The first lady closed the first day of speeches at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., by painting a portrait of the man out of the public eye.
"For Barack, these issues are not political, they're personal," Obama said. "Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. Barack knows the American dream because he's lived it."
Being president doesn't change who you are, she said.
"No, it reveals who you are," she said.
She also spoke of Obama being her kindred spirit because of their backgrounds.
Her parents didn't have much money or material goods, "but they gave us their unconditional love and sacrifice," Obama said. Her husband, she said, was raised in similar circumstances.
"Our families weren't asking for much," she said. "They didn't begrudge others success ... they admired it. They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that if you work hard, do what you're supposed to do, you can build a decent life for yourself and a better life for your kids."
That's who we are," she said.
As Ann Romney did last week at the Republican National Convention, Obama spoke of love -- love of family, husband and wife, parent and child, country.
When asked whether the White House changed her husband, Obama said, "I can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago. …
"When the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming or even impossible, let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation," Obama said. "It is who we are as Americans. It is how this country was built."
The struggles people have experienced and the dangers others face to ensure the country's freedoms are the story of America, she said.
"The story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle," Obama said. "That is what has made my story and Barack's story and so many American stories possible. …
"I say all of this tonight, not just as a first lady, no, not just as a wife," she said. "You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom in chief."
Obama said she knows if she wants to leave a better world for her daughters, as all parents want to do for their children, "then we must work like never before, and we must once again come together, and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward."
"My husband, our president, Barack Obama."