Michelle Obama, the Morning After

As DNC attendees basked in the afterglow of her convention speech, she urged them to get moving.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

(The Root) — If you thought that Michelle Obama was greeted like a star during her convention speech Tuesday night in Charlotte, N.C., you should have been at the meeting of the African American Caucus at the Democratic National Convention the morning after. “I love you so much,” she said to cheers from hundreds of people — probably the largest crowd that has ever attended one of these caucus get-togethers — after word spread about the “special guest” who was coming.

“I’m a little sleepy,” she admitted, to a crowd that was anything but sleepy in the aftermath of her electrifying convention speech. “Michelle is the driving force; she brought us to life,” remarked caucus attendee Willie Williams, from Omaha, Neb.’s 2nd Congressional District, a “blue spot in a red state.”

“Wasn’t that something?” said the first lady’s brother, Craig Robinson, at the Wednesday caucus meeting before she took the stage. “She tried to make a brother cry.” He said he never tired of listening to her describe how their disabled father slowly climbed the steps — and “there were 14 of them bad boys” — after his swing shift.

Capturing the church mood of the gathering, Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, said, “There’s nothing like having testimony on a Tuesday night.”

The diverse crowd clogged the aisles to take pictures of Mrs. Obama, looking fresh and rested despite her quip about being tired. She appeared anxious to move forward the conversation she’d started Tuesday night.

“Last night truly set the stage for what’s at stake in this election and what we need to guide us forward for the next four years,” she said. “The evening reflected Barack’s broad and inclusive vision” that anyone who’s willing to work for it should have a chance. “This election, more than any other in history, is about how we want our democracy to function for decades to come,” she continued.

Like other speakers, Mrs. Obama stressed the urgency of grassroots get-out-the-vote efforts and financial donations to a campaign that is being outspent by conservative political action committees and donors supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

“Do we want to give a few individuals a far bigger say in our democracy than anyone else? Do we want our elections to be about who buys the most ads on TV?” she asked, and the audience shouted, “No.”

“Do we want our kids and our grandkids to walk away from this election feeling like ordinary, hardworking voices can no longer be heard?” she asked, contrasting the differences between the parties without saying Romney’s name out loud.