On the last day before the election, former Governor of Virginia and Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine made a stop on campus to urge the community to get out the vote. Kaine was accompanied by his wife, Anne Holton, who is the former Secretary of Education of Virginia; along with current Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden.
The rally caused a stir on campus, instilling a lot of faith in the Democrats of the community, both young and old, students and alumni. Since it was an open event held on the North Plaza, people started lining up for it three hours ahead of time, eventually stretching the line from Fenwick Library to Northern Neck. It was a cold night, with temperatures hitting below the forties. The mood was kept alive nonetheless, as on-campus organizations such as Generation Action, a Planned Parenthood Advocacy group, and the GMU Democrats handed out buttons, stickers, and led the crowd with chants.
Once inside the event, the crowd gathered around a stage, waiting for multiple speakers including Senator Mark Warner, Gerry Connolly, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, and LuAnn Bennett, the House of Representatives candidate for the 10th Congressional district. Bennett was the first of many speakers to stress the importance of this election for the Millennial generation.
“We have the opportunity to not only make history, but to elect the most qualified candidate of our time- who also happens to be a woman.” —LuAnn Bennett
Vice President Joe Biden introduced Tim Kaine and stressed the importance of maintaining the democratic vote, and keeping the opponent, Trump, out of the White House.
“[Other countries] want to know if we hold these truths [of equality] self evident, that all men are created equal…if we come together, nothing can stop us. We are America, we never bow and we never break.” —Joe Biden
Through all of the speeches, one message was kept clear: “Every vote, every call, every knock counts.” We, as citizens, must get out to the polls and vote.
“Don’t agonize, organize.” —Congressman Gerry Connolly
The demographic of college students is among the crowd with the lowest voter turnout rates, but it was evident to Kaine that it wouldn’t be the case this year. He repeatedly stressed the importance of voting, but maintained the confidence in the generation, touching bases his home state of Virginia, and recalling the trials of women’s suffrage.
“She [Hillary Clinton] will commemorate the centennial [of women’s suffrage].” —Tim Kaine
The crowds and the speakers were all ready to “make history” with the first woman President in the United States. From human rights to legislation, Kaine deemed Clinton well equipped for the presidency, revering her for her former positions as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State.
“Eight million children in this country have health coverage because Hillary Clinton would not back down or give up.” —Tim Kaine
Tim Kaine wrapped up the event with a hopeful tone, as he was set to attend one more rally in Richmond, and then head to his own house to sleep in his own bed for the first time in months. He stressed Virginia’s tendency to be a swing state, but sounded confident as he recalled the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, in which Virginia swung Democratic for the first time in 44 years.