Facing a tough re-election bid, Louisiana Democratic Sen. May Landrieu has gone to great lengths to distance herself from President Obama — even bragging about standing up to the president for his reluctance to approve the controversial Keystone pipeline.
But apparently Landrieu’s qualms with the president don’t extend to his wife, Michelle Obama.
Mrs. Obama and Sen. Landrieu met with spouses of military veterans during a joint appearance at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Saturday.
Though the meeting with military spouses was a decidedly non-political event, it might be Michelle Obama’s first (albeit unofficial) foray into the 2014 midterm elections. The first lady, known for her ability to rouse support in campaign appearances, is sometimes referred to as “the closer” and is a sought after campaign surrogate.
The meeting came after Mrs. Obama and Sen. Landrieu both received honorary degrees at the graduation ceremony at New Orleans’ Dillard University. And during her remarks, Mrs. Obama made a point to recognize Landrieu.
“I also want to recognize Senator Mary Landrieu, who is here. Let’s give her a hand,” Mrs. Obama said to the crowd. “She has been a strong supporter of this university.”
Mrs. Obama’s visit to Louisiana came just days after President Obama made a surprise visit to Arkansas to tour the tornado damage with Sen. Mark Pryor, another vulnerable Southern Democrat in this year’s midterms who – outside of the disaster relief efforts – has distanced himself from the president’s policies in his campaign.