Convention's Focus: All-American Obama

Film, speeches seek to allay fears of Democrat's 'otherness'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2008 10:45 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama gets a thumbs-up from wife Michelle in St. Paul, Minn., June 3, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Introducing a candidate to voters is a task in every campaign, but no presidential nominee has ever faced the challenge confronting Barack Obama. Next week's Democratic convention will feature an orchestrated roll-out of the Obama story on the candidate's own terms, the New York Times reports. Michelle Obama will headline the opening day, and a biographical film will underscore Obama’s all-American credentials.

The Democrats will try to present the Obamas as a "prototypical nuclear family," one strategist says. References to "shared values" and an "American journey" will attempt to offset voter apprehensions about a black candidate with an unusual upbringing. And on the night of his acceptance speech, Obama will stand alongside voters from around the country to emphasize his diverse appeal.