FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WJLA) - Outside the venerable State Theatre here early Saturday afternoon, the scene was not unlike that usually seen outside concert venues when a famous rock band comes to play.
Lines snaked around the corner of building, police were in full force with barricades and the like, curious passers-by looked on with amazement and giddy fans with tickets talked to one and other about what they were about to see.
But while there might not have been a rock band on hand, someone with decided star quality certainly was.
That would be former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill and potentially the next President.
She was on hand for the “Women for Terry” event, a campaign rally that brought together one Terry McAuliffe – the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor – and his wife, Dorothy.
Indeed, the latter two received plenty of raucous applause but nothing like the affair’s final speaker.
“Hill-uh-REE, Hill-uh-REE” chanted those in the jam-packed theater, including the two balconies.
And when McAuliffe motioned toward his longtime professional and personal friend and said, as a final introduction, “Ladies and gentlemen, Hillary Rodham Clinton,” the place went nuts.
After the applause subsided (although shorts bursts of clapping and shouts were heard throughout her remarks), Hillary delivered a speech that could be favorably compared to the one her husband gave on behalf of President Obama at last year’s Democratic National Convention that many observers believe turned the election squarely toward Obama.
She talked in specifics, about McAuliffe plans to improve education, transportation and women’s inequality. She also couldn’t resist poking a bit of fun at the ever- bubbly McAuliffe.
“Boy, does he love people,” Clinton said to laughter. “What you see is truly who he is – all the time.”
But she added that McAuliffe has the “biggest heart and most open mind of anyone you’ll ever meet.”
Did Terry Blush?
And there was this: “Terry McAuliffe does not have a discriminatory bone in his body.”
And this: “He will be a 24-7 governor for Virginia.”
Terry nodded vigorously, almost sternly.
For his part, McAuliffe stuck primarily to women’s issues, and drew the most applause with the line: “I trust women to make their own decisions.”
The campaign for McAuliffe’s opponent, Ken Cuccinelli (who was scheduled to attend a rally today with Mike Huckabee in southwest Virginia), released a statement about Clinton’s appearance that said, in part, “. . . . If there was any doubt that Terry McAuliffe would bring Washington, D.C., big-government politics to Richmond, today is your proof.”
On this day, McAuliffe brought a rock star to Falls Church.