CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.
She spoke of quiet moments, of a relationship's early days — of a man who, seen through her eyes, is not a world leader but a husband and a partner.
Michelle Obama gave a remarkably personal account of her husband and their marriage in her speech to the Democratic convention. In a voice often soft, even girlish, the first lady talked about things like the quiet hours in the evening when the president sits hunched over a desk, worrying about people who are facing troubles. She talked about how he would check their baby daughters' breathing at times just to make sure they still were alive.
Now that they are older, she said, he patiently explains world issues to them at the dinner table and strategizes about middle-school friendships. She got a rueful, friendly laugh from the crowd when she described how, when they first dated, he had so little money that the rust on his car had eaten a hole through the passenger-side door.
Like Ann Romney's speech at the Republican convention last week, the first lady's remarks focused almost exclusively on deeply personal stories. They may well have been true, but they were also precisely calibrated — a nationally televised attempt to humanize a man who some voters have found aloof, even arrogant.
Obama has spoken of more inward things on several occasions in recent months, from his admission that he got a shellacking in the 2010 elections to his recent grading of his own handling of the economy as "incomplete." But he rarely speaks openly about personal vulnerabilities or provides much insight into his feelings.
On Tuesday night, his wife did it for him.
— Sally Buzbee
MICHELLE TALKS BACK
Michelle Obama had a sly rebuke for Republicans who've been making hay of her husband's "you didn't build that" remark.
Mitt Romney and his supporters say President Barack Obama's comment shows he values government over entrepreneurs struggling to build their own businesses. The president says he was talking about the importance of teachers, roads and other government works that businesses rely on.
Mrs. Obama, in her speech to the Democratic convention, gently revisited the issue as she talked about lessons she and her husband learned from their families.
"We learned about gratitude and humility — that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean — and we were taught to value everyone's contribution and treat everyone with respect," the first lady said.
She also responded indirectly to her rival Ann Romney's criticism of Democrats who've attacked Mitt Romney's success in business.
"Our families weren't asking for much," Mrs. Romney said. "They didn't begrudge anyone else's success or care that others had much more than they did — in fact, they admired it."
— Connie Cass —Twitter http://twitter.com/ConnieCass
Julian Castro paid tribute to his late grandmother Victoria and his mother Rosie with a memorable line.
"My mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I could hold this microphone," the keynote speaker told the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.
The San Antonio mayor recalled his "unlikely journey" from the son of a Latino activist to the convention stage. He said Victoria cleaned other people's houses so she could rent her own. His mother was the first in the family to graduate from college. That legacy of hard work propelled him to a prime-time speaking slot at the convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Castro said he was proud of his mom, and he thanked her.
— Donna Cassata — Twitter http://twitter.com/DonnaCassataAP
SHOW OF FORCE
She never mentioned Mitt Romney's name, but Michelle Obama worked in some not-too-subtle digs against the GOP nominee in her prime-time speech Tuesday.