Youth turn out to support Dean

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(Host) Some of those drawn to Howard Dean’s presidential campaign are young people who learned about the former governor through the Internet. On Monday in Burlington, they were out in force to cheer on their candidate.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) It was a Howard Dean party in downtown Burlington. Streets were blocked off and supporters swayed to the blues music of Big Joe Burelle.

Chip Robinson of Morristown, New Jersey, says he came to Vermont as part of an extended road trip for Howard Dean.

(Robinson) “Well, we went up to New Hampshire to knock on doors for Governor Dean for two days. Then we’re stopping in Vermont, then we’re heading back to New Jersey.”

(Dillon) Robinson says Dean has the charisma and conviction to win the White House.

(Robinson) “I first met Governor Dean at a national young Democrats convention in Tuscon, Arizona two years ago and he spoke there and he was just so incredible. He just blew me away and at that point I knew if he ever ran for president that I would back him. And I saw him on TV at the California convention. I’ve heard him speak several times and each time I heard him speak, I’m even more amazed. He’s got the speaking ability and the charisma of RFK, of Kennedy, of Clinton. He’s just really inspiring. Every time you hear him you just want to go and help him out.”

(Dillon) The Dean campaign has tried hard to emphasize the youth vote. Campaign organizers chose Gray Brooks, a student at Presbyterian College in Clinton South Carolina, to give the introduction for Dean.

(Brooks) “Many people stand for equality, but this man risked his career for it. Many people promise to improve health care, to balance the budget, to preserve our public lands. But this man has done every one of those.”

(Dillon) Dean says that it’s supporters like these who will propel his campaign to the White House.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon in Burlington.

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