Around this time last year, it appeared that Texas would play an outsized role in the 2016 race for the White House. A Texas senator was in the running, as well as a scion of a Texas political dynasty, a former business executive with Austin roots, the libertarian-leaning son of a longtime Texas congressman, and the longest-serving Texas governor in state history.
But things didn’t quite turn out the way anyone predicted. But now it appears that Texas – or at least some key Texans – may be back in the presidential storyline. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor who failed in his own presidential bid, appears to be helping stage a possible GOP convention coup, calling for his state’s delegates to vote their conscience and pushing Ted Cruz back front and center.
Then there’s this: a Texas Democrat who only days ago said he was out of contention for a spot on the 2016 ticket is now believed to be in the running. Multiple news outlets are reporting that Housing and Urban Development Secretary and former San Antonio mayor Julián Castro is on Hillary Clinton’s shortlist for potential running mates.
Edward-Isaac Dovere, senior White House reporter at Politico, says that despite Castro’s comments at the Texas Democratic Convention that he was not being vetted as a VP pick, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s being considered, and to take those comments with a grain of salt.
“This is politics, where people say things that are not necessarily exactly false, and so it’s a question of what vetting means or what being in the running means,” Dovere says. “Castro, from what the Clinton campaign has been putting out, is at least on (Clinton’s) smaller focus list.”
Castro has long been on the list of potential vice presidents, Dovere says, especially after his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, so it’s unlikely that he would be bumped off that list overnight.
“Obviously when he left San Antonio to become Housing Secretary,” Dovere says, “that only fed the speculation. And it’s kept up since then, over the last two years.”
Dovere says that Castro has a lot of things that people would want to see on a national Democratic ticket – he’s young, Latino, and popular with younger voters and other groups that Clinton would need to win the election.
In fact, in a recent interview, Clinton alluded to wanting to take Texas in the general election. Did the potential of tapping Castro as a running mate have anything to do with that?
“I think it’s probably fed more from he idea that Democrats are just salivating at the idea of taking Texas off the map for Republicans,” Dovere says. “They feel like once they do that, they will have a permanent lock on the presidency.”
Web post by Alexandra Hart.