In 2000, only 3 percent of caucus goers were under age 24. Although, the Dean campaign can't come up with a figure, they expect a large youth turnout. There are 11 full-time Dean youth organizers who educate high school and college students on the Iowa caucus. On Thursday even the Governor attempted to rally young voters to caucus at a Dairy Queen off Highway 69 in Osceola, IA. Most said they were too young or didn't seem willing to sacrifice two hours of a school night for politics. Still, the trip wasn't a complete waste. The Governor dropped over $100 on chocolate and butterscotch ice cream cups for the traveling press.
Generation Deaners have shown their support for the Governor through such events as Clark College's Latte and Sushi Luncheon-a dreadful combination proving that some things should not be taken literally. Others have also participated in the civic minded Dean Core and in flash mobs where supporters scramble to gather for 30-second to 5-minute meetings after receiving spontaneous Internet posted invitations and then disperse.
Thirty youth pre-caucus parties are planned for Jan. 19. The purpose of the meetings is to alleviate caucus night jitters and provide such services as carpooling.
Dean press bus un-plugged
Nathan Naylor spent four years as the "press shepherd" for Vice President Al Gore. On his list of duties, the "feeding and care of press core, which included making sure they could file." Back in the day, Naylor recalls, setting up filing stations meant calling up local phone companies and ordering dozens of lines that would be ripped out by the end of the day.
Then in 2001 while working for Senator Harry Reed, D-Nevada, Naylor got sent on a forced vacation when an anthrax outbreak shut down the Hart Senate Building. At home, Naylor toted his Apple G4 with air card from room to room and the luxury of being connected anywhere led to the creation of Soapbox. Simply put Soapbox is an office computer system in a 60-pound, 2 ½ x 2 ½ x 1-foot box stocked with a robotic camera and goodies to provide broadband and wireless Internet access. "It's basically a satellite truck, but lighter," explains Naylor who has installed wireless Internet connectivity using Soapbox systems on both Dean press buses. It's not 100 percent reliable, but as one reporter said, "When you are on the road like this, you need all the resources you can get."
Get On Your Soapbox
On caucus night, Naylor will rig up his customized systems at Iowa Democratic Party, Dean, Kerry and Gephardt headquarters. Also, in conjunction with the Iowa Democratic Party, Naylor will place a Sony Web cam at a to-be-selected caucus site. Video of the event--but no sound--will spill directly into www.iowademocrats.org so that people around the country can watch an Iowa caucus.
When the going gets tough for the Dean campaign, they get…another endorsement.