CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The morning after opening the Democratic National Convention, first lady Michelle Obama continued her campaign efforts for her husband Wednesday, working to appeal to Hispanic voters in North Carolina.
In a speech at a meeting of the Hispanic Caucus, Obama spoke of equality, telling a packed ballroom that her husband is "working to build a ladder to the middle class for all Americans." In appealing to caucus members to contribute, Obama made the case for donating to the Democratic cause.
"We have to step back and ask ourselves, 'Do we want to give the message that a few individuals have a far bigger say in our democracy than anybody else?'" she asked the crowd. "Do we want our elections to be all about who can buy the most ads on TV?"
The first lady may be one of the most powerful tools in President Obama's campaign disposal. Like many first ladies, she enjoys more popularity than the president. A May Gallup poll showed her favorability rating at 66 percent, well above the president's 52 percent.
The Obama campaign seems to be counting on her wide appeal. Michelle Obama this morning spoke to both the African-American and Hispanic Caucuses and the Human Rights Campaign. She plans to speak to the women's caucus Thursday.
If Hispanic delegates' reactions are any indicator, the first lady's visible role could be a significant boost to her husband.
"She's very grounded," says Carmen Torres, a delegate from Florida. "People love the feeling that they get from her. That's why she's so popular."
"When she's talking, she makes you feel like she's your family," says Elena McCullough, another Florida delegate. "You know that she's working hard for you, like she's your aunt."