Scholastic Student Reporter
Applause erupted as West Wing star Martin Sheen, who plays President Bartlett in the TV drama, stepped onto center stage. Sheen hit the campaign trail for Dean throughout New Hampshire.
The former Governor of Vermont, Dean talked a great deal about health care and how under his administration in his home state, all children under 18 years old have health insurance. He also said that he expanded the Medicare program in his state. He spoke extensively about the war in Iraq, and told the audience that he was never convinced that al Qaeda was connected to Saddam Hussein.
When Dean began to take questions from the audience, a Scholastic News Online Student Reporter asked about his view on affirmative action. "When you were Governor of Vermont, 50 percent of the people working with you were women," the reporter said. "If elected President, will 50 percent of your cabinet be women?"
Dean gave an extensive response. "I don't have a quota system for exactly how many people are going to be women, but I can tell you that my cabinet, all my senior management, is going to look like the rest of America, so that we can govern all of America, and they can understand that we can understand their problems," Dean said.
Governor Dean also spoke about how women are paid 76 cents for every dollar a man makes, even when working the same jobs. Looking directly at the young Scholastic reporters, he added that he hoped that will change by the time they are old enough to enter the workforce.
In conclusion, Governor Dean asked everyone in the audience to become "draggers" on Election Day by dragging a friend, then mom, grandmother, or neighbor to the polls to vote.