After great fanfare and huge hype, San Antonio Mayor Julían Castro delivered last night’s keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. On many counts, however, it fell short of the hype.
Mayor Castro was done a major disservice by those who rushed to tout him as “The Next Obama”, because it forced comparisons to Barack Obama’s legendary 2004 convention speech…but never mind that impossible standard (his weird Obamesque thannnkyooouuu and O-BA-ma affectations didn’t help, either). In matters of style and substance, Castro’s speech paled in comparison to speeches given by Latinos at last week’s GOP convention, such as those of Senator Marco Rubio (FL) and Governor Susana Martínez (NM). In hindsight, I get the MSM’s RNC “brownout”. It is all they can do to hype Castro with a straight face.
Once the hype is stripped, you are left with a boilerplate partisan speech very much in line with the general tone of the Democratic National convention, which is, in sum: you belong to government, you didn’t build that, and you are only regarded as a member of a distinct group with its own entitlements and grievances…whether on abortion, socialized medicine, immigration, or same-sex marriage.
Most telling of all was Castro’s “Rubio parallel” moment. Recall what Marco Rubio said about his father while introducing Mitt Romney:
“He stood behind a bar in the back of the room all those years, so one day I could stand behind a podium in the front of a room.”
In other words, Dad did the backbreaking work so that Marco could pursue his American Dream. Contrast that with Castro’s remarks about his mother Rosie:
“My mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone.”
It’s not an exact mimic of the Rubio remark as some have interpreted it. Rather, it reads like a generational leftist torch-passing embedded within the elements of the speech. “Mom community organized so I could further pursue a career in identity politics”. And don’t tell me that I am not entitled to posit these interpretations, those of you who see racism under every rock and around every corner.
Last night’s keynote speech was not inspirational uplift, but rather, a call to grievance and entitlement in keeping with the convention’s shrill tone.
America expected Julián. Instead, sadly, she got Julia With An N.