Latino to Deliver Keynote at the Democratic National Convention

Although considered by some a rising political star in the Democratic party, Julián Castro became a super star when the news broke that he will deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention at the beginning of September.  The San Antonio mayor is scheduled to speak, as is First Lady Michelle Obama, on the opening night.  This speech will set the tone for President Obama’s nomination at the “top” of the Democratic ticket.  Both Mrs. Obama and Mayor Castro will be tasked with throwing party delegates a lot of political “red meat,” firing up the die-hard loyalists who are hungry to go back to their communities and mobilize the vote.

Starting with “Hey, everybody!” Castro praises the President’s health care law recently upheld by the Supreme Court, “ending” the war in Iraq (note: a significant military presence remains), and rescuing the auto industry at the beginning of the recession.  He acknowledges, he has “some big shoes to fill.”

Watch video here:

Castro is referring to the 2004 convention in Boston when then little-known Illinois state senator Barack Obama gave the keynote address, catapulting him like an Olympics gymnast onto the national political stage.  Now, the chatter is that Castro is being groomed to run in the future for national office, including President.

This is also a high-profile nod for the growing political importance of the Latino electorate, which President Obama has been aggressively courting for at least a year, with the June announcement of delayed deportations for DREAMers the latest in popular measures the Administration announced to fire up Latino voters to register and cast ballots in November. Recent polls show Hispanics’ enthusiasm is wavering.


Castro was first elected mayor of San Antonio in 2009 and proved popular, winning re-election in 2011 with 83 percent of the vote.  He is the son of Rosie, a Chicana activist and single mom, who raised Julián and his twin brother Joaquín, who himself is a “politico” running for Congress.  Julián Castro attended Stanford University for undergrad and like President Obama, graduated from Harvard Law School.

Married to an elementary school teacher, one of his “besties” is Hollywood superstar Eva Longoria, a national co-chair of President’s Obama’s reelection campaign and Castro supporter.  Now the pressure is on, because politics is more fickle than Project Runway where “one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.”  A political star will either be born the night of his keynote address or flame out.

This post appears in Latina Magazine where I am a weekly politics columnist as Election 2012: Latino to Deliver Keynote at the Democratic National Convention.

To read more of Viviana’s Election 2012 columns in Latinaclick here.

Do you think choosing a Latino to keynote the convention will motivate you and other Hispanics to vote for the President?