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McAuliffe, a little help from his friends

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Opponents in the Virginia gubernatorial race have criticized Terry McAuliffe for his ties to Washington and national politics. But that hasn't stopped the former national party fundraiser from trying to cash in on his high-profile friendships.

In the past three days, he has enrolled the help of former President Bill Clinton and Democratic strategist James Carville.

McAuliffe campaigned with Clinton this week. And then Clinton then sent out a fundraising solicitation e-mail for his former Democratic National Committee Chairman. Today, with 41 days until the Democratic primary, Carville sent out the first e-mail solicitation of his own for McAuliffe.

Clinton opened his note this way: "I like to think I know a thing or two about running for governor in a southern state as a candidate with lots of energy and ideas.  But, I've got to tell you, there's one guy running in a key 2009 election that -- even back in my best Arkansas shape -- I'd have a hard time keeping up with. I'm talking about Terry McAuliffe." He ended with a post script: "P.S. Believe me, in this vitally important election, Terry is giving it everything he's got. And that kind of energy and commitment deserves our strenuous support.  Please join in before midnight on Thursday."

Part of Carville's note: "It really chaps my hide to witness the hypocrisy, shamelessness and unmitigated gall of sanctimonious Republicans who use one hand to wag their fingers at everybody else while the other hand is shoved in the cookie jar," Carville wrote of Republican Bob McDonnell, the presumptive GOP nominee in the Virginia governor's race. "We have to beat this guy in November. Terry McAuliffe is the best candidate we've got, but he needs our help now to win the nomination. It's crunch time. ... Contribute today to help Terry beat Bob McDonnell in November -- as little as $5 can make a big difference."