CHARLOTTE — Democrats are absolutely thrilled with Michelle Obama’s performance at their national convention here Tuesday night, and they greeted her with raucous applause and standing ovations Wednesday when she stopped by to visit two of the party’s key demographic groups.
Democrats have always known they have a star in the first lady, but after last night, they believe it may have gone super nova.
“We had a good night last night,” a beaming Democratic staffer told TPM Wednesday morning. “Michelle had a really good night.”
In the hours after Obama wrapped up her speech to the primetime audience, reviews were mostly glowing. Even Fox News begrudgingly called the speech “masterful” (before attacking what it said were big-government overtones).
In the halls of the convention center in Charlotte, home of the caucus meetings, administrative offices and the press, Obama was as fired up on stage as she was in the convention hall the night before.
“I’m still thrilled,” Obama said to applause at the Hispanic Caucus meeting, the second stop on her morning tour. “I’m a little sleepy.”
Obama gave basically the same speech to both groups, highlighting what she said were the major stakes in the election.
“This election more than any other in history is about how we want our democracy to function for decades to come,” she told the Black Caucus. “Do we want our elections to be about who buys the most ads on TV? Do we want our kids and our grandkids to walk away from this election feeling like ordinary, hardworking voices can no longer be heard in this country?”
The Wednesday crowds said Obama’s speech the night before had set the tone for a convention bent on waking up the Democratic base and reaching out to the middle.
“She extended the energy, and she’s our voice,” said Patty Villa Cervantes, a delegate from Coralles, N.M. “She’s come out of the closet, man! She’s a woman and she’s a woman of color, and I identify with her and I’m so proud of her.”
JoCasta Zamarripa, a delegate and member of the Wisconsin state legislature, said Obama’s appearances in her state have helped keep the troops rallied there.
“She’s a great communicator,” she said. “She’s as great as President Obama is.”