As a red state, Texas hasn't gotten much love at the Democratic National Convention in recent decades. But that could change this year.
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro has been given a plum role as the keynote speaker at the convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 4, officials announced Tuesday. And Houston Mayor Annise Parker could be on the podium as well.
Obama no doubt hopes that Castro, who is the first Latino chosen for the slot, will energize a key constituency for the Democrats.
The 37-year-old Castro, a rising star in the Democratic Party, is said to have been personally chosen by President Obama. In 2004, Obama was a little-known Illinois senator when he was tapped by nominee John Kerry to give the keynote address at the party's convention in Boston. The favorable response to Obama's speech catapulted him into the national limelight.
Political observers are wondering if Castro, whom GOP strategist Mark McKinnon once said “has a very good chance of becoming the first Hispanic president of the United States," will experience the same fate.
New York magazine notes that "Castro, a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law, was one of only five mayors to attend an Obama forum on jobs at the White House in 2010, and at 35, the youngest. (Obama joked at the meeting that he thought Castro was an intern; Castro reportedly "smiled politely.") Castro sat in the First Lady's box at the State of the Union earlier this year."
Obama no doubt hopes that Castro, who is the first Latino chosen for the slot, will energize a key constituency for the Democrats. The first Hispanic politician to keynote a major party convention was U.S. Treasurer Katherine Ortega at the 1984 Republican National Convention. The last Texan to keynote the Democratic convention was then-Gov. Ann Richards in 1988.
Some observers believe that Parker, who has received national attention as the first lesbian mayor of a major American city, also could energize another sizable Democratic constituency.
Some observers believe that Parker, who has received national attention as the first lesbian mayor of a major American city, also could energize another sizable Democratic constituency — gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender voters.
The mayor's office confirmed that Parker will attend the convention, which takes place Sept. 3 to 6, but it remains unclear if she has been approached to speak at the convention or if she has accepted.
Insiders believe that Parker will be given a speaking role at the convention, but are unsure whether it will be during prime time or in a less attractive daytime slot when few viewers watch