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Extended Interview: Evans Yeats

August 5, 2003 at 12:00 AM EDT


SAMARA ABERMAN, NewsHour Media Reporter: First question, why are you here tonight?

EVANS YEATS: Why am I here tonight? I am here because I believe this country is on the wrong track. I feel, because I am a member of a younger generation, and we are going to have to deal with this country for years and years after those older than us who are running the country now are gone.

It’s important for us to set this country on the right track now so that when I’m 60 years old, we aren’t having to fight problems like balancing the budget or saving Social Security, and I believe personally that Governor Howard Dean of Vermont is absolutely, by far and away, the best candidate and the most electable candidate in the field of both Democrats and Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, so on and so forth.

SAMARA ABERMAN: How did you first hear about Meetup?

EVANS YEATS: I first heard about Meetup off the Internet. Cruising around, I heard Governor Dean speak, and I was interested in finding out more about Governor Dean, and when I started looking up Governor Dean, I found links between his stuff and Meetup, and it really intrigued me, and so I signed up and said, “You know what? I’ll get together with people with Iowa City and have a cup of coffee and talk about Governor Dean,” and that’s what it was.

SAMARA ABERMAN: And does learning about campaigns through the Internet appeal to you and friends of yours?

EVANS YEATS: Oh, absolutely. The Internet is an integral part of a lot of young people’s lives in a way that it’s not a part of a lot of people of the earlier generation’s lives, and like the first thing that you hear, when you hear something that interests you is that you go to your Internet, is that you go to your Internet, you go to your Google, and you look up whatever you’re interested in, and that’s the way Howard Dean is revolutionizing the way a campaign works.

His campaign is so Internet-centered. Like you go, and you look up Howard Dean on Google, and there are ways to get involved. There are ways to contact people. There are ways to contribute. You can do all of that on-line, and it’s just fantastic, especially as a member of the younger generation, who was born and raised on the Internet.

I mean, I first, I first started playing on the computer in second, in first or second grade, so —

SAMARA ABERMAN: And if Meetup didn’t exist, do you think you’d find yourself at a campaign rally tonight?

EVANS YEATS: It’s a possibility, but not this early would be my bet. I might get involved, but it would be later because I have never been involved with a campaign this early in the process before. I have done some political stuff, very little here. My neighbor ran for the Senate. I worked with him. But if it wasn’t for Meetup, there’s no way I would be involved this early in a campaign, especially in this season, even though I’m from Iowa and we get involved earlier than everywhere else in the nation.