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Why isn't Julián Castro getting the same media attention as the other candidates?

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- Why aren't I as sick and tired of Julián Castro as I was of Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke in March and as I am now of media-flavor-of-the-month, Pete Buttigieg?

I want to have Castro fatigue. I want to snark online about the glamour-shot treatment he got on the cover of whatever influential magazine the East Coast reveres most at the moment. I want his appearances on late-night TV shows to be the stuff of breathless news reports for days.

I want to be able to pass no newsstand, click on no news website and walk by no TV without seeing Castro giving a speech or rolling up his shirtsleeves.

This isn't because I have any sort of interest in Castro -- he's fine. I have no beef with him.

To be honest, most people here in the heartland are not already invested in the 2020 presidential campaign. The stampede of candidates is overwhelming and baffling even to those who are already following the horse-race coverage of who's up or down in the polls.

The reason why I want Castro to start taking up space in the public's mind is because it's annoying how the media anoints "hot" candidates -- even if the ardor only lasts a fleeting moment -- and they seem to never be female or people of color.

 

On paper, Castro checks so many boxes. He's young, he's Latino, he has as much experience as Beto and Mayor Pete, he can appeal to the right with his strong religious beliefs.

But even Castro's time as a former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development can be read as problematic.

"Consider ... his relationship with Hillary Clinton, his time in politics, and I think compared to the two others mentioned, Julián Castro is considered to be a part of the establishment that needs to change," journalist Shahrazad Maria Encinias told me, via Facebook, echoing the sentiments of other journalists I reached out to in order to discuss Castro's campaign.

And, for that matter, many think that, despite Castro's resume, there's not a lot of "there" there.

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