Michelle Obama: Virginia's Terry McAuliffe, President Obama tied at the hip

By |
Politics,Virginia,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Michelle Obama,Campaigns

First lady Michelle Obama went to bat for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe Thursday afternoon, begging for money by claiming her husband needs the former Democratic Party chief to help her husband win his second term agenda.

"This is the key point I want to make here today," she said at a Tysons Corner, Va. fundraiser for McAuliffe. "Barack Obama can not do it alone, he absolutely needs folks like Terry McAuliffe here in Virginia. We need all of you do everything you can between now and November to get Terry elected."

Her not so subtle hint: "We need you to keep on writing those checks, and if you haven't maxed out yet, max out! Get your friends to max out too!"

The first lady, who took offense at being heckled at a fundraiser earlier this week, was hit with a more friendly cheer at the McAuliffe fundraiser. "I love you Michelle!," said a woman. Obama pointed at her and said "We love you too."

The full pool report from the event:

First Lady Michelle Obama headlined a fundraiser Thursday evening to benefit Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for Virginia governor, at the Sheraton Premiere hotel in Tysons Corner.

Roughly 400 people attended the event, according to the McAuliffe campaign, and the invitation said ticket prices ranged from $100 for an individual guest to $1,000 for a "VIP" couple. McAuliffe is engaged in an expensive and high-profile race against Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

FLOTUS was introduced by McAuliffe, who gave a short version of his standard stump speech, focused on the economy, and said "it matters that everyone who came out and voted in 2012 comes out again in 2013."

Last year, McAuliffe said, "there was no better messenger for President Obama than [FLOTUS] ... the First Lady has been a partner in every stride forward President Obama has made for the American people. And she is graceful, inspirational, transformational and an educational leader ..."

FLOTUS took the stage at about 5:30 and spoke for just over 20 minutes.

"If folks in the state are looking for a fighter, they found one in our friend Terry," FLOTUS said. "Terry knows what it means to work hard and struggle to get ahead like so many of us. He started working at 14 years old and I'm going to tell Malia that. She needs to get up in the morning! ...

"No one is going to fight harder for Virginia, and that is why I am so thrilled that he's going to be the next governor of Virginia."

FLOTUS praised the neighborhood team leaders who had worked on POTUS' campaigns and said she was sure they would do a similarly good job helping McAuliffe.

She thanked the crowd for helping POTUS achieve all he has so far in his administration. FLOTUS noted that the economy was strong but many were still struggling.

"When I was growing up a family of four living on a single blue-collar salary could build a decent life without debt. ... Today, for so many families that's no longer possible," she said.

FLOTUS' appearance came two days after she drew attention by confronting a heckler at a fundraiser at a private home in Washington's Kalorama neighborhood. There were no such interruptions Thursday, though at one point a woman yelled "I love you Michelle!" FLOTUS pointed at her and said "We love you too."

Praising the spirit of Americans, FLOTUS referenced the teachers who protected their students during the Newtown shootings and others who had shown bravery during tragedies. She also described a visit she'd made to a high school in Chicago where students cope with danger and challenges.

Because children are "counting on us ... we can't wait for the next presidential election to get fired up and ready to go," FLOTUS said. "We can't wait four years. Right now, today, in this election we have an obligation to stand up for those kids. So we must recapture that same passion, that same energy, that urgency we felt in 2008 and in 2012."

After stressing the need for better education and better-paying jobs, FLOTUS said: "This is the key point I want to make here today. Barack Obama can not do it alone, he absolutely needs folks like Terry McAuliffe here in Virginia. We need all of you do everything you can between now and November to get Terry elected ...

"We need you to keep on writing those checks, and if you haven't maxed out yet, max out! Get your friends to max out too!"

FLOTUS closed with an anecdote about a woman POTUS mentioned in his last SOTU address -- Desiline Victor, the 102-year-old woman who waited hours in line to cast her vote last November.

"If Desiline Victor can summon that kind of passion and energy then we don't have any excuse, right?" FLOTUS said.

She finished her remarks at 5:50 and left the ballroom.