The stars have aligned for Stanford graduate Julian Castro. He graduated with a degree in political science in 1996 and subsequently earned a law degree at Harvard before returning to his hometown of San Antonio to become mayor. Now, the Democratic Party has tapped him as a keynote speaker for their convention in a few weeks.
From what I can tell, Castro served as an ASSU senator when he attended Stanford. Politico dug up an old issue of the Stanford Daily that features Julian and twin brother Joaquín posing awkwardly in the Quad. According to the article, they received the highest number of votes in the ASSU senate election (which happened to also be the same number).
A New York Times feature touts him as a pragmatist due to his support for NAFTA, balanced budgets, and David Souter. But don’t let this fool you. Undoubtedly, Mr. Castro will soon be taking a leading role in the Democratic Party as a champion of liberal causes, especially affirmative action. Speaking to the New York Times, Castro stated:
“Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action,” Julián says. “I scored 1,210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life.”
Conservatives should be happy that Texas politics might stifle Castro’s rise to prominence. Statewide offices tend to go to Republicans in this era. And one of those statewide offices will likely be filled this January by the man who many already paint as Castro’s arch-nemisis: Ted Cruz. Nevertheless, national convention speeches can do a lot for one’s popularity, as President Obama showed us in 2004. Keep an eye on Julian Castro.