Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is expected to announce tomorrow whether he will seek the 2020 Democrat Presidential nomination, but Texas political analysts say a Castro candidacy would be a long-shot at best, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Julian Castro shouldn't be counted out completely, but that said, his star is definitely not rising any more," said Mark Jones, a political analyst at Rice University who has followed Castro's career. "The sun may be setting on the political ambitions on Julian Castro."
Ironically for a man who is only 44 and has spent the better part of his political life being referred to as a 'rising star,' many Texas political analysts say Castro's window for a White House bid has closed.
"He was a much hotter commodity, say, four to six years ago than he is today," Jones said. "He has been effectively overshadowed by his fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke,' who is at the top of nearly every poll on who Democrats want to be their presidential nominee in 2020."
Jones says being the only Hispanic candidate in the race (a West Virginia state senator and Afghan War veteran named Richard Ojeda is also considering a presidential run) could help Castro, but probably only to help make him a strong Vice Presidential nominee.
Several analysts fault Castro for declining to run against Ted Cruz in last year's election, considering that to be 'old fashioned' thinking, that he would be likely to lose to Cruz and would then go into the 2020 election cycle branded as a 'loser.' But one analyst said that is 'pre social media, pre political polarization' thinking, and O'Rourke taught Democrats how they can 'win by losing,' by appealing to the base through social media, through his charming personality, and building a robust nationwide fundraising network while will be a major asset if he does choose to run for President next year.
Castro is entering 2020 with none of those assets.
Castro was the youngest City Council member in San Antonio history when he won a seat in 2001, and in 2009 he was elected Mayor. His well received keynote address to the 2012 Democratic National Convention propelled him into the national spotlight, but Jones points out that was seven years ago, an eternity in politics, and his stint in the low profile Housing and Urban Development cabinet post did not cement his name with the public.
"I think the best he could hope for is a Vice Presidential nomination, or a cabinet post, which may be what he is shooting for," Jones said.