From The Times:
Julián Castro, the former housing secretary who was the only Latino candidate in the Democratic primary, said Thursday he would end his bid for the presidency, capping a yearlong campaign where despite struggling in the polls, he remained an enduring contender and policy pacesetter on immigration and fighting poverty.
Does this mean identical twin brother Joaquin can shave his beard? On a more serious note, I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear from the Castro brothers.
Well, that sucks. I know he didn’t have a real shot, but it seems pretty rich (ha) that billionaire white guys can hop into the race while all of the POC get pushed off the stage. :(
Not loving this development. But if one of the older candidates prevails I have a hunch they’ll pick either Castro or Beto as running mate.
He’s been generating policy papers that have gone unnoticed. I hope another candidate picks some of them up.
Also, too: DNC GET BETTER RULES FOR DEBATES!
Or, better yet, do some vetting. Candidates must have experience in national office, must have been a card-carrying Democrat for some number of years.
Can’t say this is a surprise. I hold on to the thought that Castro is young yet and he’ll create for himself other chances to do good things.
As for the billionaire white guys, Ugh. What will it take to push them off the stage?
@Cheryl Rofer: He never caught fire, so never really had a chance this cycle. And he made some enemies in the way he went after Biden in an early debate. But he’s young and should have a bright future ahead of him in the party.
I sent him $100 on 12/31. :-/ But I knew this announcement was likely, so I’m not surprised.
It’s a shame. Is Booker far behind?
Agree about the second (bye-bye-Bernie), but not about the first. A governor, for instance, can’t run for president?
This is obviously as subjective as hell, but I think Castro lacks the kind of magnetic personality that attracts a following. He often seemed innocuous except for occasional attacks on the other candidates. Harris has more charisma in her little finger, and losing her represents a much greater opportunity lost. The remaining candidates all have much greater abilities to bind themselves to an enthusiastic band of followers, and of course, as is natural, greater tendency to repel some other folks. I don’t think I ever talked to anyone who hated Castro, but he was kind of an afterthought to most.
@Another Scott: I was about to complain about just having sent money myself, but it was only $5 or $10, so I’ll shut up about it
Damn, he really deserved better.
20 candidates meant no one who didn’t already have a national following would be able to sustain their candidacy – except, of course, for the billionaires who were able to buy their way onstage.
Why the DNC decided to let non-Democrats and rich bastards be part of the candidate roster is beyond me – quite a lot of the current ghastliness might have been averted if the DNC had said HELL NO to Bernie back in 2015.
@JanieM: I guess it depends on one’s definition of national office. I’d include governors.
I’ve sent him some money too, recently to help him stay in the race, but oh well.
I agree that the DNC needs to change the rules so that POC aren’t hampered in favor of billionaires. It is tremendously unfair. I also agree that this isn’t the last we’ve heard from him, I liked him.
@Cheryl Rofer: I think you mean “public” office.
The DNC will be forever accused of “rigging” things, so fuck it, they should use some of this (imagined) power for good purposes. They should set aside 2-4 spots for every debate over 6 people, for candidates who are women and PoC (determined by some sort of diversity panel) and set a hard limit of say 2 white men. People like Steyer, Bloomberg have to make it into the top 2 (among white men) in polling to qualify. A field of Biden, Bernie, Warren, Klobuchar, Harris, Booker and Castro would have given us everything we needed as far as a broad range of perspectives and policy approaches. Otherwise we will always have rich, white dudes forcing their way in with their privilege. If we want real representation, white people need to start stepping off the podium.
@CaseyL: (former as of yesterday) Mayor Pete wasn’t nationally known. Edit, and still isn’t rich.
@Baud: probably not. Either Castro or Booker might make good VP picks though. Don’t think Harris or Warren would give up their Senate positions for VP, but Booker might. I was rooting for Pete as VP to Harris or Warren , but now I’m betting on a Biden-Castro ticket. Which would be fine.
Booker is still in the race? I live in NJ, and I didn’t notice he was still in it.
The unfortunate problem for us is we lack the media infrastructure to propel a less than stellar candidate into the White House, plus we have a fuckton of disaffected voters, who aren’t going to vote, if they aren’t “inspired”.
