CHARLOTTE — Michelle Obama highlighted the first family’s humble background, commitment to family and down-to-earth attitude during her appearance before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina Tuesday.
Although the First Lady never mentioned Mitt Romney by name, the remarks appeared to be aimed at drawing contrast between President Barack Obama and the Republican Presidential candidate, whose vast personal wealth has been a frequent target for some Democrats.
Obama indirectly addressed Republican charges that the Democrats’ critiques of Romney, which include highlighting lay-offs that took place under Romney’s stewardship of investment firm Bain Capital as well as bank accounts in the Caribbean and Switzerland, represent an attack on success.
“Like so many American families, our families weren’t asking for much. They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success or care that others had much more than they did. In fact, they admired it,” Obama said.
“That’s how they raised us,” Obama continued. “We learned about dignity and decency. That how hard you work matters more than how much you make. That helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.”
Obama connected the theme of humble beginnings to a narrative about the President’s lingering connection to the plight of the average American, recounting the early days of their relationship, wherein the President would drive a car that car that was “so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement” and take pride in a coffee table he found in the dumpster.
She went on to present the powerful image of the President “hunched over on his desk” reading correspondence from American citizens all over the country who are struggling and sharing their experiences with the President.
The rise, Obama said, represents the fulfillment of the American dream.
Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it,” Obama said. “And he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”
Obama’s address capped the first night of the Democratic National Convention. The party gathering goes until Thursday night and will feature former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday and conclude with remarks from Joe Biden and Barack Obama.