Monday, August 18, 2008

at Dem Convention: Obama's image to be "All American"

By JEFF ZELENY and JIM RUTENBERG
Published: August 17, 2008


WASHINGTON — One of the first images prime-time viewers will see of the Democratic National Convention next week is that of Michelle Obama, who will begin the four-day introduction of her husband, and her family, on her terms.

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They are seeking some intimacy amid the grandiosity of Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech in the Invesco Field stadium before an audience of more than 70,000, the sort of cheering throng Mr. McCain’s aides have sought to use against Mr. Obama by portraying him as presiding over a cult of personality.

When he delivers his speech on the last night of the convention, Mr. Obama will not be addressing the crowd from a lone lectern at the edge of the field; he will be standing at the 50-yard line, surrounded by a diverse set of people he has met throughout the campaign, whose presence is intended to signal to viewers at home that people like them are O.K. with Mr. Obama. Ten people selected by the campaign from all corners of the country will meet backstage with Mr. Obama and be shown to the television audience, also intended to convey their comfort level with the senator.

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