person to be elected mayor of a top 50 United States city. He was first elected in 2009 and won reelection overwhelmingly in 2011. Castro is a graduate of Stanford and of Harvard Law. His page states that his main emphasis as mayor has been to improve San Antonio's economy and educational attainment.
Castro fundraiser and political ally of President Obama
According to the San Antonio Express, Castro recently headlined a fundraiser for President Obama during the president's most recent visit to Texas. The fundraiser was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, attracting hundreds of Democrats who paid $250 each from the privilege of hearing a speech from the president. Castro is also a national co-chair for the Obama re-election campaign.
A means to make Castro a national figure
Delivering the keynote address at a national convention can help make a local politician a national figure. Politico notes that a then-obscure senate candidate named Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Four years later that same obscure Illinois politician was elected president of the United States. Texas is a deep red state with all statewide offices in the hands of Republicans. It may be a strategy of the Obama campaign to elevate Mayor Castro onto the national stage in hopes that one day he will break that monopoly, becoming a senator or even governor. The increasing numbers of Hispanic voters in Texas and their tendency to vote Democratic makes that strategy a sound one.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
- Politics & Government
- Democratic National Convention
- San Antonio
- First Lady Michelle Obama
- Julian Castro
- President Obama
- keynote address