By Sam Frizell
The audience in Winston-Salem, N.C., could be forgiven for forgetting which Democrat is running for President.
It was Michelle Obama who had the last word at a rally on Thursday afternoon after being introduced by Hillary Clinton. The First Lady took more time to speak than Clinton did, and it was the First Lady who received longer and more effusive praise from her partner on stage.
“Hillary’s mini tribute to me has taken me off — kind of, thrown me a little,” Obama told the crowd after Clinton’s introductory remarks.
As Clinton has entered the last stretch of the election, her campaign has liberally deployed Obama as its most popular political surrogate. Thursday was the first time Clinton and Obama spoke on the same stage, and they played feel-good boosters more than antagonists to Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“I am grateful for Hillary for her leadership, for her courage and for what she is going to do for this country,” Obama said. “Thankfully Hillary is a policy wonk. When you are President, that is a good thing.”
“There are so many things I admire about our First Lady,” said Clinton.
Polls show that Michelle Obama is better liked than both her husband President Barack Obama and Clinton herself, the woman atop the Democratic ticket. The First Lady has campaigned for Clinton in New Hampshire and Arizona, was a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention and gained attention for her biting attacks against Donald Trump for his boasting about sexual assault, revealed in a 2005 tape.
Clinton and Obama had a notably less amicable relationship in 2008, when then Senator Barack Obama ran against Clinton for the Democratic nomination. That year, Michelle seemed to suggest that Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances made Hillary unfit for the office.
“One of the important aspects of this race is role modeling what good families should look like,” Michelle Obama said in 2008. “In my view is that if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House.”
Her tone was much different in North Carolina on Thursday.