A majority of the Georgetown University College Democrats have thrown their support and endorsement behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton after a primary season that saw many Georgetown students back Clinton’s formal rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
GUCD Chair Mattie Haag (COL ’18) said the club is actively supporting Clinton to the best of its abilities.
“We are in support of Hillary and are actively campaigning for her,” Haag said. “We are doing literally whatever we can to make sure she gets elected.”
In its efforts leading up to the election, GUCD phonebanks every Wednesday night at the Democratic National Headquarters and conducts voter registration in Arlington, Va. GUCD also plans to participate in a college canvassing weekend Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 and a “Get Out the Vote” weekend Nov. 5 to Nov. 8, both of which are in Philadelphia.
GUCD’s Vice Chair and Directory of Advocacy Meredith Forsyth (SFS ’19) said GUCD’s campaign efforts start local.
“We are doing a lot of grassroots work, since we are students, and we are able to do things like get out there, walk around, knock on doors, since we have the energy to do that,” Forsyth said.
Unlike the College Republicans, the GUCD leadership is united behind Clinton. Haag said she trusts Clinton and believes Clinton would be a dedicated president if elected.
“I see a woman who has dedicated her entire life to making America a better place, bettering the lives of women and children and everybody, and, after every single vicious, hateful attack on her, she’s gotten back up and said, ‘I don’t care, I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe in,’” Haag said. “To me, when I see a person who has dedicated their entire life to making this country a better place, I don’t think there’s anything there not to trust.”
For Forsyth, voting for Clinton is especially important given that her home area, Staten Island, N.Y., is likely to vote for Trump.
“To me, being on Hillary’s side is so important, because I’m from Staten Island, N.Y., and Staten Island, N.Y., is probably going to vote majority Trump in this election,” Forsyth said. “So it’s really frustrating for me to see a lot of my family members, a lot of my peers, succumb to the fearmongering that Trump has so viciously promoted.”
Hoyas for Hillary President Grant Olson (COL ’19) said he joined the organization out of a deep-seated desire to see Clinton elected. Hoyas for Hillary is an independent student group campaigning for Clinton.
“I have been a fan of Hillary Clinton since I was 11 years old, and I was inspired then to join her campaign,” Olson said. “There is no one else like her. She will put herself out there, time and time again, for 30 years, to do good for the country.”
Alex Coopersmith (COL ’19), who has supported Clinton since the beginning of the primary season, said Clinton will be an effective president, even if she has displayed weaknesses on the campaign trail.
“Is anyone more qualified to lead the most powerful nation on earth? She has the resume and skills that are required for the office,” Coopersmith wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Additionally, she prides herself on working across the aisle and is far more comfortable governing than she is campaigning.”
Matthew Bernstein (SFS ’19) said, even though he is not completely supportive of Clinton’s policies, it is important to support her over Trump.
“I’m a pretty moderate Democrat, so I’m not fully comfortable with 100 percent of Hillary’s positions, but I think in this election the choice couldn’t be easier,” Bernstein wrote in an email to The Hoya. “I try to focus more on policy than rhetoric, so it isn’t Trump’s words that scare me but rather his shockingly incoherent lack of foreign policy knowledge and isolationist, protectionist policies.”
Some Democrats at Georgetown who supported Sanders in the primary election have now united behind Clinton.
Allison Ross (NHS ’20), who formerly supported Sanders, said Clinton has begun to earn her vote.
“When Bernie was out, I was like, Hillary is the second best,” Ross said. “With the rise of progressivism and Bernie Sanders’ campaign, [Clinton] has moved further left now on a lot of issues like income inequality and keeping money out of politics, and I like a lot of her policies there now.”
According to Marshall Webb (SFS ’20), some Bernie supporters were not convinced that Clinton was the right choice for president.
“Quite frankly, Bernie Sanders is just a different kind of politician,” Webb said. “There is this sincerity about him.”
Andrew Adams (NHS ’20), who recently joined GUCD, previously supported Sanders but accepted Clinton in the name of party unity after Sanders formally lost the nomination in July at the Democratic National Convention.
“You support the nominee, because you want to support progressive values,” Adams said.
Bernstein said he hopes Clinton is able to find common ground if she is elected.
“I feel that a lot of this anger is misguided, and moving away from free trade and global engagement would be a grave mistake for the United States and European countries like the UK,” Bernstein wrote. “It upsets me that Hillary was forced to the far left on issues like the TPP, something that is a cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policy legacy, but I am hopeful that she will seek tangible, bipartisan efforts once elected.”
Correction: This article previously identified Allison Ross (NHS ’20) as Allison Webb (NHS ’20).