The cover story from this week's upcoming New York Times Magazine is available online, and it's a love letter to 35-year-old San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, tabbing him as an official Hispanic to Watch, including talk of the Governor's Mansion in Austin and the White House in D.C.
Castro, they say, is a Harvard Law grad who is a serious, wonky type that can get past ethnic politics to appeal to a broad base.
Well, maybe. But can a guy get elected governor of Texas when his Mom says she hates the Alamo and her son doesn't really disagree?
"I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for," Rosie Castro, a longtime community activist, says about the Alamo. ("They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the 'heroes' of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn't belong to them," she adds for good effect.)
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And her son?
The mayor asked about my session with his mother. "She hates the Alamo," I said.
"Yes, I know," he said with what might have been a slight smile.
"What about you? How do you feel about it?"
"The Alamo?" he said. "It's the largest tourist attraction in Texas. And tourism is one of San Antonio's major economic engines"...
"The curator called it a shrine."
Castro considered that briefly, then nodded. "There are people for whom the Alamo is a sacred place," he said without any discernible emotion.
Gee, there's no way this would ever become an issue in a Texas gubernatorial campaign.