|The Castro brothers' speeches are marquee engagements, the most desirable invitations at any given state party.
Joaquin, a freshman congressman, has addressed the Indiana Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, the New Jersey Democrats' state convention, and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn's annual fish fry. Joaquin is also scheduled this fall to visit the New Mexico and Maryland state parties, and to headline a Democratic dinner in California's upscale Orange County.
Julian has spoken to Jefferson-Jackson dinners in the nation's top two swing states, Ohio and Florida, as well as Arizona, a largely Hispanic-populated state where Democrats are increasingly determined to compete. In September, Julian will also travel to Iowa to appear at Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry. The event is a regular stopover for potential presidential candidates trying to make inroads in Iowa. Before launching his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama also attended the Steak Fry in 2006. Joaquin will be joining Julian in Iowa, but doesn't plan to speak.
Are these hints of future presidential aspirations?
Although Julian has previously denied any intentions of wanting to run for president in 2016, there is still very much the possibility of a VP tap by Hillary Clinton (or whoever the Democratic candidate results to be) in 2016. Back in 1984, then-San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros made Walter Mondale's vice presidential shortlist.
For two junior politicians who were relatively unknown to the rest of the country just this time last year, these types of addresses are part of a really ambitious itinerary, one that sheds light at how large of a potential both brothers have to one day reach higher office. With this kind of wind at their back, even the presidency will be within their reach shortly. Perhaps as soon as 2020 or 2024.
Their personal stories resonate strongly with members of the country's fastest growing demographic -- Latinos. Their family's recent immigrant background, and their own success brought upon hard work and a commitment to receiving a higher education, are stories members of the Latino population know all too well. Because these are the stories and struggles we all share as people. This is what makes us family.
While both have shied away from running for Texas Governor or for the U.S. Senate in 2014, 2018 might be the big year for both brothers. The Hispanic electorate of the state is expected to be about 30 percent greater than it is right now. Battleground Texas, the primary organization seeking to turn Texas blue, will at that point have been almost six years in the works building a voting base to help elect strong liberal Democrats. Texas Democrats that believe in education, and healthcare, that are pro-choice, and that fight for the civil rights of the LGBT and others. While 2014 has been ruled out by Julian, 2018 looks a lot more promising to run. That same year, Joaquin will also be poised to take on and defeat Senator Ted Cruz.
Texas politics will never be the same.
"It's changing. It's going to become a "purple state" then a "blue state" because of the demographics, because of the population from folks coming from outside Texas," Julian Castro said of Texas earlier this year on CBS' Face the Nation.
At the moment, both parties are fixated upon the country's generational and demographic changes; and for Democrats, the Castro brothers are seen as leaders of a future where our party and country seem to be inevitably headed. The Castro brothers are the nation's most prominent Hispanic politicians under 40. As the Hispanic population continues to grow and change Texas, the Castros may just be part of the first wave of leaders to turn Texas blue. And if they succeed, Republicans will never be competative enough to win the White House again.
The sleeping giant that is the Texas Latino vote will be awaken and alter the fate of every future election.
However it ultimately unfolds, the future looks bright for the Castro brothers, looks bright for Texas, and looks especially bright for our country.