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will.i.am in Arlington

Rosalind Helderman

Though local media reported underwhelming turnout at some of Terry McAuliffe's daytime events with singer will.i.am yesterday, McAuliffe got an enthusiastic crowd of around 350 at the singer's final event at the Clarendon Ballroom last night.

"I could be doing a lot of things with my time--making songs for my colleagues in the height of Boom-Boom Pow," the singer told media before taking the stage. That'd be will.i.am's latest single, currently ranked one in the country. "I could be in Hollywood trying to get a new film. But it's improtant that I'm here with Terry McAuliffe, because I really believe it's going to take us all to turn America around."

The crowd was largely young and included campaign workers, friends of campaign workers and some undecided voters. The event was a fundraiser, so each of those folks made a $20 donation to get in--plus agreed to give over their contact information to help build the McAuliffe volunteer rolls.

McAuliffe was introduced to the sign-waving crowd by Biz Markie, who rewrote his 1980s hit "You Say He's Just a Friend" for the occasion. "Oh Baby you, you got what we nee-ee-eed. Cause Terry is our Friend," he crooned.

McAuliffe and Will recalled how McAuliffe and his wife spotted the singer encouraging people to vote after a performance of the Black Eyed Peas at the Grammy's shortly before the 2004 election. McAuliffe, then chairman of the DNC, called the singer a week later and encouraged him to campaign for Sen. John Kerry and a friendship was born.

The singer acknowledged to an enthusiastic crowd that he and McAuliffe parted ways before last year's Democratic primary, revealing McAuliffe called him in 2007 and encouraged him to campaign for Hillary Clinton. "My heart said this is what I need to do," he said of his support for Barack Obama instead. "Still," he said, "we stayed friends."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 12, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Has WAPO endorsed McAuliffe yet? Too soon? Why? No need to await the issues. A democrat is a democrat. They'd better get it done before they have to shutter this liberal rag.

Posted by: AWWNats | May 12, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse


Sorry if you were not at the Clarendon Ballroom last evening. It was packed with happy enthusiastic Terry McAuliffe supporters. Outside it was a cold heavy rain. Inside it was a hot rocking good time.

Let's not forget will.i.am recorded the Yes WE Can song for now President Obama. Viewed 55 million times. Will.i.am has been Terry McAuliffe's friend and a great supporter of Democrats for years.

Democrats are a big tent family. In Virginia we don't hold exclusive, by invitation only, conventions to select our candidates. Instead, we have a primary on June 9 where every Virginia voter can choose his/her choice to be the Democratic nominee. And we will unite behind the winner on June 10 to beat the Republican who is wrong for the times and has been wrong on the issues for years. I'll cast my vote for Terry McAuliffe.

Terry McAuliffe is the candidate with the executive, management and leadership abilities to be the next in a series of great Democratic governors most recently Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. He will work tirelessly to improve education all over Virginia and bring good jobs to Virginia.

Posted by: Willis3 | May 12, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Virginia is Obama country, and we don't like Terry Mac. He behaved in a shameful manner throughout the campaign. He doesn't have what "it" takes to be governor. He's a huckster who has never done anything in VA but park his car. Now he's decided he would to be governor, and he thinks he can buy the election.

Hillary thought so too. She lost Virginia by a 2-to-1 margin. Look for a repeat of that in June.

It looks like Terry was able to buy will.i.am.

I am sure that like all other big Terry events he roped staffers and their friends and paid them to attend.

VA Dems are not going to rally around Terry if he got the nomination. I've had so many people tell me they don't think they could vote for him, that they would just stay home.

Let's hope that those same people turn out to vote against him in June.

Posted by: xcrunner771 | May 12, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I heard Terry's using will.i.am lyrics to cut his next commercial:

It's the funk that make you jump, sexy honies shake they hump

Got them dummies spendin money just to get up in yo' junk

Buy you drinks up at the bar, fill you up with alcohol... and vote for the Macker!

Posted by: ChrisD4 | May 12, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I was one of the enthusiastic supporters and music lovers at the Arlington concert, and boy did it rock!

On my return home, the concert inspired me to write:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/12/730416/-A-Night-with-will.i.am-of-the-Black-Eyed-Peas

It is amazing how within half an hour of my writing there were 11 comments from 5 individuals - after 1:00 AM Eastern! Just shows how many folks in Pacific time hate McAuliffe and are attempting to hurt the McAuliffe image in Virginia. Tuesday morning we have comments from some Eastern time residents, who may be Virginia voters.

McAuliffe made a great speech and specifically asked every one to come together on June 10th and work to supporting the Democratic Nominee beat McDonnell at the General Elections.

On Saturday, May 9th, I was at the opening of the Centerville Campaign office of McAuliffe. One of the undecided voters asked him about his position on gun control. McAuliffe expressed his well known views about stricter control at Gun Shows, and in the spirit of true disclosure stated that both his opponents have expressed the same views and so all three Democratic candidates agreed on this topic. He went on to state that if any one just wanted another business as usual candidate, he (McAuliffe) might not be the best candidate. But, if the voters wanted a candidate who will shake things up, work very hard to grow the economy, bring new investments to Virginia, introduce high speed rail between Washington, Richmond and Hampton Roads, make Education and Health Care more affordable, and invest in renewable energy, McAuliffe said they should vote for him. McAuliffe has a plan, and it is published on his website. I believe the plan is realistic and will work, and so I support McAuliffe. Do you?

Posted by: alankrishnan | May 12, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I respect will.i.am's right to his opinion, but I am awfully disappointed in the choice he made. We have strong, progressive local Democrats here whose service and experience will make them better governors.

My choice, Brian Moran, supported Obama whole-heartedly from the start, unlike McAuliffe, who didn't even stay for the acceptance speech in Denver.

Still, the main reasons I support Moran are his years of service in Virginia, strong stance against the gay marriage amendment, smart environmental views, and creative economic ideas. He knows how to get it done here. McAuliffe is smart but he's a national figure not a local one.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | May 12, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

With polls showing McAuliffe up by double digits, this race should come down to turnout.

If high turnout is good for Democracy, it's also good for Terry McAuliffe.

Posted by: 5oclockshadow | May 13, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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