[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/26/art.michell1.ap.jpg caption="Michelle Obama rescued the night, Gergen says. "]The Democrats should be enormously grateful to Michelle Obama: after a very slow start to the convention, punctuated by a moving tribute to Teddy Kennedy and his own rousing speech, the first evening was in danger of becoming an entirely lost opportunity. But Michelle rescued it.
She was extraordinary, talking in ways that were both conversational - always welcome in people's living room - but also inspiring. She spoke in ways that reached out to people of all backgrounds. Democrats should be both proud and grateful.
It is impossible to know whether how many people will accept her message. To a significant degree, that is of course because she represents such a departure from the traditional order of things in America. She represents a new future - of women who are not only devoted mothers and wives but also highly educated, caring people ... and, yes, African-Americans, Hispanics, and people of many diferent backgrounds. One day the country will be there. Is it prepared to be there now? I'm frankly not sure. We are living through one of the most important chapters in the American story