Michelle Grounds Barack's Vision

Mrs. Obama's real-life rags-to-riches story gives Barack gravitas
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 27, 2008 6:59 PM CST
Michelle Obama, left, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., high fives Lorena Vance during a town hall meeting in Elko, Nev. Friday, Jan. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail full-time last week, and she is proving a formidable force in her own right, Time reports. As Democratic campaigns grow more vicious, presidential hopeful Barack needs someone to lean on—and Michelle’s proud role as a self-proclaimed "working-class girl" who could be "the next first lady" helps to ground her husband’s uplifting message in reality.

Michelle Obama's speeches, unlike her husband’s, focus on her rags-to-riches upbringing and don’t shy away from race. They are helping to nudge audiences, especially undecided black women, toward the Illinois senator. “She was really a real person, I was inspired, just in awe,” said one South Carolina student. Observed a child of immigrants: “It was like she was telling our story.”