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NLIP - Ready for Julian

NLIP - Ready for Julian

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Published by vomeditor

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Published by: vomeditor on May 21, 2014
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 Edgar DeJesus
 Israel Colon
 Maria Rivera
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Ready for Julian?
By Edward-Isaac Dovere Politico (May 18, 2014) Many Democrats already see Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy as a foregone conclusion. Now some believe they've already got her running mate, too: San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, about to be President Barack Obama's nominee for Housing and Urban Development Secretary. Last week, Castro told the White House he would accept the offer for a national role that supporters hope will groom him to the presumptive first Latino running mate on a national ticket. "Probably wasn't going to happen from the mayor's job," said Henry Cisneros, a HUD secretary for Bill Clinton and a former mayor of San Antonio himself, as well as a kindergarten classmate of Castro's mother who has stayed close with the family over the years. "You have to have national positions of greater responsibility, breadth - and this begins that course." Cisneros said the move was crucial in preparing a bench of young Latinos for the Democratic Party, which lacks big Latino political stars like Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). "Could he be on a Hillary ticket as a result of learning the breadth of the issues and the nation?" Cisneros added. "The answer is yes." Castro, who stepped into the national spotlight with a well-received keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, is expected to continue his ascendancy via a fast-moving process that people in the administration have told people they're hoping to culminate in an announcement by the end of next week. The HUD position would be vacated by Shaun Donovan, who has told people that Obama has asked him to become the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, according to Democrats familiar with the
conversations. In the Cabinet shuffle, the OMB position itself is coming open as Sylvia Mathews Burwell appears headed for an unexpectedly easy confirmation to be the new Health and Human Services secretary, replacing the retiring Kathleen Sebelius. But while being at HUD would put Castro in the Cabinet and more on the national stage, the role is not traditionally a very visible one - it's not as if most Americans could name Donovan, or any of the past HUD secretaries. And the role would do nothing to give the 39-year old mayor any kind of national security or international experience, both of which are often part of preparations for a presidential or vice presidential run. The multiple confirmations set up by the switches reflect a confidence on the part of the White House - strengthened after Republicans backed away from a fight they'd promised over Burwell - that the president will be able to get his choices through the Senate. Changed filibuster rules in the Senate had made confirmations easier, but enough Democrats backed away from Obama's choices for surgeon general and assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights division that those nominations faltered. And while Republicans could attempt to use the confirmation hearings as a chance to bruise Castro ahead of future races, that would have to be balanced against the prospect of attacking a high-profile Latino figure just months before the midterms, when the GOP is already facing frustration over slow movement on immigration reform. The White House and HUD would not comment publicly on the Cabinet moves, but people familiar with the situation said that Donovan and Castro slowly began telling people the news in recent days, with Donovan indicating that he expected to remain his position at HUD for up to a few more months. Vetting for Castro is already well underway, according to people who've spoken with him. Castro's office did not return a request for comment. Donovan, who came to the Cabinet after serving as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's housing commissioner, was one of the few original Obama Cabinet members still in place, leaving just Eric Holder at Justice, Tom Vilsack at Agriculture, Arne Duncan at Education and Eric Shinseki - who's been facing pressure to resign himself over the questions over medical administration on his watch - at Veterans Affairs. Donovan will shift to a position that will give him a much wider but less visible role within the administration, and will take him away from the additional responsibilities he's had coordinating the administration's continued clean-up effort from Hurricane Sandy. The OMB director, for example, is much less likely to be a presence at Democratic fundraisers, as he was last Tuesday at an event for the DSCC where Obama praised him for having "done a terrific job" on Sandy. Donovan's move clears the way for Castro to assume what has in the past been a very useful post for aspiring politicians to build up their stature - and their travel, and their connections, and the grateful memories of local officials all over the country - by arriving in town to announce new spending projects or initiatives that bring in federal cash.

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