Former President Bill Clinton will be paying a visit to Stony Brook University tomorrow as part of a Get Out the Vote Rally for local Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop. Bishop is in the midst of a contentious reelection campaign, and President Clinton’s appearance at this event is a clear signal of the political significance of this race. High turnout among the students at Stony Brook, Suffolk County’s largest single election district, could provide the margin needed to send Tim Bishop back to Washington.
Think Magazine spoke to Bishop Campaign Manager Lisa Wieber about the process by which Stony Brook was chosen to host President Clinton. “The selection was not made on a basis of convenience,” said Wieber, but because Congressman Bishop, as a former educator and strong advocate for this university, “relished the opportunity to draw national attention to an important part of his congressional district.”
The campaign also wanted to do something for the students, who are also constituents of Congressman Bishop while they live and learn at Stony Brook. High turnout is expected for the event, and Wieber remarked that she “hopes everyone comes.”
The event is scheduled to begin at 2:00pm in the Indoor Sports Complex, and as many as 4,000 students and community members could be on hand. Doors are slated to open at 1:30pm.
The announcement that President Clinton would be making an appearance on behalf of the Bishop campaign was a last-minute surprise for Stony Brook officials, and campaign staff only began searching for a suitable venue on Monday afternoon. By Tuesday morning, the Bishop campaign opted to rent out the complex, bypassing a maze of bureaucratic obstacles that come standard with public institutions like Stony Brook.
Wieber explained that the former President has always been a big supporter of Congressman Bishop and was willing to aid his reelection efforts in whatever way he could.
President Clinton’s appearance has been met with considerable enthusiasm among students and community members alike. Organizing for America, President Obama’s network of supporters and volunteers from 2008, sent out an email about the event, and the Facebook event page boasts over 350 500 attendees and growing.
Think Magazine will have a team of reporters on the scene tomorrow, including a live video stream of the event itself, accompanied by a live blog with commentary, reaction from students, and instant analysis from Think editors.
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