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Do You Have 'Absolute Confidence' In Young Julian Castro?

- June 28, 2016

Clinton Says She Wants A Qualified VP Pick, So Why Pick An Inexperienced Local Elected Official Who Has Always Been More Concerned With Boosting His Profile Over Actual Results?

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Hillary Clinton has been on the record in saying she the "most important" qualification for her running mate would be "absolute confidence" the individual is ready to serve on day one, something Julian Castro lacks.
  • Castro's sole term as mayor of San Antonio, his highest elected office, was hamstrung by the city's "weak mayor" system, whereby most of the responsibility for running the city was under the purview of the city manager.
  • Instead of working to better San Antonio, Castro was often out boosting his national brand while traveling outside the city and giving paid speeches to undisclosed outside groups.
  • As a city councilmember in San Antonio Castro routinely missed meetings and votes.
  • But then again this is not a new phenomenon for Castro, who has always had his eyes on a higher office.

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Julian Castro Is On The Shortlist For Clinton's Vice Presidential Nod. "Hillary Clinton is narrowing her choices for a running mate, intently focusing on a handful of potential candidates as her team closes in on the final weeks of vetting before she makes a decision in less than a month, several Democrats watching the process tell CNN. … Clinton has not yet conducted formal interviews, but has devoted hours studying the records and backgrounds of several Democrats on a list that includes Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas." (Jeff Zeleny And Dan Merica, "Clinton Closing In On Running Mate Search," CNN, 6/21/16)

HILLARY CLINTON HAS SAID SHE WANTS TO PICK A VP READY TO SERVE ON DAY ONE

In May 2016 Clinton Said The "Most Important Thing" For Any VP Nominee Is Having "Someone Who You Have Absolute Confidence In Can Be President." NBC'S CHUCK TODD: "And I know you're not going to reveal how you're vetting for a running mate. But you saw this process up close with Al Gore. What did you learn from that process, of your husband picking Al Gore, and the governing structure that he was involved in, that you're going to use going forward?" CLINTON: "Well, the most important thing is to pick someone who you have absolute confidence in can be president. That's more important than any characteristic." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 5/22/16)

Click To Watch

People Close To Clinton's Campaign Say One Of Her "Chief Requirements" Is "A Candidate's Resume." "Hillary Clinton is considering a running mate who could make a direct appeal to supporters of Bernie Sanders, bridging a generational and political divide, according to four people close to the campaign. Clinton's chief requirements include a candidate's resume and a fighter capable of hand-to-hand combat with Trump." (Heidi M. Przybyla, "Clinton Team Looking For A VP Who Will Be Fighter, Excite Sanders Supporters," USA Today , 5/16/16)

"Clinton Has Privately Signaled" She Wants A VP "Who Is Fully Prepared For The Job." "Hillary Clinton is narrowing her choices for a running mate, intently focusing on a handful of potential candidates as her team closes in on the final weeks of vetting before she makes a decision in less than a month, several Democrats watching the process tell CNN. With her long Democratic primary fight now over, Clinton has privately signaled she is less concerned about choosing someone who fills a specific liberal or progressive void, rather than selecting a partner who is fully prepared for the job and has a strong camaraderie with her." (Jeff Zeleny And Dan Merica, "Clinton Closing In On Running Mate Search," CNN, 6/21/16)

CASTRO'S HIGHEST ELECTED OFFICE, SAN ANTONIO MAYOR, WAS A WEAK POSITION, WITH MOST POWER VESTED IN THE OFFICE OF CITY MANAGER

Castro Was The Mayor Of San Antonio From 2009 To 2014. "Castro, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is a native of San Antonio and served as the city's mayor from 2009 to 2014." (Dan Merica, "Julian Castro To Endorse Hillary Clinton Next Week," CNN, 10/9/15)

Texas Tribune : San Antonio "Has A Council-Manager System Of Government In Which An Appointed City Manager, Not The Elected Mayor, Holds Most Of The Power." "Among the biggest knocks on Castro's time as mayor is not one particular initiative, but the inherent limitations of the job in San Antonio. The city has a council-manager system of government in which an appointed city manager, not the elected mayor, holds most of the power." (Patrick Svitek And Abby Livingston, "Is Julián Castro Experienced Enough To Be VP?," Texas Tribune, 6/24/16)

