Baratunde Thurston, Writer, Comedian, WNYC Special Correspondent
Baratunde Thurston is the author of the book How to Be Black, former digital director of The Onion, and founder of baratunde.com
It was an eventful night which began with the Obama administration redistributing wealth by having arena security confiscate my umbrella. I loved that umbrella. It's been around the world with me. This theft threw off my mood.
But then the speaking started, and people got excited, and I couldn't remain annoyed. Cory Booker and Deval Patrick moved the crowd in exceptional ways, ways that worried me. Would there be enough inspiring-black-man sauce left for President Obama Thursday night?
Lily Ledbetter and her amazing story were made all the more awesome by that accent of hers. What is that? Doesn't matter. It's awesome. Also, her name is Lily Ledbetter, which is badass, which means she can do whatever she wants.
At some point, I ran into a friend from Tokyo who took me to a part of the arena I didn't know existed. There was free wine and lots of carbs and a brief conversation with the U.S. Ambassador to Manila who tried to convince me I really should visit Manila.
Julian Castro reminded me that Texas is far more than a state. It's a way of life. I still think he should have closed on "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" from Friday Night Lights. Why Texas politicians refuse to channel Coach Taylor remains a mystery to me.
But the real highlight was the woman who earned the name "The Closer" on the 2008 campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama. I found myself unable to think with the sarcastic part of my brain. She had disabled me! Instead, I listened to her out-Obama President Obama and make the real, grounded and human case for her husband to get another term as president.
Like Ann Romney, she humanized herself and her husband. Like Ann Romney, she used personal stories to build a connection with the audience. But unlike Romney, Michelle Obama more seamlessly connected those personal stories to the political case she was making. The crowd ate it up. Literally. There were spoons.
I left emotionally drained and stumbled into a good friend from college, Taj Clayton. He ran against Democratic House Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas. He lost that race but remains invested in politics, saying of the first lady's speech, "I am proud to be a democrat. I am proud to be an American, and she made me feel proud to be a spouse and a parent and a black man."