Michelle Obama delivered a rousing plea to the American people to give her husband four more years in the White House as the president’s bid for re-election got formally underway at the Democrat National Convention.
In an impassioned speech, she said her husband had lived the "American Dream," but made no mention his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
However just like Ann Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention last week, Michelle Obama used much of her speech to to humanise her husband.
She told the crowd that she and her husband had the same values: "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."
"Even back then when Barack was a senator and presidential candidate 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 to laughs from the crowd.
"He was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he'd found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half-size too small."
"Today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways I never could have imagined, I have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are – it reveals who you are," she told the crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"That's the man I see in those quiet moments late at night, hunched over his desk, poring over the letters people have sent him," she said. "I see the concern in his eyes ... and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, `you won't believe what these folks are going through, Michelle. It’s not right. We've got to keep working to fix this. We've got so much more to do.'"
The first lady is currently more popular with the American people than her husband, and her opinion ratings are also higher than Romney’s, according to an Associated Press poll.
And while much of her speech focused on her relationship with Barack Obama, she also used rousing rhetoric similar to the style of her husband to make political points.
In a reference to the Democrats pro-choice position on abortion, she said: "He believes that women are more than capable about our bodies and our healthcare, that's what my husband stands for."
And in a pointed gesture towards another dividing line between the Republican and Democrats, she expressed support for gay marriage, declaring that "proud Americans" should be able to "be who the are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love".
Democrats have looked to Obama recapture the hearts of Americans once drawn to his message of hope and change, but now weary after years of economic weakness and political squabbles.
The nationally televised, three-day convention puts Democrats in the spotlight, allowing them to depict Obama as a courageous, compassionate leader who has put the United States on the right track after inheriting a brutal recession.Suggest a correction