Published January 13, 2015
Michelle Obama said Monday that although her husband can electrify a crowd with his speeches, the Democratic presidential contender won't be perfect as the campaign drags on.
"Barack has given people that hope, but he's going to get tired. This is a long campaign," Michelle Obama told Democrats gathered for a house party in Windham, N.H. "I joke he's not going to be able to bring people to tears with every speech that he makes. He's going to make stumbles.
"And what's going to keep this going are the people around this room and around this country who are finding other people to get involved."
Michelle Obama, a 43-year-old Chicago hospital executive, drew more media coverage on her solo day trip to the first primary state than some presidential candidates. Her husband, Sen. Barack Obama, was in Detroit, speaking about fuel efficiency and the auto industry.
Obama talked about herself first and her husband second while mingling with voters at the home of a software engineer. She introduced herself as a working-class daughter of public schools and Chicago's South Side, whose parents sacrificed to put her and her brother through Princeton University.
When the topic shifted to her husband, Obama said frankly she was ready to write him off when she first met him.
"His name was Barack Obama, and I thought, 'Well, I'm sure this guy is weird, right?"' Obama said, to laughter. When she found out he grew up in Hawaii — "Spent his formative years on an island. And I thought, 'Well you've got to be a little nuts."'
Obama said she quickly changed her mind after their first conversation.
"I realized we had more in common than we thought," she said.
Obama also addressed what some perceive as her husband's greatest flaw as a candidate — his lack of political experience as a freshman senator.
"I know that experience is important but experience without the sort of moral compass is not enough," she said.
"He doesn't have the check-marked experiences but he has the experience that makes a difference," she added, noting her husband's work as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer, law professor and state lawmaker.