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Michelle Obama's emotional speech touts president's humble roots, vision

First lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.
September 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
At the Democratic National Convention's opening day, Michelle Obama was a woman with a job to do. She was tasked with making the case for four more years of an Obama administration in the face of a sluggish economic recovery and stubbornly disappointing unemployment figures.

Mrs. Obama was the speaker everyone was waiting for. The first lady, who is more popular than the president, was going to define her husband and reassure the country that it made the right choice in 2008. Mrs. Obama spoke of the president's humble beginnings and how they matched her own.

"Even back then when Barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me, he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the passenger-side door," she said lovingly about her husband.

She spoke of President Barack Obama the husband, the father. Some in the audience were clearly moved, but the people on the convention floor aren't the people she needs to convince. It's the independents, the few undecided voters who have yet to make up their minds.

"I have seen over the struggles that my husband has been through, that the presidency doesn't change who you are. It reveals who you are," she said, attesting to the president's character.

Her speech was a combination of the personal and the political.

"He believes that when you've worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you - no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed," she said.

"She was fantastic," said former California Gov. Gray Davis. "She was just so heartfelt, so personal and so moving."

No one will know how the speakers did Tuesday night. That will have to wait until some polls have been conducted that will determine whether the president got a post-convention bounce.

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


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