President Barack Obama may have offered San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro a cabinet position in his administration, potentially grooming him to become Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential nominee should she run and win the 2016 nomination.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Castro may be on the verge of accepting it, as the FBI has started to vet Castro, and a Senate confirmation hearing is “expected to conclude within months.”
UPDATE: According to the New York Times, Obama “intends to choose” Castro to lead be the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and “would take the place of Shaun Donovan, who would move to head the Office of Management and Budget. That post is being vacated by Sylvia Burwell, who is Obama’s nominee as secretary of Health and Human Services to replace Kathleen Sebelius.
Castro’s potential acceptance, which would boost his resume, may also be a concession that Texas is not quite ready to turn blue, as Castro, who has declined runs for statewide office, has long been seen as the Democrats’ top star.
Castro declined to comment to the outlet, which reported that it was “unclear what post the president has offered the Democratic stalwart.” But the Express-News also reported that after he turned down Obama’s offer to be transportation secretary last year, Castro, while saying he has “plans to serve as mayor here as long as the voters would have him,” in public has reportedly said, “an offer from the president to serve as education secretary would have proven tougher to turn down.”
Castro, like Obama in 2004, electrified Democrats with his keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. And while he has said he would not make a presidential run in 2016, where he could have potentially been to Hillary Clinton what Obama was to her in 2008, he has not ruled out being on the Democratic ticket in 2016. Democrats want to elevate Castro’s profile to attract or retain the 71% of Hispanic voters that voted for President Barack Obama in 2012. When he appeared with Vice President Joe Biden at retiring Sen. Tom Harkin’s famous Iowa Steak Fry, where Obama also got buzz before he became his party’s standard bearer, Castro made quite a splash.
When Hillary Clinton was recently asked on ABC last week about potentially choosing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) or Castro as her vice presidential nominee, she said, “They’re both extraordinary leaders and great political advocates for a lot of what needs to be done in our country, and I admire both of them greatly.”
As the Express-News noted, “Castro’s departure from San Antonio for the nation’s capital, where he would join his twin, Rep. Joaquin Castro, would come five years after he first was elected mayor, and one year before he could run for re-election to a final two-year term at City Hall.”