Michelle Obama's opening of the Democratic National Convention in Denver's Pepsi Center was met with gushing praise as she painted her husband and presidential nominee-in-waiting Senator Barack Obama as America's everyman. Senator Ted Kennedy and openly gay author Andrew Tobias called Obama the president for gay equality.

Michelle Obama, who could become the first African-American first lady, was the opening act of the Democrat's four-day 'Unity'-themed convention. She worked the crowd with a sweeping portrait of an unlikely presidential candidate who embodies American values. It was a conversation about Obama as father, dreamer – “Too often we accept the distance between the two [the world as it is and the world as it should be] and settle for the world as it is” – and friend.

Senator Ted Kennedy and author Andrew Tobias reminded the audience that Obama's promise includes GLBT people.

Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, spoke shortly before Michelle Obama. “And I pledge to you that I will be there – next January – on the floor of the United States Senate, when we begin to write the next great chapter of American progress.”

Kennedy, a long-time gay ally, did not forget to include gay and lesbian friends: “For me, this is a season of hope. ... Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, group against group, and straight against gay. ... There is a new wave of change all around us – and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination – not merely victory for our party, but renewal for our nation.”

Openly gay author, journalist and DNC treasurer Andrew Tobias was making his third address at the convention since 2000. His thoughts – like his work – focused on the economy.

“The fact is that the economy and the stock market do better under Democratic administrations,” Tobias told the crowd. “In just the last eight years, the Republicans have cut the value of the U.S. dollar by almost half and added $4 trillion to our children's debt. ... As an investor, I yearn for a president who looks to financial heroes, not corporate lobbyist, for economic advice. As a gay man, I yearn for a president who believes in equal rights for all Americans.”

The Democratic National Convention concludes on Thursday.