ANNANDALE, Va. (WJLA) – Terry McAuliffe already had rolled out three of the four big guns for campaign appearances, and on an unseasonably cold Monday morning here in this tree-heavy neighborhood in a leafy backyard connected to a modest rancher, with Virginia’s gubernatorial election the next day, the Democratic nominee introduced the fourth: Vice President Joe Biden.
This a day after President Obama appeared alongside McAuliffe at a rally in Arlington, and it completed a power-player foursome, with former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, having already done their Democratic due diligence.
Before the main event, a crowd of at least 200 or so supporters spent an hour or so milling around the yard – and literally shivering. The temperature was in the 30s and felt considerably colder because of a stiff breeze and sun-blocking trees.
But based on the happy faces and the happy chatter, the patrons didn’t appear to much mind. With their man ahead in all the polls against Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, there was a distinct and palpable sense that these folks view a win for their man as inevitable.
After being introduced by McAuliffe, Biden – as did Barack and Hillary and Bill – sternly cautioned against such a mindset but not before being Good Ol’ Joe, much to the audience’s delight.
“He’s gonna be my wife’s boss,” he said in deadpan fashion, referring both to McAuliffe and Dr. Jill Biden, an English professor at Northern Virginia College Community College. “I’m scared to death.”
McAuliffe and the crowd laughed heartily, but lest anyone misunderstood, Biden quickly added that his wife wouldn’t want him to miss a chance to campaign for an avowed supporter of community colleges – indeed, McAuliffe has visited every one in the state.
He also pointed to Dorothy McAuliffe, the candidate’s wife, and said, “This boy did marry up, my God!” and added that she could pass for one of her daughters.
Then it was time for Serious Joe.
“I’m not just here for Terry,” Biden said. “. . .I’m here because this race matters well beyond the state of Virginia.”
He said, among other things, that a Cuccinelli win could give the Tea Party more – and not less -- of a national foothold it already has. He cautioned against what he views as social-agenda extremism, and said the race is “between the mainstream and extreme.”
But Biden also talked about off-year elections and Republicans.
“They do turn out their base,” he said. “. . .Don’t take this for granted, man!”
McAuliffe nodded solemnly, as did another notable on the stage, U.S. Senator and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.
A few minutes later, after Biden ended his remarks amid raucous cheers, it was done, and so was the work of McAuliffe’s Big Four.