Mike Kueber's Blog

May 19, 2014

Castro crawfishing

Filed under: People — Mike Kueber @ 4:55 pm

For the past few days, the local and national media has been reporting that San Antonio’s mayor, Julian Castro, will be taking a new job in Washington.  Although Castro had coveted the job of heading the Department of Education, he has apparently decided to accept the job of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the same job that his controversial predecessor, Henry Cisneros, had during the Clinton administration.

As expected, the media attention has been fawning, with a focus on how this new job will prepare him to run as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.  No one has thought to charge Castro with violating an express promise to his San Antonio constituents that he would serve as the San Antonio mayor for all of the eight years allowed under the city’s term-limit rule.  It seems that the voters have become so cynical about political promises that no one considers it noteworthy for another politician to blatantly crawfish on his broadly disseminated commitment.

Even if one doesn’t expect politicians to keep their promises, one might think there would be some curiosity in the media for understanding what prompted Castro to change his mind.  I suggest that Castro, like Sarah Palin, has tired of the “dream job” and wants to “get while the getting’s good.”  By leaving now, he can claim his legacy of “Pre-K 4 SA” and can distance himself from the impending demise of the foundering street-car project.  And he can avoid the embarrassment of another election that shows how unpopular he has become.

In the business world, this kind of behavior is common-place – i.e., moving on and up before your bad decisions catch up with you.  Because of the fawning media, this move is a no-brainer.

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