Castro is good at a lot of things, but the reality is we need an Obama or Bill Clinton level of charisma to make up for our disadvantages, and Castro just doesn’t have it.
Biden doesn’t either, but he may get enough residual benefits from being Obama’s VP that he can overcome is shortcomings.
Probably going to throw some money at Klobuchar, though I doubt the few tens of dollars I give will make much of a difference. We need other candidates, under 70 years old, other than Pete Buttigieg.
@Librarian: No. Mayor Pete has held public office in a city a little larger than Santa Fe. Much as I love some of our local politicians, none of them are ready to be President.
Contrast this with the 2016 RNC reaction to their Finance Chair, Steve Wynn, stepping down due to credible rape allegations, their Vice Chair, Elliot Broidy, having paid $1.6 million in hush money to a mistress he got pregnant, and for whose abortion he paid for, and the other Vice Finance Chair, Michael Cohen, who is currently in change for lying to the FBI and campaign finance violation.
I don’t know what we can do to get people to notice the amazing amounts of corruption in the Republican Party, or because its so common and out in the open, people just shrug it off and this becomes the new normal.
@gene108: Klobuchar is practically anti-charisma in my opinion so not sure how she squared with the Obama / Bill Clinton levels of charisma you say is required.
I would like to see a woman elected in my lifetime, but she doesn’t engage me at all. Still, I would vote for her over Bernie or the grifter contingent. But I’m not sure she’d win, and I don’t want to find out she wouldn’t.
@UncleEbeneezer: I’m nervous about rules like that. And rules about having served in elected office. (Eisenhower wouldn’t have qualified under those rules.)
As long as a bazillion people decide that they want to run, there has to be a way to choose between them. I’d be much happy with having debates over several days/weeks with, say, 4 people on stage at a time, than saying there can only be 2 blue eyed people, and 2 brown eyed people, and 4 XY people, etc., etc.
And I’d end the exclusivity provisions, unless someone can explain to me why they’re needed. Why can’t the League of Women Voters of a particular state have a debate among a few of the candidates that they invite? Why do the debates have to be restricted to a DNC-controlled events? Why not have several sensible organizations (not networks) set up their own debates under their own rules? Yeah, the LaRouches and Hagelins and other cranks and grifters wouldn’t get invited. Boo hoo.
I am sad to see him leave the race.
I share the general dismay at how things shook out, but a DNC diversity panel enforcing demographic quotas for presidential debates sounds like a short-cut to a permanent Republican lock on the presidency to me.
Democrats are so desperate at this point just to win that they hesitate to commit to a woman or person of color, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hope we can get rid of the current poisoned atmosphere this go round so that next time we are actually able to nominate a person who is qualified regardless of sex, race, etc.
@Another Scott: agreed. I think taking debates away from the DNC/media and letting LWV, maybe the Sierra Club and other advocacy groups run some curated debates would be an improvement. I also don’t like arbitrary rules restricting candidates by race or gender. Harris and Booker were not being backed hugely by black voters, Biden has been. If Harris had lasted until South Carolina, that might have changed. I think it’s possible to be both the big tent party and still have a more practical primary process.
I was unfamiliar with him when it started and ended up impressed. He’s really smart and he’s passionate. I ended up liking him a lot. I hope he runs again.
It’s common knowledge that the superdelegate system does rig things. That’s not a smear, but a statement of fact.
You may or may not approve of that, or choose to argue that it is not rigging at all, but that is the way the system works, and it is hardly a secret.
Sanders begrudgingly puts up with that because it is still his least bad option. It is far better for him to run as a Democrat within the two party system than the alternative of running for president as an independent.
And the DNC puts up with Sanders because it has no choice; he is more powerful than them. He has enough of a following that he can (very probably) prevent a Democrat from winning the White House if he runs as an independent.
So there is an uneasy truce between them. Those here arguing that the DNC shouldn’t let him run as a Democrat need to be very careful about what they wish for.
I agree. It’s disheartening to see a poseur like Wilmer going strong, while candidates like Kamala Harris and Julian Castro drop out; I think she would make an excellent chief executive of government, and Castro has put serious thought into governing.
