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Michelle Obama seen as popular with Oklahoma Democrats

On the eve of Michelle Obama's speech at Democratic National Convention, Oklahomans in Charlotte, N.C., say she is down to earth and classy
by Chris Casteel Published: September 4, 2012

First lady Michelle Obama, who is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, has won the American public's approval because she comes across as a regular person and is a champion for causes important to people, Oklahomans at the convention said.

“She's just a classy lady that can connect with everybody, and I think she does that extremely well as first lady,” said Betty Simmons, a delegate from Lawton. “The care and compassion she has shown for military families and also dealing with the obesity problem, I think those are two things that have really put her in the hearts of Americans.”

Mark Temple said the 48-year-old first lady “doesn't try to be something that she's not. She identifies with where she came from.”

Moreover, he said, she is accessible, making herself available “to anybody who wanted to speak to her, who had ideas and concerns.”

According to a Gallup poll in late May, the first lady's approval rating was 66 percent, and she is expected to appear often on the campaign trail as a surrogate for her husband. She is scheduled to address several different groups at the convention this week — including blacks and Hispanics — and participate in a USO project.

State Rep. Mike Shelton, of Oklahoma City, said the first lady has set a new standard for women around the world.

“She's changing the way people think of first ladies,'' he said. “She is a go-getter; she's not sitting in the White House worrying about the decorating.”

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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