* First lady beats Mitt, Ann Romney on Twitter
* Speech boosts Barack Obama standing on Internet
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES, Sept 5 Michelle Obama wowed
Americans with an emotional speech at the Democratic National
Convention that set the Twitterverse alight with gushing praise
and boosted husband Barack Obama's social media standing as he
makes his bid to stay in the White House.
TV viewing figures showed that the audience for the first
lady's Tuesday night address in Charlotte, North Carolina, was
about 22 million across the three main cable TV and three
free-to-air U.S. networks, according to Nielsen data.
The preliminary figure was about 1.5 million higher than the
20.5 million people who tuned into the 10 p.m. hour a week ago
to hear Ann Romney speak about her husband, Mitt Romney, Obama's
Republican challenger in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
Audience figures for cable news networks will be available
later on Wednesday.
But in social media, reaction to Michelle Obama's speech was
off the charts, and Twitter was packed with messages wondering
whether she would one day run for the highest office in the land
Mrs. Obama racked up 28,000 tweets per minute at the
conclusion of her speech on the opening night of the convention,
according to Twitter. That was double the 14,000 that Mitt
Romney saw in his convention speech in Tampa, Florida, last
week. Ann Romney's tweets per minute tally was just over 6,000.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said the first lady had scored "not
a home run but a grand slam."
Mark Iafrate, creative director for online tracking firm
General Sentiment, said Michelle Obama was "the most discussed
person at the DNC," next to the president himself.
She garnered twice as many mentions as former President Bill
Clinton in traditional and social media mentions of convention
speakers, according to General Sentiment.
Twitter hashtags #michelleobama and #firstlady were among
the top five trending topics on Tuesday night. Mrs. Obama's
Twindex score, which measures tweeters' feelings about a
political person, rose from 71 before the speech to 84
President Obama got an even bigger boost. His Twindex score
rose from 25 before his wife took to the stage to 54 immediately
afterward. Traditional opinion polls, however, continued to show
Obama and Romney in a tight race the week of the convention.
In a canny move, the White House put out a cozy photo of
Obama and his two daughters curled on a sofa in the White House
listening to Michelle's speech. The photo notched 82,000 views
in just the first hour of its release.
Comedian and actor Chris Rock was among Americans energized
by her performance. "I'm ready to vote NOW dammmit! Where's the
ballot? What day is it? Where am I? Who am I? Michelle OBAMA
ladies & gentlemen. wow," he wrote on Twitter.
Many others looked beyond the mom-in-chief mantle that Mrs.
Obama has assumed as her main role.
"I think we need to stop comparing Michelle Obama's speech
to first lady speeches and start comparing it to presidential
ones. That strong." said Twitter user Heidi N. Moore.
"Screw it, make Michelle Obama the president of the whole
damn world," said David Robert on the microblogging site.