In a July 13 piece, syndicated columnist (and unabashed Sarah Palin defender) Ruben Navarrette Jr. went looking for the Latinobama, a rising-star politician who will be able to exploit the growing ballot-box power of Latinos (projected to constitute one-third of the U.S. population by 2050) while comfortably connecting with non-Latinos. As Navarrette puts it, the "winning formula" would require a candidate "who appreciates one's ethnic background without feeling limited by it."
Navarrette has concluded that the Latino with the best shot at a future presidency is named Castro and hails from San Antonio. He can't decide whether Mayor Julian or State Rep. Joaquin is most likely to make it to the Oval Office, so he doubled his prognosticating chances and lumped them into one entity (bet that's never happened to them before, huh?).
This is wild speculation to be sure (sort of like guessing which middle-school kid has the best shot at someday winning a Super Bowl MVP award), but since we've already got $5 down on Miley Cyrus for 2036, we're willing to wipe the dust off our crystal ball and play the game.
Here's how we see it: The Castro brothers clearly possess an Obama-like ability to appear, if not exactly post-ethnic, at least able to view politics from beyond that limited prism. As twins, they can be in two places at once, clearly an advantage when it allows you to debate an opponent and simultaneously kiss babies at a campaign fundraiser.
On the other hand, before we decide to strike up a conjunto version of "Hail to the Chief(s)," we might want to let one (or both) of the brothers win a statewide (never mind nationwide) election.
Finally, we can't ignore the sad fact that presidential campaigns are unforgiving to the vertically challenged among us. Three or four more inches of height might have made all the difference for Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Ross Perot's zesty brand of Texas Crazy might have seemed charming if he'd been 6-1 instead of 5-7. This country has not elected a president under 5-9 in more than 100 years and that fact not only increases the odds against the Castros, it nearly guarantees that Prince will never reside in the White House.
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