A newly minted U.S. citizen originally from Africa called Michelle Obama “a perfect first lady” and a “very inspiring” individual after watching the president’s wife speak Wednesday in Davenport.

Awa Kane of Davenport attended the rally for President Barack Obama in the Village of East Davenport. Kane recently attained citizenship and said she is looking forward to voting in November.

Becoming a U.S. citizen “is the biggest accomplishment of my life,” she added.

“I like her,” Kane said of Michelle Obama. “I do think she’s the perfect first lady.”

Kane, who is also the owner of a business called I Love My Braids in Davenport, wore the traditional clothing of her native Senegal to the rally.

Michelle Obama took the stage to introduce her husband to the crowd, estimated at 3,000 people, packed into the shopping district near River Drive.

“I brought someone with me,” she joked and told stories about how much she and her family enjoy Iowa. The state is full of people who are “generous and kind,” she said, adding that Iowa shows the democratic process at its very best.

“If you work hard in America, you can build a better life for yourself in America. That’s what my husband is fighting for,” she said.

“We can’t turn back now,” she added. “We have so much more work to do.”

The president described his wife as the “rock” of their family and preceded Kane in calling her “a perfect first lady.”

Michelle Obama’s role as a mother caught the attention of Darnisha Moore of Davenport, who attended the rally with her family.

“I feel safe with them in the presidency,” she said. “I’ll be voting for them and giving them my blessings.”

Dan DeShane of Coal Valley said the first lady knows the needs of the middle class and the poor in America.

“She just really understands the struggles we go through,” he said.

Davenport resident Bonnie Beechum said Michelle Obama gives credit to working mothers, which she appreciates. Beechum, who is with the United Neighbors Inc. community service agency in Davenport, finds the first lady “very down-to-earth” and a “terrific mother.”

Jamie Woods of Davenport also saluted the first lady, who pointed out that the president’s mother was a single, working mom.

“I’m that person, too,” Woods said. “I’m an ordinary person with an ordinary life, and the Obamas understand exactly what America is now going through.”

Woods also is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at which she will represent both Iowa and the African-American Caucus. She leaves Sept. 1 for the event in Charlotte, N.C.