I guess I tuck my Julian shirt away. But I still hope to be wearing my Adios, Trump button, come next November. He and Harris were my choices and I pushed him in hopes of getting his immigration proposals into the Democratic platform. As I’ve said before, he never garnered the media coverage here. In one week, last spring, I went to a Castro event and a Buttigieg event in the same union hall. Castro had one person covering it from Iowa press. Buttigieg had at least 8 tripods and a comet trail of print journalists trailing him. Since then, I’ve watched the media’s thumb on the scale with even more scepticism.
@Mandalay: Among the reforms that Bernie and his crew forced on the DNC was a change on how superdelegates allocate their votes, so your statement no longer holds true.
Anonymous At Work
@FlipYrWhig: Good utility VP for Top 4 for different reasons. He and his brother are shoo-ins for Cabinet spots (again) if not. Frankly, decent Senate candidate for Texas as well (shocked that neither ran last few cycles)
“The primaries are rigged against me!”
“STFU, you aren’t even in the Democratic primary!”
@Nelle: Part of the media coverage is about how media savvy the candidate is. (Or at least the people who work for the candidate.)
Instead of people trashing Buttigieg for how much coverage he has been able to get, and maintain, I would hope that people would study his media savvy methods for next time around.
edit: To be clear, I am not saying you were trashing Buttigieg. It’s just your comment that set off that train of thought.
He’s a good and decent man, and the voters are yet again denied the opportunity to cast a vote in a primary.
Maybe it’s just me, but I am sick of the “debates” they’ve not benefitted the election cycle in any positive way. They’ve gone on way too long with really execrable panels (whither the League of Women Voters). I’d so hoped to vote for Senator Harris in the CA primary, now no Castro and will Booker be able to fundraise sufficiently to stay in the race. Steyer and Bloomberg each with their “dont touch My Stuff” vanity campaigns can just fuck right the fuck off.
@FlipYrWhig: Any white male who wins the nomination would be a fool not to select a female woman of color as his running mate. There are some spectacular choices.
If this election for Democrats is all about perceived electability, the nominee would have to be a fool not to realize that a woman and a person of color would certainly engender some pretty serous turnout.
@tam1MI: Superdelegates still matter, but the DNC was forced to reduce their influence because it wasn’t just Sanders who thought that the system stank. The changes were massively popular within the party itself, and Sanders played a part in bringing that about.
Regardless, my post was in response to a post falsely implying that the system was never rigged. The system WAS rigged, and openly.
@mrmoshpotato: I see your point. But in the end, in spite of giving Bernie’s folks a lot of what they want, it has become clear that most of his supporters will ALWAYS be BERNIE supporters.
They will never fall in line behind the Democratic nominee. That’s pretty basic to me. Bernice showed us who he was by how he handled his supporters in 2016.
You are not alone. The biggest single problem I saw with the debates was that the hosts clearly played favorites with respect to allocating time for each candidate. And while no specific candidate got more time than all the others in every debate, the top tier candidates were clearly given far more time than those who were not polling as highly.
That stinks, and the Democratic Party needs to do something about it.
@WaterGirl: My quotes were make up and mocking, and my point is “Fuck Bernie.”
So old. I was immediately in Cuba and perplexed. I tought we HAD heard the last of the Castro brothers!
I think Julian Castro’s big mistake was using the moment the spotlight got shown on him in the debates to attack Joe Biden. For many lodash recognition candidates in the race, the debates are the first that the voters see of them. I think who Leon passed Rose big mistake was using the moment the spotlight God shown on him in the debate to attack Joe Biden. For many low – recognition candidates in the race, the debate are the first that the voters see of them. And the first impression that voters got from who Leon Castro was of somebody with his face twisted up in a snarl as he viciously and inaccurately attacked Nice Uncle Joe. Before that debate, whenever I mentioned Castro to my semi-low-information friends/acquaintances, the reaction was, “Who?”. After, it was, “Oh, THAT asshole.” A more high-profile candidate might have been able to make up the ground lost, Julian Castro never got the chance.
Just One More Canuck
State the case that Bernie would have won the nomination had there been no superdelegates
@mrmoshpotato: Yeah, that was my point too, I just made it badly.