Mason Becomes Key Stop for Candidates
George Mason University proved to be a critical player in the 2016 presidential election up until the very end, with last-minute stops by both vice presidential candidates in the days before Election Day.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential candidate, spoke before a packed room at The Hub on Saturday night. And Virginia. Sen. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, was joined by Vice President Joe Biden at a rally on the North Plaza on the eve of the election.
The final stops competing for voters’ attention on the Fairfax Campus capped an extraordinary year in which candidates made Mason an essential stop on the campaign trail.
“Mason has a large and diverse student population and community, proximity to the center of political power in the U.S., major media markets, and all of these in a critical battleground state.”
— Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell
Because of its diverse audience in the swing state of Virginia, and its proximity to Washington, D.C., George Mason has been a prime destination during the presidential campaign for politicians who want to reach voters on key issues.
Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell called it “an ideal formula.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a rally on the Fairfax Campus just before the Virginia presidential primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Fairfax. Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke at the Fairfax and Arlington Campuses. And first lady Michelle Obama stumped for Clinton in September at the Johnson Center.
Mason wasn’t just critical for the presidential campaign. It was also a destination for President Barack Obama, who joined CNN in January at Mason’s Johnson Center for a town hall meeting on Guns in America.
The appearances have given Mason’s students, faculty and staff an unmatched opportunity to see the election process up close and hear directly from politicians and candidates, who see Mason as a key campaign stop.