SA in the spotlight

As the Presidential election moves into its final two months the pressure is on both candidates to cross the finish line ahead. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have tried to convince Americans that they can lead the country for the next four years.

Central to their election strategies will be their message, and each party put their message on display for a prime time audience during their respective conventions. When the Republicans met in Tampa, Fla. during the last week in Aug. they made it clear that they believe President Obama has underperformed during his tenure in the White House, although other than their passionate dismissal of the president their message remained somewhat unclear. On the other hand, when the Democratic Party met in Charlotte, N.C. the following week, they passionately defended the president’s record-from the auto industry bailout to health care reform-while also making it very clear that they support both a woman’s right to choose and the rights of homosexuals to marry.

Now, if the polls and pundits are to be believed, the Democrats held the better convention of the two. Granted, the Republicans had to deal with a hurricane and a more fractured party at their convention, so politics cannot be blamed for all of their problems. However, one cannot overlook the powerful speakers that had the crowd in Charlotte in an uproar. Aside from President Obama, who made his case to be president for four more years, the Democrats received fantastic performances from Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and San Antonio’s own mayor, Julian Castro, who delivered the Democrats keynote address. As a Democrat and member of Castro’s staff I sat on the convention floor while he made clear his view that “we have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow.”

Now regardless of which party someone supports or whom they think would make a better president they can hardly deny that, when the mayor of their city takes the national stage, good things are to come. Whether it’s funding for a new transportation project or better contracts for one of our city’s many military instillations being in the national spotlight-however briefly-can surely benefit San Antonio.

And while delivering his speech Mayor Castro made sure to emphasize that the road to prosperity “starts with education.” As students we should welcome any politician who makes us his top priority. Castro has not committed to a run for higher office (and who can blame a Democrat in Texas for doing so?) but as students and San Antonians we should be proud of our mayor for his contributions to education and to this city.