The speakers for the 2012 Democratic National Convention have been announced, and the man given the responsibility of delivering the keynote address in primetime this September is - drumroll, please - Julián Castro.
If your immediate reaction is, "Who?" you're not alone.
Castro is the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and a rising star in Democratic Party politics who has been described as a "Latino Obama." The prestigious speaking assignment he's been given at the 2012 convention is the same one that launched a man named Barack Obama into the political stratosphere in 2004. Castro will be the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote speech at the party's presidential nomination convention.
The choice of Castro for a prime speaking post has been cheered by Democratic activists.
"Great pick. Super smart, effective, innovative leader, young and Latino. What's not to love? The future is now," John Podesta, founder of the liberal Center for American Progress, told The Daily Beast.
So why haven't we heard of Castro before now?
Well, he's relatively young and has not had the kind of exposure that, say, a member of the U.S. Senate such as Obama had in 2004. But that is not to say he is politically inexperienced.
Castro was just 34 when he was first elected mayor of San Antonio. He won re-election in 2011 with 82 percent of the vote, and is only the fifth Hispanic mayor of that city. Prior to serving as mayor, Castro served on San Antonio's city council.
His life story is equally compelling: The Stanford and Harvard Law School graduate was raised by a single mother and rose to success after overcoming many obstacles.
Politically speaking, the choice of Castro as keynote speaker is smart: Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the American population. The most recent decennial census found that more than half of the growth in the nation's population between 2000 and 2010 was because of the increase in the Hispanic population.
The number of people identifying themselves here as being Hispanic grew by 43 percent from 2000 to 2010, rising from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million in 2010. And yet they remain under-represented in the halls of government.
The purpose of the convention will be to nominate Obama for a second term and give supporters a chance to explain to voters why he deserves it more than Republican Mitt Romney. But all eyes will be on the man who, many feel, embodies the future of the Democratic Party.
He is Julián Castro.
[Photo of Julian Castro courtesy of Getty Images News]