First Lady checks out arena before prime-time speech

Credit: WCNC

First Lady checks out arena before prime-time speech

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by WCNC.com staff

WCNC.com

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 3 at 11:09 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Monday afternoon to prepare for her prime-time speech scheduled on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

The first lady spoke with reporters and then made her way to the stage to check out the convention podium on the main stage.

She took just a couple of minutes to look at the camera angles, teleprompter and backdrop before waving to people inside the arena and exiting the stage.

Her speech was scheduled for 10:35 p.m. during the prime-time portion of Tuesday night's program. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be giving the keynote address and introducing her.

Former President Bill Clinton will highlight Wednesday night's program.

Then, the convention will shift outdoors to the Bank of America Stadium for Thursday night's speeches by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Michelle Obama will be staying at the Ballantyne Hotel during the convention. Ballantyne Common Parkway is closed westbound all the way up to Johnston Road.

Barricades started going up at about noon Monday.

"We plan to figure out another way of getting down the road, which is ... a happy inconvenience," said resident Ralph Wallace.

It wasn't so happy for the owner of a nearby gas station, where barricades now block his main entrance.

"It makes it look like my station is closed, but I want everybody to know my station is open and I am still trying to get business," station owner Dipak Desai said.

At a nail salon across from the hotel, business had not been affected, and most here said they were happy to welcome the first lady.

"It is a beautiful thing and it brings an awareness about what is going on and it is exciting for the residents of Ballantyne," resident Beverly Delaney said.

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