Obama to hold Sat. rally on Northrop

The rally is in support of DFL gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton.

by James Nord

On Oct. 23, President Barack Obama will become the first sitting president to host a public rally on the University of Minnesota campus in nearly a century.

The rally, in support of DFL gubernatorial nominee Mark Dayton, will be held at Northrop Mall. Gates for the event open at 1 p.m.

William Howard Taft was the last president to host an open event on campus in 1911. Former President George W. Bush met with researchers from the Academic Health Center behind closed doors in 2002.

“[The University] seemed like a very good place that would hopefully excite young people,” Dayton said.

Although some specific details have been agreed upon, a contract for the event was still being finalized Friday. Further complicating the logistics of the presidential visit is a home Gophers football game scheduled for the same day.

“It means a lot when the president of the United States comes to visit and addresses serious issues that we all face as citizens of the country,” President Bob Bruininks said Wednesday, before the eventâÄôs location was made public. “WeâÄôre really proud to have this opportunity to host him, and weâÄôre looking forward to it.”

Other high-profile Democrats have come to the state to support Dayton, including Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.

Republican nominee Tom Emmer will host presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for a fundraiser Monday.

Obama last rallied in Minneapolis for health care reform in September 2009.