CMC Celeb: Isaac Goldberg

Have you ever walked into Collins and overheard a bit of an intriguing story? Have you been left wondering what your fellow CMCers are up to? Introducing CMC Celeb, a new weekly feature profiling your often accomplished, sometimes underrated classmates and even the occasional alum. Whether we're riding on the tops of trains in Bangladesh, fighting a life threatening disease, or auditioning for Jeopardy!, CMCers have experiences of every kind and the Forum's CMC Celeb section is here to share them with you. The CMC Celeb section features interesting personal stories and there is no better celeb to start with than Isaac Goldberg. Isaac, a senior from Scarsdale, NY, is a passionate Democrat. He is majoring in Government with a sequence in Leadership. Isaac spends his free time playing on the CMC Regulators baseball team. He is the President of the Democrats of the Claremont Colleges and has political experience that would make most CMCers drool. Isaac has worked a number of internships. Notably, he has worked for two Congressional campaigns and on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C. Most impressive of all, Isaac was offered the unique opportunity to work on Barack Obama's 2008 bid for the White House.

To get to know Isaac better, the Forum asked him a set of six questions that can be found in all future CMC Celeb articles:

"The Six"

1. What are the top 5 most played songs on your iTunes?

1. Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen 2. Cotton Fields, Credence Clearwater Revival 3. The Weight, The Band 4. You Don't Know How it Feels, Tom Petty 5. Perfect Gentleman, Wyclef Jean

2. What is your quirkiest quality?

I really love eating pizza bagels.

3. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I was the Weekly News Quiz Champion in fifth grade at Greenacres Elementary School.

4. What is something that you learned from your family?

Never take away someone's face in public... and friends don't let friends vote Republican.

5. If you could be a character from any book, movie, or TV show, who would you be?

Either Paulie Gaultieri from The Sopranos, Josh Lyman from West Wing, or Uncle Andy from Weeds.

6. What is your favorite unknown tidbit about CMC?

That the CMC Washington D.C. Program has an ex-Navy Seal in charge of student safety. He once told me, "If you use the pepper spray, empty the can."

On the topic of his political life, the Forum asked Isaac about some of his recent experiences:

Now that you are a senior, what do you think is the most valuable thing that you learned at CMC?

The inside-outs of congressional politics and how to shotgun a beer.

What drives you to be politically active on campus?

I enjoy being active politically wherever I am. We are fortunate here in Claremont that we have a vibrant political scene and I am just happy to be a part of it.

You recently worked on the Obama Campaign, how did you land such a great opportunity?

I volunteered for the campaign for a week before the New Hampshire primary in January of 2008. The field organizer I worked for in Concord, New Hampshire went on to work in Philadelphia during the general election and asked me if I wanted to help out for a few months.

What was your job while working on the Campaign?

I was field organizer in Northeast Philadelphia. I started mid-July and continued through the election.

What was the most eventful thing that happened while working on the Campaign?

Jeez, there were a bunch. My favorite was on election day, I had Sam Waterston (of Law & Order fame) show up and volunteer for me from about 10:00 a.m. until after the polls closed. He canvased, phone banked, and even went to a heavily democratic precinct while the polls were closing to urge people to stay in line to vote. I made sure to ask him not to push TD America (which he is spokesman for) while getting out the vote for President Obama.

What kind of people did you meet?

I met just about everyone from struggling, single-mom teachers, retired cops, WWII vets, Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Bob Casey, local Rabbis, to my personal favorite, old school local Irish Democratic leaders.

How did your experience working on the Obama Campaign change your view on the political world?

I think more than anything else, my work on the campaign reinforced my view that politics matter. Aside from the nonsense story-of-the-day, health care, education reform, and middle-class tax relief really mean something to the people in the neighborhoods I worked in. These issues are not just something studied in class or argued about in Congress.

Now that you are getting ready to leave CMC, what is on your plate for next year?

I am hoping to work on either a Senate or House campaign and then join Americorps.

CMC Celeb is a weekly feature of the Forum that profiles interesting CMC students, finding out everything from what makes them tick to what's in their iTunes library.  Ever wanted to know more about someone on campus?  Suggest a name anonymously here...we might just make them a CMC Celeb.