GW Student to Serve as Delegate for President Obama

Alex Yudelson stands in room with assorted posters for democratic candidates spread out on walls behind him
March 07, 2012

As a kid, George Washington sophomore Alex Yudelson would hit the pavement with his father, going door-to-door as he campaigned for town supervisor. He watched the presidential election results in 2000 and 2004, but remembers bedtime was called before the final tally was tabulated.

Fast forward a decade and politics continues to play an important role in Mr. Yudelson’s life. So it’s fitting that in September he’ll trek to Charlotte, N.C., and cast his pledged vote as a delegate for President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

“It’s a huge honor for me,” said Mr. Yudelson, who will represent the 29th Congressional District in upstate New York. He said he was chosen because he’s young—an important demographic for the Obama camp—involved and “a very vocal defendant of the president in a very conservative district.”

Serving as a delegate is just the latest political gig for Mr. Yudelson since arriving at GW, which he chose because of its location and the nature of its highly politically involved campus. He’s been a member of College Democrats since his freshman year, which has given him the opportunity to experience on-the-ground politics and attend exclusive events. His favorite was last year’s debate between former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. “Being able to interact with leaders is invaluable,” said Mr. Yudelson, a double major in political science and philosophy with a minor in music.

This year has proven just as eventful. Mr. Yudelson has traveled to West Virginia and Virginia to assist in local races. “These trips really give us firsthand experience with the political process that isn’t possible in a classroom,” he said. “We can see politics playing out at a local level.” Recently, Mr. Yudelson even saw President Obama speak on World AIDS Day on campus—“one of the highlights of my career at GW,” he said.

He also had a chance to hear from the other side. Recently, Mr. Yudelson was at the Conservative Political Action Conference, meeting presidential candidates Mr. Gingrich and Rick Santorum and former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

But Mr. Yudelson is clearly a passionate advocate for the Democratic cause.

“I am not 100 percent happy with President Obama 100 percent of the time, but that’s the beauty of the Democratic party—so many different ideas being embraced and amalgamated into a cohesive group that advocates for what I believe to be the right direction for America,” Mr. Yudelson said.

That direction, he said, includes addressing the debt problem, creating jobs, and supporting universal health care, gay rights and women’s reproductive rights.

On top of his work with College Democrats and his class load, Mr. Yudelson also works as a research assistant to Jill Kasle, an associate professor of public policy and public administration, assisting her with her work in telecommunications law and policy.

Ms. Kasle said Mr. Yudelson is “shockingly bright.”

“Alex has such character and integrity, and I don’t think we find these qualities broadly in politics today,” Ms. Kasle said. “So when I find a student who has this level of intellect and character and integrity who wants to be active in politics, my response is ‘Yay, the world is going to be saved. All is not lost.’ ”

Mr. Yudelson said he plans to pursue a law degree, possibly in conjunction with a Ph.D. in philosophy. He said he may eventually want to be a professor—or maybe even run for office himself someday.

Student Life