NYT Praises 'Monk-Like Modesty' of Democratic Castro Brothers

April 16th, 2014 4:29 PM

Two Democratic politicians in Texas apparently warranted a front page, 1200 word story in Wednesday's New York Times. Writer Jason Horowitz profiled San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro. 

According to Horowitz, "The two brothers share not only looks, ambition and personal mannerisms — they both lower their heads, with almost monklike modesty, when greeting people — but also a childhood steeped in Latino activism, bunk beds and English." Horowitz also repeatedly hinted that one of the brothers could end up on a presidential ticket in 2016. 

The journalist glowingly recounted: 

Last week, Mayor Castro walked into the theater of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library to take a front-row seat to hear Mr. Obama’s address celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Afterward he found his mother in the lobby.

“Did you happen to notice that the first pictures when you come into the theater is the two of them?” Ms. Castro said, referring to her twins. Asked what she meant, she smiled. “Some people realize their destiny.”

Horowitz explained the Castro brothers's plan to turn Texas purple. He uncritically recounted, "Their hope is that the 2014 Democratic nominee for governor, Wendy Davis, wins a remarkable upset, or at least has a strong enough showing in November to force a Republican presidential candidate to compete in a state that Republicans have long taken for granted." 

Considering that Wendy Davis is currently 14 points behind her Republican gubernatorial opponent, a "remarkable upset" seems unlikely.

The article wasn't totally devoid of critical analysis. Horowitz managed to criticize the two brothers for not speaking fluent Spanish: 

While the Castros have projected a fresh Latino face for their party, some Democrats are concerned that the brothers suffer from both an overabundance of political caution and a lack of Spanish skills. Mr. Castro, for example, passed on a potential cabinet position in the Obama administration that might have made him a more appealing running mate. Neither brother, both of whom graduated from Stanford and then Harvard Law, speaks fluent Spanish. And neither is learning it.

“I wouldn’t say I’d need to,” the mayor said. “I would say I’d like to.”

“I understand it fairly well, unless somebody is speed-talking,” the congressman said. “I would love to speak Spanish fluently.”

Horowitz has a history of writing puff pieces on rising Democrats. When the journalist was at the Washington Post in 2013, he hailed Democrat Cory Booker as a "perfect senator" who is "made for D.C." 

On January 31, 2013, Horowitz lauded the deeply liberal Chuck Schumer for "embracing Obama's old bipartisan religion."