The photo op went off without a hitch. Hashtag empathy ensued.

Via The Hill

First Lady Michelle Obama joined vulnerable Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in a visit with military spouses on Saturday in New Orleans, telling the families, “You all keep me going.”

The first lady has had a busy weekend, first filling in for husband by delivering her first solo weekly address and then giving the commencement address at Dillard University.

Obama runs a military family support initiative called Joining Forces with Dr. Jill Biden, and she said she “jumped at the chance” to meet with about a dozen military and veteran spouses at the National World War II Museum.

“We’re all up in Washington hoping that what we’re doing is impacting you all on the ground,” she told them, according to a White House pool report. “It gives us a sense of what’s working, what’s not.”

She called their sacrifices and strength inspiring. “You all keep me going,” she said, leaning forward and pressing her hands on the table. “There are so few people who understand what it means to do the kind of service you’re doing.”

The rest of their talk was private. Landrieu is in a close re-election battle, and a poll last week from Louisiana-based Southern Media and Opinion Research found she had dropped to her lowest level of support, garnering just 36 percent to 35 percent from her top Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy.

The first lady is generally more popular than her husband, and Landrieu has kept her distance politically from Obama criticizing him for his delay in approving the Keystone XL pipeline.