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Hillary Clinton stars at Virginia rally for McAuliffe

Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at a rally in Falls Church, Va., Saturday for Virginia gubernatorial candidate and family friend Terry McAuliffe.

Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at a rally in Falls Church, Va., Saturday for Virginia gubernatorial candidate and family friend Terry McAuliffe.

WASHINGTON — A major Democratic campaign roared into Falls Church, Va., over the weekend, and the headline attraction urged an adoring crowd to ‘‘lead the way of turning from divisive politics’’ because ‘‘the whole country is watching’’ Virginia.

The nominal reason a throng of supporters gathered at the State Theatre on Saturday was to boost Terry McAuliffe’s campaign for Virginia governor against Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli II, the state attorney general. But the real star of the show was Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state and potential candidate for her party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

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Clinton made no mention of that contest, focusing instead on the election that’s just over two weeks away. She and former President Bill Clinton are longtime friends and allies of McAuliffe who have lent their cachet and fund-raising prowess to his campaign.

On Saturday, she offered her official endorsement.

‘‘He has maybe the biggest heart and the most open mind of anyone you will ever meet,’’ Clinton said. ‘‘Terry has always been there for me, and I am pleased to be here for him.’’

Bill Clinton has also held fund-raisers for McAuliffe and is widely expected to campaign for his old friend before Election Day.

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