Campaign Diaries: Seniors for Dean

Couple Volunteers to Write Hundreds of Letters to Iowa Residents

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Daniel and Marie Riehl

Daniel and Marie Riehl, writing letters soliciting support for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean in Iowa. Courtesy Seniors for Dean hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Seniors for Dean

Daniel and Marie Riehl, a retired doctor and his wife from Pennsylvania, have written more than 1,500 letters to fellow senior citizens in Iowa, urging them to support Howard Dean in next week's caucuses. Their story is the first installment in NPR's Campaign Diaries series, which will offer an intimate first-person look at the 2004 campaign.

On this particular day, Daniel Riehl is tired and ready for bed but says he plans to stay up a bit longer to write more letters. "We dropped 16 in the mailbox today, this morning," he says.

About Campaign Diaries

Throughout the 2004 election season, NPR will present an intimate first-person look at the campaign.

In a series called Campaign Diaries, we'll hear accounts from passionate volunteers, from professional campaign workers, typical voters and election bystanders, people who organize campaign events or drive voters to the polls.

A typical letter to an Iowa resident:

We hope that when you go vote at a caucus on Jan. 19 that you will agree that Dr. Dean is the best choice for president of the USA. Drop us a line if you wish.

Marie and Daniel

"It's something I can do for my country, and I feel very good about it," Daniel Riehl says.

For her part, Marie Riehl says her husband's "complete involvement" with the Dean effort means "sometimes I kind of take second place."

"I'm glad that she's put up with me all these years," Daniel Riehl adds with a chuckle.

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