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.” (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)