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Democratic National Convention: Michelle Obama will play pivotal role

First lady Michelle Obama prepares to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
September 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
With the hall lit up and delegates are on the floor, the Democratic National Convention has begun. The headliner Tuesday night? First lady Michelle Obama.

There are attack dogs on both sides of this presidential race. But that's not Mrs. Obama's style. She instead intends to gently draw a contrast between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.

It's a different mission than four years ago, when Mrs. Obama had to introduce her husband to voters. This time, she has to persuade them to keep him in office despite a sluggish economy and high unemployment. If anyone can do that, her supporters say, the first lady can.

"Michelle is a very warm, warm person. I love her spirit," said Alene Harris, a delegate from Carson, Calif. "I think Michelle's mission tonight is to let people know the president is here for everyone."

"I think Michelle Obama has been a leader in this country, and you will hear from her tonight what an extraordinary woman she is in her own right," said Los Angeles City Controller and delegate Wendy Greuel.

Many first-time delegates will be in attendance. One of them is 17-year-old Trestan Fairweather, a freshly-minted Crenshaw High School graduate. He's the youngest member of the California delegation.

"I learned most of this stuff in my AP government class but I didn't know exactly how the processes went," he said. "Now I'm right in the middle of all of it and I'm learning. I'm learning how exactly everything goes. Everything is great and I'm having fun as well."

Another first-timer from California will be Thora Birch, an actress who appeared in the films "American Beauty" and "Patriot Games."

"There's a lot of energy, but I also get the sense that people here feel like they're on this mission," Birch said.

Look for ongoing reports from ABC7 Anchor Marc Brown at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.


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