Michelle Obama made me cry – and pretty much everyone else around me. There wasn’t a dry eye when she was done speaking and the strains of Stevie Wonder’s "Isn’t She Lovely" began to waft through the Pepsi Center. Yes she is!

It made the rest of the night worthwhile. The security lines getting into the center were outrageous. The security perimeter is more than a quarter mile away from the security check in area. Once you get to the lines, they then herd you through what must in their everday lives be cattle gates, to finally get you to the metal detectors. That process took about a half an hour, with all of humanity waiting to enter together. Fortunately it served as a great way to meet up with friends, elected officials, and colleagues.

From there we were fortunate enough to have access to seats. Watching from the nosebleeds we were a bit confused by the "regular" people they kept trotting out to speak. It didn’t resonate well with the crowds and the night definitely felt flat.

Caroline Kennedy and "Uncle Teddy" definitely got the place energized and it was great to see old Ted in such high spirits. He looked really great and delivered an energized and passionate speech.

But, it was without question Michelle Obama’s night. From the moment they started the video presentation narrated by her mother, to her brother’s sincere and heartfelt introduction, to the moment she strolled onto the stage, resplendant in emerald green, she brought us back to life. Her grace and her presence were felt immediately. People next to me whispered "she’s beautiful" and the arena fell silent as she began to speak in measured and eloquent tones. I don’t know how long she spoke but I didn’t want it to end. Her message of hope and of family and of not accepting the world as it is today but of seeking a better tomorrow had me smiling and welling up with tears.

When she spoke about her children and her husband and about her father you felt as if you were talking to your best girlfriend sharing a private moment. Yet, there she was, revealing her most private feelings in front of tens of thousands of faces waving blue "Michelle" signs. What a lucky country we will be if she is indeed our first lady.

Random Denver Musings

My favorite moment of the daytime happened quite by accident. Enjoying lunch on the 16th Street Mall, the main pedestrian thoroughfare, we noticed people on the streets stopping, pointing and watching. Then I noticed the Suburbans and knew something good must be up. Lo and behold, our Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden decided to "take it to the people". Looking tan and ebullient with a shock of platinum hair, he strode through the street like a movie star.

At one point, he stopped right in front of the restaurant we were at, was handed a little girl, and held her aloft while posing for pictures. The restaurant came to a complete halt while everyone watched gasping at the momentousness of it all. He then greeted a throng that gathered and after a few moments, alighted through the streets of Denver with a gaggle of Suburbans in tow. Boy is that guy in a good mood. Looking forward to seeing more of him if today was any indication.

There’s an excitement here – to be honest, I feel it more just out on the streets than in the convention hall. The whole city is part of the buzz and its so energizing to be a part of it. From the button hawkers (light up donkey anyone?) to the strange protesters (Clintons for McCain?) to the guy we saw dressed like Jesus talking to a guy in a Santa suit in a wheelchair (I think they’ve worked out some big issues), it’s just fun to be out and about.

The only odd moments are the vans of riot geared, fully armed police riding on the running boards through the city. Germany 1943 anyone? As one person from LA said to me, "its a little scary to see all these suburban police officers in their paramilitary gear riding through the city". Maybe us LA folk have heard a few too many bad stories about nervous, inexperienced cops with itchy trigger fingers?

Denver is showing us a good time so we’ll forgive the awkward moments of street closures with no alternative routes posted and instead focus on what a walkable, clean, and friendly city this is.

Sitting at the Rock the Vote party now I’m struck by what an event this week truly is. There’s something going on every moment and something for everybody. While the convention itself feels a little staged and staid, moments like Michelle Obama’s speech and the dialogue that’s happening in ballrooms and salons all over the city every day make me remember why I got into politics and government in the first place.

Gotta run…need to add my text message answer to the AT&T video billboard asking us "I vote because…" before NERD goes on stage.