Vox : San Antonio's Mayor Is "A Relatively Weak Office In A City With A Council-Manager System." "They also both made the relatively unusual decision to follow up their elite legal education by moving back to San Antonio rather than a bigger commercial center. … In 2009, Julián won election as mayor - a relatively weak office in a city with a council-manager system - and in 2012 Joaquin won a seat in Congress." (Matthew Yglesias, "Julián Castro Is Reportedly On The VP Shortlist, Along With Elizabeth Warren And Tim Kaine," Vox, 6/21/16)

The Atlantic : "San Antonio's City Government Is A Council-Manager System," Whereby "San Antonio's Government Is Led By A City Manager." "But using Castro's accomplishments as mayor as a lens to measure his potential as a cabinet member is tricky. San Antonio's city government is a council-manager system. Unlike the strong-mayor governments of Chicago or New York, San Antonio's government is led by a city manager, which is appointed by the City Council. The city charter invests in the city manager the authority to 'execute the laws and administer the government of the city.'" (Kriston Capps, "Why Julián Castro's Record As Mayor Of San Antonio Doesn't Necessarily Tell Us Much About His Future At HUD," The Atlantic , 5/19/14)

SO WHAT DID CASTRO ACCOMPLISH IN SAN ANTONIO? HE MISSED MEETINGS AND GAVE PAID SPEECHES

Castro Was Out Of San Antonio For Over 200 Days During His Last Two Years In Office, Giving Paid Speeches In Places Like Iowa

"Castro Spent More Than 200 Days Traveling" Away From San Antonio In 2012 And 2013. "Yes, Hizzoner travels a ton. People complain, just not on the record. It's more like a whisper, an elephant in our city. It's understandable. In 2012 and 2013, Castro spent more than 200 days traveling, records show." (Josh Brodesky, Opinion, "Want The Mayor To Stay Home More? Pay Him And The Council A Decent Wage," San Antonio Express-News , 4/11/14)

One Trip Was To Iowa For Sen. Harkin's Steak Fry, "Where He Was Questioned About Presidential And Vice Presidential Ambitions." "[Castro's] trip to Iowa last summer for Sen. Tom Harkin's Annual Steak Fry, where he was questioned about presidential and vice presidential ambitions, is a good example of where not to go." (Josh Brodesky, Opinion, "Want The Mayor To Stay Home More? Pay Him And The Council A Decent Wage," San Antonio Express-News , 4/11/14)

In February 2013 Castro Began Taking Paid Speaking Engagements While Still Serving As Mayor Of San Antonio. "Last year, I learned [Castro had] leapt into the lecture circuit. … Castro's first gig, in February 2013 at the University of North Texas in Denton, earned him $1,000." (Brian Chasnoff, "Castro Commands Ample Fees To Write, Talk," San Antonio Express-News , 5/9/14)

Castro Earned Anywhere Between $1,000 And $16,250 Per Speech, With Several Speeches Netting More Than $10,000. "Castro's first gig, in February 2013 at the University of North Texas in Denton, earned him $1,000. … In April 2013, he scored $12,750 speaking at the Washington Plaza Hotel. Castro did not list who he spoke to at this engagement. He reeled in the same amount in May 2013 at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and in September 2013 at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. As noted, October and November 2013 were busy months for the mayor. He earned $16,250 at a gig at the University of Florida in Gainesville; $4,250 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California; $12,750 at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland; $8,500 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago; and another $8,500 at The Depot in Minneapolis." (Brian Chasnoff, "Castro Commands Ample Fees To Write, Talk," San Antonio Express-News , 5/9/14)

Castro Has Declined To Say How Much He Charged For Speeches Beyond The Disclosures Required By Law And Only Disclosed Where He Gave The Speech, Not Who Paid For The Event. "But when I asked [Castro] how much he was charging in speaking fees, he declined to comment. Discussing this income stream, apparently, made the mayor uncomfortable. … In April 2013, he scored $12,750 speaking at the Washington Plaza Hotel. Castro did not list who he spoke to at this engagement. He reeled in the same amount in May 2013 at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, and in September 2013 at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. As noted, October and November 2013 were busy months for the mayor. He earned $16,250 at a gig at the University of Florida in Gainesville; $4,250 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California; $12,750 at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland; $8,500 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago; and another $8,500 at The Depot in Minneapolis." (Brian Chasnoff, "Castro Commands Ample Fees To Write, Talk," San Antonio Express-News , 5/9/14)

