Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe smiles during his campaign event at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. President Barack Obama also attended the event. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe did President Obama a favor over the weekend.  McAuliffe let the president come to his rally on Sunday, so that the president can be associated with a winning campaign in a swing state.  President Obama needs a win right now, but Terry McAuliffe certainly doesn’t need Obama to finish off what will likely be a victory for the Democrat.  The president is currently politically radioactive to a lot of voters and McAuliffe knows it.

Obama showed up in Arlington County and he told the crowd that Republicans were to blame for the recent government shutdown, saying, “If you embrace the very politics that led to this shutdown, then I guarantee you it’s not in the rearview mirror of voters in Virginia.” Cue the Obama apologists, spinners and enablers, who tomorrow night will say, “Look! The president’s message – that the Republicans were to blame for the shutdown and they’re all a bunch of extremists – works on the stump.  The president pulled McAuliffe across the finish line.  Republicans are doomed in 2014.”  What a joke.  It’s actually a little pathetic.  This Administration, in its extreme effort to try to minimize the Obamacare-induced panic among Democrats, is going to extraordinary lengths to try to show that the shutdown still has political juice.  The White House efforts are so transparent and contrived that I’m not sure even their staunchest media allies can disguise this clumsy move.

Let’s face it:  Today, President Obama is not who you want standing next to you if you are trying to turn out moderate or independent voters on Election Day.  Despite that fact, McAuliffe graciously supplied a forum for the president, and undoubtedly, he took the hit because he believes he has enough independent voters already locked up.

It’s no secret in Washington that there is no love lost between the McAuliffe/Clinton forces and Team Obama.  But every American governor can use a friend in the Oval Office and Terry McAuliffe knows it.

Given Terry McAuliffe’s political history, relationships and ambitions, he will instantly be a player on the national political stage if he wins Tuesday.  But in this chapter of the McAuliffe story, he will have a credential other than that of a handler and a money man.  He’ll be a big time governor from a modern, prosperous state – and the president will owe him a favor.

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