The Democratic National Convention's first night in Denver was capped off by a speech by Michelle Obama, but the emotional highpoint was a speech from Senator Ted Kennedy. The ailing lion of the political dynasty surprised many by speaking, as he has been undergoing treatment for cancer. Introduced by his niece and Obama adviser Caroline Kennedy, Kennedy stirred the crowd:

Nothing, nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight...

I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States...Together we have known success and seen setbacks ... but we have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world. I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the Senate...

And this November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans. So with Barack Obama and for you, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew, the hope rises again, the dream lives on...

Here's the full transcript and video is after the jump.

Michelle Obama, whose public image has had a rough going, appealed to America by noting her roots and place as a mother, "I come here as a daughter -- raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue collar city worker, and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother's love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters." She also emphasized how she and her husband are regular Americans--she said, "I love this country"--who wanted to give back to their communities. Video of her speech after the jump.

Notably, Michelle Obama mentioned Hillary Clinton, acknowledging the 18 million cracks Clinton made in the glass ceiling which roused the convention hall. At the end of her speech, the presumptive nominee appeared on the screen, from Kansas City, MO, and asked the convention, "How about Michelle Obama? Now you know why I asked her out so many times, even though she said no. You want a persistent president.” Their daughters Malia and Sasha excitedly said, "Daddy!" when they saw him and 7-year-old Sasha asked him, "What city are you in, Daddy?" warming even the most hardened hearts.

Senator Ted Kennedy's speech:

Michelle Obama's speech: