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Jenny Felsen, graduate student instructor Kathryn Pearson, and Gary Li At the Dean headquarters, (left to right) Berkeley students Jenny Felsen, graduate student instructor Kathryn Pearson, and Gary Li

Report from New HampshireStudents on the primary trail
The Dean campaign: The speech, the debate, and the interview

Read all the dispatches >
About the New Hampshire project

During the coming week, the NewsCenter will feature coverage of the Jan. 27 New Hampshire presidential primary written by three Berkeley students working for the campaigns of Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich.

The students are enrolled in UC Berkeley's Washington Program Office. Michael Goldstein, program director, says the New Hampshire primary provides students in the program with hands-on experience in politics, bridging the gap between what they learn in the classroom and the reality of hardball politics. Later, the students will write research papers on the presidential selection process, and present their findings at an April public forum.

– The energy that came from Gov. Dean's speech at headquarters here was unstoppable. Our graduate student instructor Kathryn Pearson, Jenny Felsen, and I were still elated from having Gov. Dean stop and shake each of our hands the day before.

This morning (Jan. 22), everyone was still glowing from his subdued, yet still passionate speech, that refocused everyone. Gov. Dean made clear that this is first and foremost a campaign for the advancement of the people: their rights, their well-being, and their futures. It was also not a campaign where we want to slight the other candidates, none of whom he mentioned during his speech. Even President Bush's State of the Union address from the night before was referenced with a very brief retort.

Today, we aimed to reach out to voters and remind them to watch the debate tonight. Jenny and I drove around a district in Manchester and made door-to-door visits, giving people literature about Dean's views and, and occasionally calling down the street, "vote for Dean!" There was no time to rest. We walked in the headquarters after canvasing and were immediately recruited to make signs for the rally planned for right before tonight's debate. Then we were shipped off to the rally.

Outside, in front of the auditorium where the debate was to take place, we held signs and chanted in the softly settling snow. It was beautiful, but very, very cold. Over a three-hour stretch, each campaign tried to out-scream each another. Yet occasionally, the entire crowd chanted in unison, bound by our need for change and a new president. It was a great scene to behold.

We watched the debate at a Dean campaign party. Though Dean got the most passionate applause, there was no reserve in commending strong points made by others. Right after the debate ended, Dean and and his wife, Dr. Judy Dean, appeared on ABC's Primetime with Diane Sawyer in an interview watched by many New Hampshire voters. We were especially fond of the friendly and respectful relationship of Gov. Dean and his wife. Their marriage seems to be the union of two great friends and lovers; it is less of a hierarchy, but rather, thrives on the fact that they treat each other as equals.

There is less than a week to go until the primary, and there are still so many people who have not decided on a candidate. Everyone at the campaign is extremely pumped after Gov. Dean's fantastic performance at the debate. There will be more work to be done: more calls to be made, more packets delivered, all to deliver us a new president and new future.

– Gary Li

Gary K. Li was born and raised in San Francisco and graduated from San Francisco School of the Arts High School in instrumental music. Li studied classical music for 10 years. He is a third-year English and American Studies major at Berkeley, is enrolled in the Washington Program this semester, and will be interning in the office of Senator Hillary Clinton. Li, who is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, is a film and trivia buff and has an "insatiable love for the sport of reading." He says he is planning to get a graduate degree in English literature or law. Or maybe both.

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