This is an excerpt from The Stakes 2020, BuzzFeed News' newsletter about what really matters in the 2020 campaign. You can sign up here.
Julián Castro was, for a time, the other Texan running for president, a former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary who had seemed more at home in the calmer Obama years. But his small, steady campaign has found a kind of footing that Beto O’Rourke’s continues to struggle for, in part by making tight, progressive arguments — about everything from immigration to the treatment of Native Americans to impeachment to animal rights — that play as well with activists and Twitterites as O’Rourke’s Vanity Fair cover played badly.
Castro has qualified for the next debate, another chance to climb out of the hazy mid-tier to broader attention, and we texted Wednesday about immigration, the media, and being a political twin (his brother, Joaquin, is in Congress) — after I began with an idiotic mistake: