Andrew Romano profiles San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the Democrats' keynote speaker:
Castro is still a local politician. Eight years ago, the only thing between Obama and a perch in the U.S. Senate was Alan Keyes; the real Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, called off his campaign a month before Obama took the stage in Boston.
Castro, on the other hand, has a much rockier road ahead of him. To become a national leader, he’ll first have to win statewide office, either as a senator or (the likelier option, given his preference for "executive positions") as governor. But Texas hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since Lloyd Bentsen, and the Lone Star State’s last Democratic governor was dispatched by George W. Bush in 1995. Meanwhile, the last Harvard-educated mayor to run for Bush’s old seat, Bill White of Houston, lost to the gun-totin’, coyote-shootin’ Rick Perry by 13 percentage points. And White wasn’t even Latino; no Hispanic has ever won a U.S. Senate seat or the governorship in Texas. To reach the level Obama was already occupying a mere four months after his own keynote address, Castro still has to make a daunting amount of history.
(Photo: Joaquin Castro, Texas House of Representative Democrat and identical twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, stands on stage at the podium during preparations for the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on September 2, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The DNC that will start on September 4 and run through September 7 will nominate US President Barack Obama. By Joe Raedle/Getty Images)