Kathryn Lopez

Michelle Obama did an odd thing during her speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention in Denver: She turned back the clock on feminism.

While praising Hillary Clinton for creating 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, the wife of the Democratic presidential nominee heralded herself as what sounded like a traditional stay-at-home mother. (In fact, she works outside the home and gets paid well.)

But in that speech, she displayed all the feminine virtues and showed off her softer side. It was genius -- even if it was all just to win.

Previously she was known, especially to Sean Hannity's audience, for announcing that she is proud of her country for the first time in her life because her husband is running for president.

But on Monday night, in complete support of her husband's campaign, she praised the roles of mother, daughter and sister. In emotional terms, she lauded her husband's commitment to being a devoted father to their daughters. She emphasized the importance of fathers, noting how the absence of a father had affected her husband.

For just one moment in time, the Democratic Party's candidate for first lady put the unnatural -- but much too often touted -- values of the left in suspended animation. Instead of disparaging traditional family values, she praised them to the limit, for as much time as the party would let her.

Let's be clear: It's not a song she always sings. Speaking to a group from the Democratic National Committee's Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council, Mrs. Obama said, "... we must fight for the world as it should be. A world where we work together to reverse discriminatory laws." One of those "discriminatory laws" was The Defense of Marriage Act. Somehow, this did not make it into her primetime TV address.

A video introducing her before her speech starred her mother, gushing with pride for her daughter. Her brother -- who coaches football, not usually on the list of approved feminist sports -- talked protectively of his kid sister. Mrs. Obama challenged the packed Pepsi Center audience to keep their eyes dry as she remembered her late father and the values he had taught her and her brother.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.