Obama Nominates Julian Castro for Housing Secretary in Cabinet Shuffle
In his latest round of musical chairs in his cabinet, President Obama today tapped U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to run the White House budget office and named rising Democratic star San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be his next housing secretary.
"I'm absolutely confident that these two individuals are going to do a great job because they've done a great job in everything that they've done in the past," the president said at a White House ceremony. "And most importantly, they've got huge heart. They're involved in public service for the right reasons. And for that reason, I hope that the Senate confirms them both without games or without delay."
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Castro's appointment would blast him up the political ladder, elevating him onto the national stage. The up-and-comer has already been rumored as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run for president in 2016.
If confirmed, Castro, a Mexican American, would also add another prominent Hispanic to Obama's cabinet.
The 39-year-old "all-star," as Obama called him today, burst into the spotlight when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, much like Obama captivated the nation when he addressed the 2004 convention.
"They saw this young guy, pretty good speaker, not bad looking … talk about how America is the only place where his story could even be possible," Obama joked of Castro's keynote. "And I watched, and I thought: That's not bad."
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Accepting the nomination, Castro said that "just because you are of modest means does not mean that your aspirations or your opportunity ought to be limited, and it certainly means that you can have the talent to succeed and achieve the American dream."
In Washington, Castro would join his twin brother Joaquin, who is a congressman representing Texas' 20th District.
The latest cabinet shake-up was touched off by the departure of embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell has been nominated to take her place, leaving her position open for Donovan to move over from HUD and his position then available for Castro.