Michelle Obama’s speech on the first day of the DNC kicks off in a few hours. Stay tuned later today as Crikey’s US correspondent Guy Rundle will be reporting live from Michelle Obama’s speech to the DNC. In the meantime, here’s a couple of interesting articles previewing what she’s expected to talk about and why it’s so important she hit the right notes.

 If You Knew Barack Like She Knows Barack. “More than most presidential candidates, Barack Obama has a complicated and rather exotic personal back story. On Monday, the task of telling Barack Obama’s story will fall to his wife—and Michelle Obama can be expected to rise to the occasion, though the moment will not be without dramatic tension.” — Slate

Michelle Obama’s goal: Define herself. Republicans have been busy trying to paint her in a less flattering light, as unpatriotic and a loose cannon who uttered controversial—she says misunderstood—comments about her pride as an American being stoked only for the first time with her husband’s presidential bid. The goal for Michelle Obama during this week’s Democratic convention is not all that different from her husband’s: She has to seize the moment and define herself rather than let the caricature sketched by her critics settle in the mind of voters.– Chicago Tribune

An Opportunity To Define Barack, The Black Middle Class. Many believe that it is her first “big test” at the forefront of the political and critical arena. Though first ladies, especially in the era of the pallid Laura Bush, may seem like an afterthought, their effect on voters is undeniable. — Jezebel

Crikey on Michelle Obama. And in case you missed it, here’s Crikey’s own backgrounder on Michelle Obama, with links to interesting profiles and videos.