Michelle Takes Barack's Case to Black Voters

Candidate shifts gears as primaries loom in more diverse states
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 5:45 PM CST
Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) introduces him to speak at a campaign rally in the gymnasium at Concord High School January 7, 2008 in Concord, New Hampshire....   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Transcending race means that Barack Obama often keeps black voters at arm’s length, but his wife is taking the contest to African Americans, Newsweek reports. Born on Chicago’s South Side, Michelle Obama has more in common with black Americans than her Indonesia- and Hawaii-raised husband—and has no qualms about speaking candidly.

Michelle Obama, a Princeton and Harvard grad, said last week that “too many little black girls” can’t live the dream as she is. But shifting demographics have changed the candidate’s tone, the New York Times reports. Building up to the primary in South Carolina, where African Americans make up 60% of the Democratic electorate, Obama appeared before a black audience. "We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing each other down," he said.