Besides officially nominating their presidential candidates, the party conventions are also an opportunity for the parties to highlight the rising stars in the party. Who were the rising stars featured in this year's Democratic and Republican conventions?
During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a young Illinois state senator named Barack Obama wowed the audience with his rhetorical skills. He later became a U.S. senator and his convention speech helped him lay the groundwork for his run for the presidency in 2008. Similarly, in 2008 Marco Rubio impressed his Republican crowd. He later won a race for the U.S. Senate in Florida and was considered a possible running mate for Mitt Romney.
During this year's conventions, there were four politicians, two from each party, who likewise made a positive impression on their party activists. Expect to hear more about these up-and-coming politicians in the near future.
Position: Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
Quote from Convention Speech: "My family's story isn't special. What's special is the America that makes our story possible. Ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation. No matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward."
Interesting Fact: When Castro mentioned his daughter, Carina Victoria, in his speech, the camera zoomed to her. When Carina saw herself on the big screen, the adorable three-year-old started flipping her hair. The audience laughed, but since Castro could not see it, he did not know at the time why the audience was reacting that way. A video of Carina flipping her hair posted to YouTube by Buzzfeed has received over 97,000 hits.
Position: Mayor of Newark, N.J.
Quote from Convention Speech: "When your country is in a costly war and our nation is facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare, it's patriotism."
Interesting Fact: In April, Booker rescued a neighbor from a house fire. The woman was trapped on the second floor. Booker rushed through the flames to save her and suffered second-degree burns as a result. In an interview afterwards, Booker said he got "very religious" and had a "come to Jesus moment."
Position: Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah; candidate for U.S. House
Quote from Convention Speech: "Let me tell you about the America I know. My parents immigrated to the U.S. with ten dollars in their pocket, believing that the America they had heard about really did exist. When times got tough they didn't look to Washington, they looked within."
Interesting Fact: The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Love would be the first ever black female Republican in Congress if she wins her race in November.
Position: Former solicitor general of Texas; candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas
Quote from Convention Speech: "I want to tell you a love story. It's the story of all of us, a love story of freedom. It's the story of our founding fathers, who fought and bled for freedom and then crafted the most miraculous political document ever conceived, our Constitution. The framers understood that our rights come, not from monarchs, but from God, and that those rights are secure only when government power is restrained."
Interesting Fact: Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, fought in the Cuban Revolution alongside Fidel Castro when he was only 14 years old. When he was 17, he was captured, imprisoned and tortured. After his father got him out of prison, Rafael Cruz immigrated to the United States to attend the University of Texas at Austin. When he arrived, he did not speak English and only had $100 that was sewn into his underwear.