CHARLOTTE, N.C. Michelle Obama emphasized themes of diversity and fairness in appearances Wednesday, speaking to enthusiastic Democratic audiences after her emotional portrait of her husband Tuesday night.
She told about 600 people gathered at the Marriott City Center for a luncheon honoring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered elected officials that she knew everyone was tired after a long opening night of the Democratic National Convention.
“I think you might be a little sick of me,” she said, generating a chorus of “No!”
She started her morning with talks to the African American and Hispanic caucuses, then went to the Marriott for the event sponsored by the Victory Fund and Human Rights Campaign.
When she talked about ensuring that “all Americans are treated fairly, no matter who you are or who you love,” a man called out “I love Barack!”
“I do too,” the first lady responded said. “We have something in common.” Later, she spoke about giving everyone the right to “do what Barack and I did and marry the loves of our lives.”
Obama was greeted by a standing ovation, whoops and a sea of cell-phone cameras at the luncheon. She was introduced by Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
“I want to say three things,” Griffin said. “No. 1: Did you see the dress she was wearing? No. 2: Where do I get those arms? And No. 3: Can she deliver a speech and inspire America or what?”
Obama urged supporters to get involved in the campaign. She said the 2008 margin of victory came down to 36 votes per precinct nationwide -- and only five votes per precinct in North Carolina. She told the crowd there wasn’t a minute to waste.
“You see my face,” she said. “It’s my serious first lady face.” She added, to the crowd’s laughter: “My mom face. You heard me, Sasha.”
On Wednesday afternoon, there was no indication that the first lady was going to make any community visits. Before the convention, rumors had floated that she would visit one of the many public schools where students grow vegetables, to promote her healthy eating campaign. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said they haven’t been contacted about any such visit.
The appetizer plates awaiting the guests at the Marriott looked as if they were designed to promote the healthy eating campaign: Two small, halved tomatoes, two celery sticks, two asparagus spears, two small cheese slices and about a dozen currants, all artistically arranged.
Dorie Cranshaw of Dallas said she was initially perplexed by the absence of silverware.
“Who cares?" she concluded. “I didn't come for the food.”
What did she come for? She spread her arms.
“Dallas is so Republican,” she said. “You can't imagine what it feels like to be surrounded by Democrats.”