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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Michelle Obama helped fend off Al Lawson challenge to Allen Boyd



Huffington Post got a look at Jodi Kantor's new book on the Obama's and it includes an interesting vignette about the White House efforts to court former U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd's support for energy legislation:

"...Even before then, there had been major fireworks. In 2009, Emanuel did not ask the first lady or her office for permission before he told Rep. Allen Boyd, a Democrat from North Florida, that she would go to his district for a campaign-style event. The administration needed Boyd's vote on comprehensive energy legislation. Boyd needed the first lady's help holding off a challenger in his prominently black district. Boyd voted for the legislation after the first lady reluctantly agreed to visit. But even then, her staff kept her in the dark on some details.

"In October, Michelle flew down to Florida and spoke at the event, introduced by Boyd. He got his picture and his hug with her. East Wing aides never told Michelle she was being used to head off a potential black challenger for Boyd's seat -- they did not know that themselves. Her staff did know that Boyd was planning on voting against the health care bill, but they did not tell her so, they said later, because they were too afraid of how she would react."

Boyd did cast a crucial "no" vote on the health care legislation; he later voted yes on the final package....


[Last modified: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:35am]


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