Today’s Photo: Terry McAuliffe and Michelle Obama

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    Click on the image to “embiggen.” Also, see the press release below. And let’s just hope there were no hecklers at today’s event. 🙂

    First Lady Michelle Obama Campaigns for Terry McAuliffe

    First Lady Michelle Obama campaigned for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, on Thursday, in front of a crowd of about 400 in Tyson’s Corner.

    “I am grateful to have the First Lady here to speak about how critical this election is for the future of Virginia,” said McAuliffe. “Michelle Obama has been a national leader on a host of issues like supporting our military families, advocating for women’s rights, and making our communities and schools better for our children. As Governor, I will build upon this work to make sure that all Virginians have economic opportunity, quality health care, and access to a good education in order to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

    During her remarks, the First Lady discussed how McAuliffe would tackle challenging issues facing Virginia’s economy, and stressed how high the stakes are in this election for women and families in the Commonwealth.

    Contrasting his vision with his GOP opponents, McAuliffe stated, “They think this election is about proving the viability of their own ideology. Well, I say this election is about creating jobs. Virginia simply can’t afford a Governor who spends time trying to impose his own social agenda instead of focusing on the economy.”

    Earlier on Thursday, McAuliffe announced his proposal to strengthen Virginia’s equal pay rules, which follows his campaign focus of reducing barriers for women and communities across Virginia in order to grow the economy and create jobs.

    An excerpt of McAuliffe’s remarks as prepared for delivery can be found here.

    • …which means…well, who knows, except that Glenn Beck is EW Jackson/Ken Cuccinelli-level crazy!

    • 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.