CHARLOTTE, N. Car. – Twelve hours after wowing supporters at the Democratic National Convention during her address at the Time Warner Cable Arena, First Lady Michelle Obama stepped from behind a curtain in a ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center and the room exploded.
A sea of African-American faces surged forward, with waves of people jostling for a view of Mrs. Obama that they could capture via camera. The setting was the African-American Caucus, filled with African-American delegates and about as many other African-American convention-goers that could be wedged into the room.
"What you do every day for the next 62 days will make the difference between waking up on Nov. 7 (one day after the election) and asking yourself could I have done more, or sealing the promise of four more years."
"Mmm hmm, four more years," said a woman behind me.
A few minutes later, Mrs. Obama leaned toward the audience and said she needed to know something. "Are you fired up?"
"Fired up!" came the response, as rows of people jumped to their feet.
Mrs. Obama fired back: "Are you ready to go?"
Chants of "Ready to go" echoed back.
Mrs. Obama came back with, "I'm so fired up, can you tell?"
"This is about our future, our sons and our daughters and the world we want to leave for them long after we are gone."
Each person entering the room walked pass a table where they were offered a handout from African Americans for Obama (est. 2007) that spelled out five "simple things you can do online to make sure that President Obama is re-elected.
On the list:
1. Join Dashboard, the campaigns online engagement tool.
2. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Download the APP that the campaign recently released for both iphones and Androids.
4. Read BarackObama.com and share the news.
5. Text "READY" to 62262, assuring conclusion on a list with the latest news alerts, local campaign information and voting reminders.
Mrs. Obama, continuing what many observers here noted as heightened energy and even more of the sincerity she already is known for, told the crowd to go beyond taking individual responsibility for their own votes.
She told here audience to move on others, visit battleground states and call people they know in battleground states. Reminding them of how close the election was in numerous places in 2008, she said a few handful of votes could make a difference in some cases.
During her keynote address on Tuesday night, some delegates said the First Lady managed to make most of the thousands of people in the Time Warner Cable Arena feel as though she was talking directly to them.
State Rep. Karen Camper (D-Memphis) carried a "We Love Michelle" sign as she and other members of the Tennessee Delegation to the Democratic National Convention began the informal process of debriefing themselves about an evening of speeches capped off by Mrs. Obama.
The hallways of the Time Warner Cable Arena were abuzz and it mostly was about Mrs. Obama and a "talk: that registered with many for its personal touch and feel.
"I heard from her that you can trust her husband, that he has values that are innate in him," said Camper.
"And that he would not waiver from those values because they were bred in him by his family...and he is rooted in that. Even when the noise (criticism) is loud, he can turn down the noise and turn to his inward values."