“There is potential greatness in this room,” said political consultant Michael Goldman to a classroom full of diverse Emerson students on the evening of October 1st. Goldman, president of Goldman Associates, has been advising both political and private clients professionally for years, active in over 150 campaigns.
The consultant was asked by Dr. Gregory Payne to speak in his Presidential Politics class. This course is offered only during the election, exploring the media and communication aspects of the election. The class is participating in a national polling project and hosting students from around the globe. Dr. Payne has invited experts in the field to guest lecture and enlighten students on various subjects regarding the election.
Goldman began by taking the students through a swift history of the United States Presidents, beginning with Washington and ending in Obama’s presidency and possible reelection. He drew a map on the whiteboard to show that all of the early presidents hailed from either Virginia or Massachusetts and made a list of presidents’ parties to show that, historically, the nation elects Republicans. He provided the most brief, yet candid history of the presidents. Goldman, having extensive knowledge of American leaders revealed quirky tidbits, for instance, that James Buchanan was indeed gay and that the United States had truly lost the War of 1812. As he spoke so highly of such esteemed figures, he conceded that “great men are flawed”– using Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and even David of the Old Testament as examples.
Goldman went on to discuss the abstract: speaking openly about the culture war. He contended that there has not been a dramatic cultural change since the public resistance of 1968. He said that even this new age of technology has not signaled a major cultural change, and opened the floor to students who argued against him. Whether the students agreed with or opposed Goldman, he had the class challenging common thought.
Clad in a colorful plaid shirt, with a navy blazer on top, Goldman was a show himself. He was all over the room, up close and personal with the audience. He commanded respect with his booming voice, but kept it informal with his colloquial speech, frank personality, and his familiar Boston accent.
Though during his presentation he involved and entertained the audience, Goldman also provided much insight into not only Presidential Politics, but the people, culture, and history of the United States. And each student, myself included, left feeling pretty darn great about themselves.
–Maggie Morlath (Political Communication Major and Student Contributor)