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U of M dilemma: Gopher football or Obama?

Posted by: under Minnesota governor, President Obama Updated: October 15, 2010 - 10:58 AM

University of Minnesota students will have to choose next weekend: football or President Obama?

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton made it official Friday that Obama will headline a rally for Dayton at the U’s Northrop Mall on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.

It just so happens that the Gophers have a home game that day against Penn State at 11 a.m., so the Obama-Dayton rally should start some time during the third quarter.

University spokeswoman Patty Mattern said that specifics like travel, parking and security — no simple task with the Secret Service involved — will be released next week.

The last sitting president to visit the campus was President George W. Bush in 2002, Mattern said, when he met with health researchers. The last public presidential event was in 1911 with President William Howard Taft, she said.

Obama is the latest national Democrat to plan a Twin Cities campaign stop, as Vice President Joe Biden and President Clinton have also appeared with Dayton. Republican candidate Tom Emmer has attracted high profile Republicans to the state as well, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

While in the Twin Cities, Obama is also attending a private fundraiser with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

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