First Lady: President is a Man of Character

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CHARLOTTE, NC (CNN)– First lady Michelle Obama says that her husband is more than just a political figure – he’s a loving father and family man.

The first lady spoke on Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Tuesday evening. Her mission, like Ann Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention a week ago, was to highlight her husband’s warmth and likability.

“When people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say that when it comes to his character, and his convictions, and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago,” Mrs. Obama said.

The first lady spoke on the convention’s opening night, exactly one week after Ann Romney delivered what one CNN analyst called “political velvet,” an address at the GOP convention in Tampa that took her sometimes robotic businessman husband, Mitt Romney, and turned him into a charismatic candidate who will be a champion of working-class Americans.

Michelle Obama has an easier job ahead of her in convincing voters of the president’s likability; his favorability in this area ranks far above that of his GOP opponent. But she still worked to counter a perception that Obama is a cool and sometimes distant president who has been slow to build relationships outside the White House.

She also weighed in on what drives Obama’s decision-making process, noting letters that he reads at night with “concern in his eyes” from struggling Americans.

“As president, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. But at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are,” she said.

Both Obamas have talked openly about the importance of the family dinner and spending time with their two daughters, 11-year-old Sasha and 14-year-old Malia, outside of the demands of the White House.

Campaign officials said Michelle Obama’s focus would be to help augment the campaign’s strategy to use the convention as a way to show “what drives (the president) every day.”

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