Campaign 2000 Magnetizes Youth

teenager roundtable on campaign 2000 CBS

They say kids don't care, that they're apathetic. But something's happening in New Hampshire, CBS News Anchor Dan Rather reports, and maybe times are a changing.

Whole armies of young people have invaded the Granite State to lend support in Tuesday's primary. They've come from all over the United States, from places as far away as Southern California and Texas -- where they would have been a lot warmer this week. Jason Reckner, who's working for George W. Bush's campaign, explains, "On all the campaigns, I've seen a huge outpouring of youth support. Which really for me is energizing."

CBS News brought together four young people who are working for different candidates: Reckner, Alex Grodd for Bill Bradley, Matt Fisk for Sen. John McCain and Courtney Weiner, who's behind Vice President Al Gore.

"We don't have money to donate to campaigns in large amounts," Weiner says. "What we have is time -- and we're young and willing to freeze our tushes off."

It's easy to see why the candidates want such selfless, energetic volunteers. The question is, why do they volunteer? According to Grodd, "there's a lot of issues that span all generations."

Basically, these days they don't feel left out. Weiner mentions, "Gun control, every gun out there is a threat to my life. Social security -- that's us."

And the young people say they aren't the only ones disgusted with modern politics, voter turnout is down in older generations, too. "Politics has become the mechanics of fundraising, spinning, polling, who has the better rapid response team," thinks Grodd.


launch videoCBS News Anchor Dan Rather moderates a roundtable of young campaigners.

The young volunteers feel it's less nasty this time -- and Fisk says the New Hampshire primary has been a turning point. He says, "The people my age who are involved have not been involved in politics before, people who didn't care before."

Surveying his peers, Grodd says they're, "Getting into politics because they care. There's no selfishness in this game. We're doing it because we want to help other people and make sure we don't leave anyone behind."

While they agree on why they have gotten involved, there's one thing they all disagree on -- who will win.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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