NDSU Gives Bill Clinton the Palm

In a campaign appearance for North Dakota Senate Candidate Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Clinton spoke to an overflow crowd at the Fargo Civic Center last night, due in part to a little partisanship on the part of North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani.

I spoke with some folks in the know who told me the following:  Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign reportedly asked to hold the event at the Bison Sports Arena, but got rebuffed by President Bresciani who was worried the event would come off as too partisan just over a week from the Presidential election.  Instead, the Heitkamp campaign held the event at the Civic Center to a standing room only crowd.

For historical reference, George W. Bush appeared at the Bison Sports Arena on several occasions, including an appearance during his campaign to privatize Social Security.  In a state with an aging population, you would think NDSU would have been worried about partisanship, but apparently not.

Bresciani will no doubt have a diversionary reason for denying access to the BSA — some have already claimed Clinton was denied access to the BSA due to a conflict with use by the sports teams — but the person I spoke with, a reliable source, claims a fear of looking friendly to Democrats drove Bresciani to deny the appearance.

In the end, I guess we just need to remember this.  Next time some neoconservative, right-wing politician wants to make an appearance at North Dakota State University, we can expect President Dean Bresciani to deny the request.  After all, we wouldn’t want to appear partisan.