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Helping Dad Get a Job Promotion
By Michael Cappetta, 13
Scholatic Student Reporter

Matt Gephardt with his father (Photo: AP Wide World)
Matt Gephardt, 33, is living a pretty normal life, except for one thing: His father is campaigning to be the President of the United States. Dad Dick Gephardt has represented St. Louis, Missouri, in the House of Representatives for 27 years. Son Matt is working to help his dad get a big job promotion. He took time off from work to tell the American people why his dad is the best choice for President.

"He's got the boldest, most innovative ideas and plans and solutions for this country than any of the other candidates out there," Matt said of his father. "I also think that he has the most experience, too. He's been in Congress for 27 years, and I believe that we need that type of experience in the White House."

One piece of Congressman Gephardt's proposals to improve America is a health care plan named after his son. The proposal is called "Matt's Plan," because good health care is why Matt is even alive today. At the age of 18 months, Matt was diagnosed with cancer and given four weeks to live. Dick and Jane Gephardt's health care company provided for experimental treatments, which successfully cured their first-born's illness.

"Every American in this country needs good health insurance," Matt told Scholastic News Online. "My dad has a plan to make sure all Americans have that good-quality, affordable health insurance."

Candidate Gephardt also supports building more hybrid and fuel-safe cars. He would promote the production and use of clean energy such as ethanol and wind and solar and hydrogen power. Matt says that using hydrogen power will make our country safer. "We need to do that to make sure that we fight against terrorism, that we are not reliant on foreign oil."

There's also a lighter side to Dick Gephardt that not many people know about about—except Matt, of course. Matt recalls a summer vacation, when the luggage strapped to the top of the car came loose.

"We were driving and all the luggage came off of the car," Matt said. "It was all over the road and he was out there picking up all of our stuff and people were honking at him. It was a real circus. You had to be there, but it was pretty funny. He is a lot of fun to be around and I hope everyone gets to know that side of him."