The role of the candidate's wife has evolved over time, but at political conventions, she is often called upon to "soften" her husband, to "humanize" him, to show the voters that her husband is more than just a politician.
This was certainly Ann Romney's approach at last week's Republican National Convention in Tampa. "I can tell you why I fell in love with him," Ann told the audience. "He was tall, laughed a lot. He was nervous: girls like that. It shows a guy's a little intimidated. He was nice to my parents but he was really glad when they weren't around. But more than anything, he made me laugh."
Michelle Obama incurred a great deal of criticism throughout the 2008 campaign, particularly after she told a Milwaukee crowd that, because of American support for her husband, "For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country." The soon-to-be first lady soon retreated from politics, dedicating her 2008 DNC speech to Obama's character. "What struck me when I first met Barack was that even though he had this funny name and even grew up across the continent in Hawaii, his family was so much like mine," she said. "He was raised by grandparents who were working class folks just like my parents, and by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills just like we did."
How does the First Lady's speech 2012 DNC speech compare to Ann Romney's, and to Michelle Obama's speech in 2008? Juana Summers, national political reporter for Politico, and Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich, explain.