The buzz surrounding the opening of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina was all about keynote speaker Julián Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama. While the Republican National Convention was all about shouting down Ricans and telling us to get over our biases, the DNC so far is all about playing to the Latino voter with predictable fare.
Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas is the latest Latino darling of the party. His speech last night was essentially an American dream tale, complete with self-sacrificing abuelita mother, food, and una bendicion. This isn’t to diminish the hard work of these women, Castro himself, or Menudo (which to most Ricans is still just a boy band), but rather just to point out the formala that seems to get whipped out every election cycle to appeal to Latino voters. Family, food, and faith.
Castro’s policy moments came in pushing education, including Pre-K and student loans as investments in the future, and had a strong pro-business bent and attacked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as being out of touch with the real “America”. Castro appealed to middle class values ignoring words like poverty and racism, factors in accessing the opportunity he kept telling us we have.
Late in his speech, Mayor Castro pulled out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process as yet another sign that President Obama cares about people like him, people like us, Latinos and reading from the party line, called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act. This drew a standing ovation from the crowd inside.