COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - In the midst of commencement season as well as admitted students weekends, the town of Grinnell hosted an event for major Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential race, Rand Paul. The Paul campaign, running under the slogan “Unleash the American Dream” had a stopover at the Grinnell Town Center to deliver a stump speech and rally support. Many Grinnell students were in attendance, and took the opportunity to have their photo taken with the senator from Kentucky. What they didn’t expect, however, was to be roped in to the Paul campaign strategy.

“I went cause I thought it would be funny, you know?” Said Mallory Kinnit ‘15. “I was like ‘can you imagine this guy running for President? With his social and economic policies? No way!’ so I grabbed my friends and headed over. We dressed up for the photo op to totally be like, in the character and mood.” It’s possible, upon reflection, that many students thought that this campaign stopover was a performance art piece or potentially an ironic statement about the extremism present in what is considered mainstream American politics.

“Yeah, man, I thought it was an ironic statement about the extremism present in what we consider mainstream American politics,” said Jo Wlose ‘15 who was accompanied Nathaniel Formamen ‘15 who were in attendance (pictured above).

“What surprised us both upon leaving was that, though we came with the expectation to be intellectually stimulated by an aesthetic and cultural endeavor that would speak to the state of the American people, much in the style of Maria Abramovic or Emma Sulkowitz,” said Formamen. “And that’s kind of what ended up happening?”

“Long story short,” interrupted Wlose, “we’re registered Republicans now.”

To make matters even more interesting, the press photos that were taken at the event are now being used by the Rand Paul campaign to prove that the candidate has bipartisan support from even the most die-hard liberal youth. In some of the newest campaign ads on local and national television, a voiceover of multiple Grinnell students professes how “Iowa youth at one of the nations most liberal colleges even came out to show support for Senator Paul. Why would they do this unless they really believed in the power of the American dream? Unleash it today.”

Photos of Grinnell students smiling happily next to America’s darling, Rand Paul, have been blasting across political ads across the country. According to pundits, the photos, lovingly provided by the students themselves via Facebook postings with teasingly loving captions, are responsible for Rand Paul’s recent surge in popularity.

“I didn’t go to the rally because I didn’t want to support a candidate whose positions I find abhorrent,” said Tammy Peterson ‘16. “But seeing all my friernds posing happily with Rand Paul has changed my mind. You know, maybe I’m ready for Rand.”