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Michelle Obama's speech ignites gunfire in Florida

August 27, 2008 |  2:30 am

OK, everybody is talking this morning about Hillary Rodham Clinton's powerful speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, which The Ticket wrote all about here.

But here's a postscript on that cozy little video family interlude Monday night with Barack Obama, on the giant screen in Denver's Pepsi Center. The presumed Democratic nominee got a little mixed up about where he was. He said he was in St. Louis, when actually he was in Kansas City.Michelle Obama after her Democratic National Conmvention speech in Denver

But the freshman Illinois senator has otherwise built quite a reputation as a real good talker on the stump -- smooth, cadenced, turning his eyes smoothly from teleprompter to teleprompter without the gawky jerkiness of George W. Bush.

Monday was also the first real opportunity for millions of Americans to see Obama's wife, Michelle, talking at length, except for that unfortunate winter sound bite about not being proud of America until now.

Her assignment was to help humanize her family and man, who seems cool and aloof to some. She told stories and tried to draw the positive biographical portrait that has become so crucial in the minds of American voters as they decide their voting preference for November, especially when the story of Obama's Republican opponent is much better known.

But down in Florida, Michelle Obama's speech apparently drove one as-yet-unidentified viewer a little crazy. Police in Pasco near Tampa Bay said a man exited his RV and began yelling and shooting his rifle into the air, apparently not celebrating. When police arrived and later the SWAT team, the man ducked back inside and held them at bay for six hours, despite tear gas canisters.

According to Sheriff spokesman Kevin Doll, when the man finally surrendered at dawn, he said the cause of his unhappiness was Michelle Obama's speech. He was taken for psychological evaluation. Which makes sense since we thought it was a pretty good speech.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Milbert O. Brown / Chicago Tribune

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