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5,000 Parties, Just One Vice President
By Natasha Pradhan, 13, California
Scholastic Student Reporter

Scholastic Student Reporter Natasha Pradham participates in a conference call with Vice President Dick Cheney. (Photo: Courtesy of Natasha Pradhan)
Friday, April 30—Dick Cheney attended more than 5,000 parties last night—all at the same time! The Vice President held a conference call with tens of thousands of his supporters in all 50 states to celebrate "National Party for the President Day."

The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign came up with the idea for a National Party for the President Day in February. The objective was to show the strength of the support for President Bush all across the country. The original goal of 2,400 house parties was met and surpassed on the night of the event.

"The President's grassroots supporters continue to make history," said campaign chairman Marc Racicot. "As of today, there are over 5,000 parties planned for National Party for the President Day—two and half times our goal." During his conference call, Cheney thanked the President's supporters. He expressed his appreciation for everything they've done in support of the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Cheney often made pointed references to the 2000 election, when every vote and every effort made to support the candidates had a huge impact on the election's final outcome.

"Come November, voters are going to have a very clear choice between President Bush and his opponent Senator John Kerry," Cheney said, in his only mention of the opposing candidate.

Several party hosts and their families asked Cheney questions during the call. One question was from a sixth-grade student, Cheney Raven, who lives on his family's ranch in New Mexico. Raven's parents named their after Dick Cheney, the then Secretary of Defense, to honor his leadership in the Gulf War.

"I'm worried about the future of American cowboy tradition," Raven said. "What can we do to help preserve and continue this important American culture?" The Vice President, who grew up in Wyoming, told the Ravens he was honored to be their son's namesake, before answering the question.

"It is important for us that we do everything we can to help educate people about the lifestyle that your family has lived and contributed to, and that we never lose sight of the historical contribution of our cowboy heritage," Cheney told Raven.

The last question asked was about how supporters can help spread the campaign's message. Cheney encouraged people to have their friends and family volunteer for the campaign and to make sure everyone is registered to vote. He said supporters can participate in neighborhood walks, phone banks, and door-to-door canvassing. They can also work at voter registration booths, write letters to the editor, or call local talk shows.

He also asked everyone to host an event or participate in the next National Party for the President Day, which will be organized by Bush-Cheney '04 in mid-July.