Republican student campaigns for Clinton

Jacob Feitelberg

More stories from Jacob Feitelberg

May 16, 2018

Democrat? Clara Sandler made phone calls from the Hound Dog Hot Dog Shop.

Over the summer, sophomore Clara Sandler worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, making 176 phone calls over two weeks for two hours at a time, based at two restaurants in the San Fernando Valley.

“I’m a Republican, so it was really revolutionary that as a Republican who supported Marco Rubio and John Kasich, now I’m supporting Hillary Clinton and I worked for her campaign,” Clara said.

She supported Rubio because he was a moderate, she said, and she disagrees with Trump’s views, which she deems extreme.

“I support Hillary because fundamentally I am a Republican, but I am very liberal when it comes to social issues like gay marriage, abortion, immigration,” Clara said.

So she found herself making phone calls for Secretary Clinton, from restaurants where the campaign sent her – the Hound Dog Hot Dog Shop in Sun Valley, and James Restaurant in San Fernando – at the Valley’s far northeast end, more than 10 miles from where she lives in Valley Village.

Her summer campaign job was a good fit for Clara, who last year started the Politics Club with fellow sophomore Ari Sassover so that students would have a setting to discuss politics, especially the current presidential election.  Clara also gives periodic updates on the race at Town Hall and on Schoology.

“I love politics because it makes sense to me,” said Clara. “Politics runs our world, even though it’s dirty sometimes. We have to embrace it, follow it, and if we don’t like the political figures that are out there, then become a political figure yourself.”

In her phone calls, Clara would use slogans like “Keep the Donald out of the White House.”

“Some people were really rude, some people were really nice on the phone, some were easier to talk to and some were harder to talk to,” said Clara.  

She said that her first night, only six out of the 56 people called answered the phone.  She also said many of the people she encountered would not be swayed to support Hillary, because they were either Trump supporters or Bernie Sanders supporters who held to the mantra, “Bernie or Bust.”  

“It sucked when people didn’t answer,” said Clara.  “At least the Bernie supporters answered.”

Still, when the calls were tough, she kept going – even though she was not being paid.

“I learned how to have a work ethic,” Clara said. “ This was the first time that I have ever worked, and it was great to get this experience working on a presidential campaign.”  

Clara said got her job because a family friend, Mr. Jonathan Goldenberg, was working for Hillary already, and he was able to bring her along to make calls.  She also said she was the youngest volunteer there, with most of the volunteers being in their 30s or 40s.

Mr. Goldenberg, a fellow — someone in charge of volunteers — for the Clinton campaign, said that it is great for high school students to get involved.

“Phone calls are the backbone of the campaign and she really was pushing the numbers,” Mr. Goldenberg said. “Clara worked really hard.  She made more phone calls than even some of the more experienced volunteers.”

Clara has no regrets about working for a Democrat – though next time, her experience may be used to support a Republican.

“As somebody that wants to go into the political field it was really great to do a little bit of work for a campaign,” said Clara.  

She also noted he lacked something that she herself is trying to gain.

“I also don’t like that he has no experience in politics,” said Clara.