Obama to Nominate New HUD Secretary, Donovan to OMB

A reshuffling of Democratic cabinet personnel will see a new Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appointed by President Obama, The New York Times reported this weekend.

Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio is said to be tapped for the role of HUD Secretary, replacing current Secretary Shaun Donovan, who is to become the director of the Office of Management and Budget, unnamed Democrats close to the plans told NY Times,

Castro, 39—whose mother had once worked at the San Antonio Housing Authority—found the HUD post appealing because it would allow him to work on issues he has focused on as mayor, according to associates familiar with his thinking.

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Interest in a position at HUD may also be attributed to a February lunch shared between Castro, former President Bill Clinton and Henry Cisneros, also a former mayor of San Antonio who went on to serve as HUD Secretary in Clinton’s cabinet—and also a proponent of reverse mortgages.

Castro has garnered national attention following his role as the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and is also one of the prominent Hispanic Democrats positioned to be considered for vice president in 2016.

The reshuffling of personnel can be traced back to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, who announced last month she would be resigning from her post following the “disastrous” rollout of the Affordable Care Act online exchanges.

Succeeding Sebelius at HHS is Slyvia Mathews Burwell, former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—a role that will be filled with the appointment of current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Read more at The New York Times.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • With Burwell going to the slaughter at HHS, finally about five years too late an embattled, disrespected, and greatly underrated President is putting someone who understands housing issues at OMB. Why not have done that when housing needed a shot in the arm in early 2009?

    The answer is strictly one thing. Congressional Democrats desperately need Hispanic votes. So looking at the Clintons best choice for VP in two years, Obama (who is no dummy) grabbed Castro and put him into a second tier cabinet post where he will not have to worry about him. After all Donovan has been known as that nice guy lackey who can’t hurt us over there in housing; who knows Donovan may even rescue the Emanuel (oops, Obama) Administration from its own housing policy implosions.

    Everyone seems to get mileage out of this move, except Burwell who seems to be the sacrificial lamb, the scapegoat, or maybe both, a real win-win for Obama. Castro is now in a place where he can have some limelight and not be marginalized as the mayor of the second largest city of Texas but far less relevant than being the mayor of Houston, Dallas, or even Austin; some say the mayor of San Antonio is even less relevant than being the mayor of Fort Worth or Arlington, TX where former GW Bush once held court and now Jerry Jones does.

    So everyone seems to win except Burwell.

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