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First lady’s passion moves many

Michelle Obama makes visceral connection with N.C. delegates

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Democrats gave a rousing salute Tuesday night to a woman who called herself the nation’s “mom-in-chief.”

First lady Michelle Obama walked off the stage at Time Warner Cable Arena after a speech that was impassioned and personal, supportive of her husband not only as president but as a father.

North Carolina delegate Elizabeth Glynn was moved to tears when Obama spoke about supporting military families. From a military family herself, the president of the Catawba County Democrats said she felt “very connected” to the Obama family in “so many ways.”

“I feel the values they’re fighting for are the values that my family is fighting for,” said Glynn, of Newton.

Delegate Denise Adams of Winston-Salem stood up more than a dozen times during the speech. A Winston-Salem city councilwoman, she repeated after Obama when she said “change was hard.” She raised her hand to her heart when Obama said, “We’ll get there.”

“Preach girlfriend,” Adams called out to the first lady.

After the speech, Adams said Michelle Obama keeps people focused on Barack Obama and “what makes him him.”

“He hasn’t changed,” Adams said. “He’s staying the course.”

Several women near the North Carolina delegation were wiping away tears as Obama spoke. A man shouted, “We love you, Michelle.”

One woman shouted, “You go girl!”

Dr. Eric Mansfield, a state senator from Fayetteville, identified with Obama’s description of her modest upbringing.

“The stories she shared, we could share them all,” he said.

Jeannette Council from Fayetteville said Obama “captured the heart of what’s important in a few words and in a style no one can imitate.”

And to Gloria Phoenix of Greensboro, “She gave hope to every mother, wife and daughter in the country.”

Obama’s speech wrapped up the first official day of the Democratic National Convention. Her husband will speak Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.

A video tribute had a North Carolina angle. In describing her work for military families, it included a clip of Lexington veteran Cal Cunningham. Staff writers Ann Doss Helms and Franco Ordonez contributed.

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