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Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds (D) just announced President Obama will campaign with him.

It's no surprise Obama would cross the Potomac for Deeds on the eve of such a critical election. The rally will be Tuesday, Oct. 27, one week before the election.

The White House has said Obama strongly supports Deeds and will do all he can to help him defeat Republican candidate Bob McDonnell. Obama activated his grassroots supporters from his Organizing for America campaign list earlier this week, asking them to volunteer this weekend.

Obama was last in Virginia for Deeds Aug. 7.

Deeds is behind in the polls and some Democrats are worried.

In his interview with TPMDC this afternoon, Terry McAuliffe pushed back on the national media's coverage of him in recent weeks, and media reports that Creigh Deeds is limping toward the finish line in the Virginia Governor's race.

In recent days, several articles have suggested McAuliffe and his supporters have strong opinions about how Deeds has run the race against Bob McDonnell (R). But McAuliffe rejected the idea that it was time to count Deeds out.

"I think a lot of journalists are going to look foolish when Creigh Deeds wins this election," he said.

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I covered the last two major races in Virginia, where Democrats were down and out until the last minute and then surged to win close victories. Given the gains Barack Obama made registering new voters and his wide margin last fall, I had been doubtful that all the hand-wringing over the bad polls for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds was warranted.

But after several recent chats with my sources there and speaking tonight with a well-informed and loyal Democratic fundraiser, I am starting to understand why some in the party are worried about the upcoming election.

This Northern Virginia Democrat has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Deeds campaign and has been personally involved in several races.

"It's almost like the Virginia version of the McCain campaign - an ugly primary and then a mismatch of people thrown into one ship," the source said.

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During his campaign, President Obama promised he would visit New Orleans during his first year in office. On Oct. 15, he followed through with his promise with a visit to a charter school in the Lower Ninth Ward and a town hall at the University of New Orleans.

Newscom/UPI Photos




The President meets the crowd at the University of New Orleans.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




At Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School in the Lower Ninth Ward, Obama exhorts students to work hard at school. "I'll be back to check on you," he said.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




Obama was greeted in the cafeteria by the school band's rendition of "Hail to the Chief." They had been practicing since Sunday, when the band found out the President was visiting.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




Fourth-grader Tyren Scott, pictured here in the turquoise sweater, asks the President, "Why do people hate you? They're supposed to love you. God is love."

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza




It seemed there was plenty of love to go around at the town hall, though there were contentious moments. One questioner asked why New Oreleanians are "still fighting" with the federal government; another demanded to know how Obama will reform immigration law.

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

A few hours after TPMDC detailed Connecticut Democrats using racy World Wrestling Entertainment scenes against GOP candidate Linda McMahon, WWE had YouTube remove the videos.

Connecticut political blog My Left Nutmeg caught their removal, but the Democrats mashed up the most eye-popping (and not-safe-for-work-or-children) scenes with voiceover of McMahon talking about how "PG" and "fun" WWE is. She's the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and wife of WWE principal Vince McMahon.

It's worth noting that WWE only removed a handful of videos, not the more than 500,000 that exist on YouTube. I've asked folks in their corporate headquarters for more information, and will update when they respond.

Also, a source points out that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who McMahon hopes to defeat in 2010, has taken more than $922,000 from the TV and movie industry, according to OpenSecrets. The source wonders if Dodd condones violence and sex depicted on film.

Late update: WWE's VP of PR and corporate communications got back to me just now, saying accusations the removal had anything to do with politics are false.

"It's an ongoing battle with online piracy," Robert Zimmerman told TPMDC. "It's copyrighted material, it's our intellectual property."

He said they "scour" the Internet for their videos and said they go after all of them, not just ones used for political purposes.

"We would love to be able to take everything down," he said. "It's WWE content and if we own it we are asking them to take it down."

Suhail Khan has seen this happen before. He was working as a senior political appointee for the Bush White House through Sept. 11, 2001, until this past January.

The same crowd of what he calls "professional bigots" -- people, he says, like Frank Gaffney and Dave Gaubatz -- have launched campaigns against specific Muslims working in the government, accusing them of terrorist sympathies.

The only thing different about the call by four House Republicans this week for authorities to investigate alleged "infiltration" of the Hill by Muslim interns, Khan told TPMmuckraker today, is that "they're not going after individuals by name."

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) had a strong third fundraising quarter, taking in about $345,000.

Bachmann also spent $118,000 and has a total of just under $617,000 in cash on hand.

Bachmann's two Democratic opponents, state Sen. Tarryl Clark and former state university regent Maureen Reed, both had a solid fundraising quarter, too -- but they'll first have to spend much of that money against one another.

Bachmann's district voted 53%-45% for John McCain in 2008, though Bachmann herself barely won re-election by a margin of 46%-43%, due to her controversial public statements. Will her continued media presence be enough to mobilize support against her in 2010 -- or will she win again in this conservative district?

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton responded today to a question about a justice of the peace in Louisiana who refused to sign the marriage license for an interracial couple out of concern "for the children."

"I've seen the story and I've looked into this a little bit. And I found that, actually, the children of biracial couples can do pretty good," said Burton, who is biracial himself.

"So in terms of anything else, I just think it's something that they're dealing with locally."

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Change your name. Grow a beard and learn the ways of Islam. Present yourself at the Council on American Islamic Relations. Acquire an internship. Wear a wire. Take whatever isn't bolted down.

That's the mission Chris Gaubatz accepted last year. And Gaubatz, who sells insurance for a living, told TPMmuckraker in an email interview that he never once felt guilty during the six months as a Muslim intern spy and that, well, some of the CAIR folks were pretty darn nice, despite any terrorist sympathies.

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In an exclusive interview with TPMDC this afternoon, former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe said that from his vantage point, the public option is likely dead in the health care debate.

In the past, McAuliffe has said he any bill without a public option would be a failure. Today, though, he said he'd support a compromise bill because "we've got to pass something."

McAuliffe spoke with TPMDC before he heads out on the campaign trail next week for fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds, who defeated McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial primary. McAuliffe touched on a number of subjects, including the Virginia race (more on that in a later post.)

Asked about the chances for a public option now that health care reform bills have reached the floor in both houses of Congress, McAuliffe -- an ardent supporter of expanding government-run care as part of health care reform -- said he he wouldn't bet on one being part of a final bill.

"Probably not, no," he said. "I wish we could have a public option, but I'm also a realist."

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