Last Thursday, a few hours before the end of the Democratic National Convention, two consultants to the Bernie Sanders campaign, Scott Goodstein and Arun Chaudhary, sat in the lobby of their Philadelphia hotel and considered what had become of the grassroots support for the candidate. Goodstein and Chaudhary’s firm ran the campaign’s digital operations, and so they had tracked the Sanders phenomenon from the beginning. Now, at the Wells Fargo Center, an angry core of Sanders holdouts was chanting through the speeches and staging periodic occupations of the media tent. Goodstein and Chaudhary believed that the outrage would subside. “So many people are being brought into the process for the first time,” Chaudhary said, and they weren’t used to the tidal emotions of political involvement, “where every moment is either utter catastrophe or complete triumph.” He continued, “After thinking their whole lives that no progress was possible, they had just been told that now maybe a hell of a lot of progress was possible. And now we’re like, well, some progress is possible. And there’s a gap.”
Goodstein, forty-two, and Chaudhary, forty, met when both were working on the Obama campaign in 2008. They became close, in part because their desks were near each another and in part because they share a punk ethic. Goodstein, who founded their firm, Revolution Messaging, used to have a chest-length black beard and has a motorcycle accident in his recent past. He talks about his work with a sardonic intensity, and often uses the music business as a governing analogy for politics. Chaudhary is more excitable and dreamier. Early on in 2008, Goodstein remembers, he bugged Chaudhary, who would become the first official White House videographer, to make the BellRays song “Revolution Get Down” the soundtrack to an Obama youth-vote video. “I wanted Barack Obama’s music to be authentic, from people who spoke truth to power,” Goodstein said. “I was tired of this U2 bullshit for every politician my entire life.” Chaudhary, an “avowed socialist,” has never been a registered Democrat; Goodstein only became one during the Sanders campaign, having previously belonged to the D.C. Statehood Party. Read more at The New Yorker.