STEAK SIZZLE: Questions for V.I.P. Dinner Guest
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, a Democrat, gets a taste of Iowa steaks and also learns the stakes of what it is like to visit an uber-battleground state like Iowa. Castro is one of the headliners for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s annual Steak Fry fundraiser Sunday in Indianola. Castro attended several fundraisers during his weekend visit to the state, including events for First District Congressman Bruce Braley’s senate campaign and Harkin’s political action committee. But, of course, much of the attention of his visit will focus on questions about his future political ambitions. On Channel 13’s “The Insiders”, Castro said, “I’m not running for president, so I’m not. Probably never will.”
That statement won’t end talk about the future of Castro, who excited Democratic activists across the country with his speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Watch that speech here. Castro acknowledged that timing can be everything to a politician with future aspirations.
Barack Obama headlined the Harkin Steak Fry in 2006. At the time, Obama was a little-known first-term U.S. senator from Illinois. Obama two years earlier, as a state senator running for the U.S. senate, thrilled party activists with his speech at the 2004 convention. Watch his speech here. Iowa Democrats are now wrestling early with whether it makes sense for the party to get behind previous presidential candidates or go with a new face like Castro. “You always need a balance,” Castro said,
Hillary Clinton, the former first lady-turned New York U.S. Senator-turned presidential candidate-turned U.S. Secretary of State, hasn’t publicly ruled out a 2016 bid. Neither has Vice President Joe Biden, who has run for president twice before. But Biden’s decision to also headline Harkin’s Steak Fry with the up-and-comer Castro will keep him in the center of the 2016 conversation.
Some have raised the question if it is appropriate for Biden to come to Iowa for a political event as the White House works to secure agreement with Syria on what to do with that country’s chemical weapons. Castro said of Biden’s Iowa visit, “I think it’s appropriate for him to be here.” He added, “This is a Sunday. It’s not like he’s taking off in the middle of the week when that’s happening.”
Castro has closely followed both the words and the reaction to Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King’s comments about the children of illegal immigrants.
Castro has a twin brother, Joaquin, who is first-term Democratic congressman in Texas. The two turn 39 on Monday. What is it like to have an identical twin? Most good things, few bad things, according to the mayor.
Is Republican Rick Perry a good or bad governor? What does Castro want to accomplish before his milestone 40th birthday next year? Why does San Antonio fail to beat Des Moines in a recently released survey? Castro answers them all in the “Quick 6.”