NOTE: Castro Earned More Than $200,000 As An Author And Public Speaker. "Mayor Julián Castro earned more than $200,000 last year as an author and public speaker." (Brian Chasnoff, "Castro Commands Ample Fees To Write, Talk," San Antonio Express-News , 5/9/14)

Castro Missed A Number Of City Council Meetings And Votes As A City Council Member

Castro Missed "Nearly 900 Votes" During His Four Years As A City Council Member. "Hardberger, who strafed Carroll Schubert with a steady dose of hard-hitting TV to get into the runoff, has followed suit with a spot questioning nearly 900 votes missed by Castro over the past four years on City Council." (Jaime Castillo, "Will Castro's Retaliatory Ads Succeed Or Work In Hardberger's Favor?," San Antonio Express-News, 5/21/05)

San Antonio Express-News : Castro "Has Been Criticized For Missing Numerous City Council Meetings." "A telephone survey aimed at discrediting mayoral candidates Phil Hardberger and Julian Castro stirred up the first serious accusations among the three major contenders in the race for the city's top post. … The pollster stated, for example, that Castro is a 'West Side' councilman and that he has been criticized for missing numerous City Council meetings and trying to pass 'non-effective legislation.'" (Rebeca Rodriguez, "Survey Dials Up A Mayoral Uproar," San Antonio Express-News, 2/25/05)

BUT THEN AGAIN, CASTRO HAS ALWAYS HAD HIS EYES ON HIGHER AND HIGHER OFFICE

While Running For San Antonio Mayor In 2009 Castro Said He Would Not Use The Position As A Stepping Stone For Higher Office. "To his supporters, Julián Castro is seasoned, focused and ready to lead San Antonio. … Castro said there is no master plan to climb from the city's top elected post into either the governor's office or the U.S. Senate, that for years his prime objective has been the mayor's office." (Greg Jefferson, "What Makes Castro Run? It Depends Who Is Asked," San Antonio Express-News, 3/22/09)

In 2012 Castro Said He Would Serve As San Antonio's Mayor Until 2017, When He Would Be Term-Limited. "Castro's mainstay response is that he'll be mayor of San Antonio until 2017, when he's term-limited out of office, if voters will have him." (Josh Baugh And Gary Martin, "Democrats View Castro As Rising Star," San Antonio Express-News, 8/26/12)

In 2014 Castro Left His Job As Mayor To Become The Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development. "The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, putting the rising political star in the middle of the thorny debate over housing policy and providing him with a platform to boost his national profile." (Jon Prior, "Castro Confirmed To Lead HUD," Politico, 7/9/14)

In October 2014 Castro Said He Didn't See Himself Becoming Vice President. "When Housing and Urban Development Secretary and rising Democratic star Julián Castro looks in the mirror, he says he doesn't see a president or vice president peering back. … 'I don't believe that I am going to be vice president,' Castro said." (Jim Avila And Mikayla Bouchard, "HUD Secretary Julián Castro Doesn't See President In The Mirror," ABC News, 10/12/14)

In 2015 Politico Reported That Castro Allies Were Pushing Him As A Vice Presidential Pick To Clinton. "The Democratic National Convention isn't for 13 months, and Hillary Clinton isn't the party's nominee, but some Hispanic Democratic leaders are already pushing hard for Julián Castro to be her running mate - or at least a top contender for the job. … But the public nature of the pro-Castro campaign has nonetheless rubbed some Clinton allies and staffers the wrong way: One Democratic campaign veteran who is in frequent contact with Clinton's top donors said such a high-profile effort all but ensures that Castro will have a harder time getting through the eventual vetting process." (Gabriel Debenedetti And Annie Karni, "The Campaign To Put Julian Castro On Hillary's VP Shortlist," Politico, 6/4/15)

Now Castro Is On The Shortlist For Clinton's Vice Presidential Nod. "Hillary Clinton is narrowing her choices for a running mate, intently focusing on a handful of potential candidates as her team closes in on the final weeks of vetting before she makes a decision in less than a month, several Democrats watching the process tell CNN. … Clinton has not yet conducted formal interviews, but has devoted hours studying the records and backgrounds of several Democrats on a list that includes Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas." (Jeff Zeleny And Dan Merica, "Clinton Closing In On Running Mate Search," CNN, 6/21/16)


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