The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Biden, Klobuchar tell Macalester to get out the vote

Second Lady Jill Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke on campus last Friday to tout the youth vote and, for Dr. Biden, reenergize the young people she knows best.

As a community college professor on the campaign trail, Biden threw no curveballs to the crowd of more than 500 students, staff and faculty: Her speech, though brief, focused on the Obama Administration’s efforts on behalf of higher education and on her own desire to see students thrive.

“It’s students like you who make me so excited to be in the classroom,” Biden said. “And I want you to know that every single day our administration is fighting and working for you… I want you all to know that the President, the Vice President and the entire administration believe that if we’re going to create an economy built to last, we’ve got to start by making sure that young people like you can get the skills and the knowledge you need to fulfill your potential.”

Highlighting doubled Pell Grants and healthcare as examples of successful pro-student milestones in the Obama administration, the Second Lady asserted that she and the administration know what aid students need.

“The biggest issue [facing higher education], I think, is making college affordable for students, and I think that it’s what our administration is doing,” Biden told The Mac Weekly in an interview after her speech. “You know, they’ve doubled the Pell Grants, they’ve made student loans available and they’ve made the payback rate lower – they’ve made it able to be paid back by students no matter what jobs they have.”

And if this mention of Washington didn’t do it for the audience, Biden also brought her own history into play, mentioning that she, the Vice President, the President and the First Lady all got through college on financial aid.

“When we look back, we all know that we’re where we are today because of the opportunities that we had in our education,” she said. “That’s why Barack and Joe are working so hard to invest in education and make it easier for young people to afford college.”

Getting out the vote

Though the majority of her Minnesota campaign stops were at community colleges, Biden came to Macalester to honor the school’s history of civic and political engagement. More than anything else, the Second Lady and Senator Klobuchar urged students to get active and get out the vote.

“I know that here at Macalester, you’ve got a tradition of activism,” Biden said. “Every day, President Obama and my husband have got your back. Now, we’ve got to have theirs. That starts with getting registered, getting out the vote on November sixth and making sure that all of your friends do the same.”

MacDems, the student organization hosting the event, is now taking steps to ensure that Biden’s words will make the kind of lasting impact she asked for and lead to heightened student activism.

“A lot of people were really glad that the event happened, and I’m hoping that the big turnout will transpire into big turnout at phone banking and canvassing,” said MacDems co-chair Rick Beckel ’15. “That was the ultimate goal of the kickoff event.”

But this doesn’t happen just from one big campus event. MacDems is hosting phone banks and canvassing every week between now and election day, and co-chair Zack Avre ’14 insists that students have to get on their own feet.

“Even though it was really nice to have Jill Biden and Amy Klobuchar here, it’s not up to them to get the students out,” Avre said. “I think it’s really up to our organization and organizations across campus who have an invested interest in this election to get their members out. We can’t convince everyone to come to a phone bank or canvas; I think people have to get into it themselves.”

Biden said she already sees this happening.

“I’m seeing a strong youth turnout,” she told reporters after the event. “This morning I was at a community college, and now Macalester and you saw the crowd here today; there were over 500 students. I think kids are getting energized. They’re ready to get out the vote. I’m seeing a very strong student vote… It’s moving in a really positive, strong direction.”

Concerning Macalester’s involvement, turnout at the event was a good start to what MacDems hopes to see in the coming months. With only 36 hours between confirmation and the actual event, MacDems managed to get the word out in time to fill two levels of the new Janet Wallace music building.

“The campaign gave her to us, but we were responsible for getting the 500 people [to] come,” said MacDems co-chair Lucas Asher ’15. “And we got lucky because we’re 50 days away from an election, and when people hear the Second Lady is coming, it’s a big thing.”

“I think it was kind of assumed that people would show up,” Avre added. “But we made a concerted effort with almost every person we saw to tell them that Jill Biden was coming, even before we officially knew.”

View Comments (12)
More to Discover

Comments (12)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Jane NolanSep 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    I enjoy your writing style genuinely loving this internet site.

  • W

    Warren LambertSep 10, 2019 at 8:52 am

    I will immediately grab your rss as I can not find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  • L

    Lillian RobertsonSep 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • H

    harborfreightcodesJul 30, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    You completed several fine points there. I did a search on the problem and found primarily people could have the same judgment with your blog.

  • N

    Noodles & CompanyJul 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Fine post Brian how you covered all the methods for webmasters.

  • N

    Native DeodorantJul 30, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Provides anyone obtained any real success from HARO? It merely seems that most of the reporters mounted on the organization actually are from the US which have no much objectives from other countries mainly within South Asia. Brian, can you really direct me to any situation research? Thanks.

  • P

    PeterPiperPizzacouponsJul 30, 2019 at 5:31 am

    Provides anyone obtained any actual success from HARO? It basically feels that many of the reporters mounted on the organization are actually from the united states which do not have much anticipation from other nations especially in South Asia. Brian, can you really direct us to any full situation research? Thanks.

  • S

    SkyZonediscountcodeJul 29, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Thanks for revealing the particular brilliant post. A person explained the hyperlink constructing methods incredibly.