If Ann Romney's job during the Republican National Convention was to humanize her husband, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, says first lady Michelle Obama's task will be to clearly illustrate that she and her husband President Barack Obama are products of "The American Dream."
"The fundamental deceit of the Romney campaign is this suggestion that the president doesn't understand Americans when the president and the first lady are the most powerful examples of the American Dream," Van Hollen told U.S. News. "If anybody understands American exeptionalism, it's President Barack Obama."
Both the first lady and the president have articulated their early struggles on the campaign trail. Michelle Obama's father was a janitor, Barack's mother was a single parent.
"I think she can remind people that they were not born on third base and they want an America where everyone has a chance to succeed. Not just the people who already had a head start," Van Hollen says.
Van Hollen says another key player for the convention will be former president Bill Clinton, who remains popular with swing voters.
Van Hollen believes Clinton can sell the remaining 8 to 10 percent of undecided voters on Obama's economic plan, which includes both spending cuts and tax increases on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year.
Clinton's own economic plan also included tax increases on the rich, which helped reduce the country's deficit in the 1990s.
"What the president is proposing for the next four years is a 21st century version of what Bill Clinton proposed," Van Hollen says. "The president's plan looks to the future, but it applies the same principles."
Van Hollen says Clinton has to hit home how Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney's plan is similar to George W. Bush's economic strategy.
"What Bill Clinton did during his time is a very strong contrast to the trickle-down approach that we tried during the Bush years," Van Hollen says. "The economy crashed and unemployment went through the roof, so you kind of have a real-life comparison here."
Republicans have presented the question "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" to the American people, but Van Hollen says Democrats are going to be working hard this week to show how Americans are better off.
"I think they are going to regret asking that question, because what they were counting on is the American people having collective case of amnesia," Van Hollen says.