CHARLOTTE, NC (TIP): Closing the first night of the Democratic convention, Mrs. Obama spoke of the vision and values that guided Barack Obama as president.
She said it was an “extraordinary privilege” to serve as first lady.
Michelle Obama spoke of the shared values she said guided Barack Obama as president
President Obama will formally accept the nomination on Thursday, and face Republican Mitt Romney in November.
A recent opinion poll suggests Mr. Obama maintains a thin lead over Mr. Romney.
But an ABC News/Washington Post poll released as the convention got under way in Charlotte, North Carolina, showed Mr. Obama with the lowest pre-convention favorability for an incumbent president since the 1980s.
The president is aiming to recapture the political spotlight over the next few days, after last week’s Republican convention.
Mrs. Obama said that four years ago she “believed deeply” in her husband’s “vision for this country”, but worried about how a run for president would change their life and the life of their daughters.
In a speech that energized a hyped-up crowd, she shared memories from their 23-year relationship, and noted that she had found a “kindred spirit” in a man whose values were similar to hers.
“Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable – their unconditional love, their unflinching sacrifice, and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves.”
She added: “Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids.
“Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it… and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”
The first lady’s speech connected their shared background to the values she said guided Mr. Obama as president.
“As president, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people,” she said, “but at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the life experiences that make you who you are.”
She said Mr. Obama was inspired by his own background when advocating for laws involving fair pay for women, healthcare and student debt.
He had not been changed by the White House, she said, and was “still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago”.
“He’s the same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities.”
In the toughest moments, she added, “he just keeps getting up and moving forward… with patience and wisdom, and courage and grace.”