There are plenty of reasons why one might want to skip the Democratic National Convention this year, but on the first night of the uncharted four-day production, there was a glimmer of hope that sitting through hours of chaos might be bearable: Michelle Obama.

The convention, which was fully virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, but partially live and partially pre-taped, included appearances from Bernie Sanders and Andrew Cuomo who urged Democrats to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Even Republican and former Ohio Governor John Kasich, who ran for President against Donald Trump in 2016, made an appearance. The event was moderated by Eva Longoria.

But it was the former First Lady's appearance that anchored the evening. In just under 20 minutes, Obama gave a speech that assessed the failures of the current administration, the economy and the way it has crumbled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the global impact of the ongoing racial reckoning in this country. Her speech was a hit with celebrities, artists and critics alike—Lorna Simpson shared a screenshot of the speech on Instagram and encouraged her followers to safely vote early and Yara Shahidi pointed out the former First Lady's "excellent" necklace which spelled out the word "Vote."

Hilton Als also joined the chorus of those who assessed the moment of Obama's big speech on social media. "Tonight Michelle Obama who quite rightly says she hates politics meaning a political life walked into our madhouse filled with bullying and nonsense and introduced or reintroduced sanity and empathy into the discourse and in such a way that let us know she was fucking exhausted and discouraged, too," he said, and called her speech "not a performance but a revealing of the self and a desire to marry that self to yourself because your isolation was her isolation."

The message was one that encouraged action and she wore an accessory to match. According to The Daily Beast, Obama's stylist placed an order for the "Vote" necklace from ByChari just a few weeks ago, but the designer had no idea the piece would be used to make a statement at this year's virtual DNC. As we know, anything Obama wears has the propensity to go viral—the Jason Wu gown worn to her first inaugural ball is just one example—and now her DNC necklace is no exception. The piece was a top search term in the final hours of the convention and is now sold out.

Related Videos

But central theme of her speech cannot be elided by a sold-out necklace. Obama said it herself: "We've got to vote early, in person if we can. We've got to request our mail-in ballots right now, tonight, and send them back immediately and follow-up to make sure they're received. And then, make sure our friends and families do the same," she urged. People have to actually vote, not just wear a necklace that promotes a concept.

View this post on Instagram

You all know me by now. You know that I tell you exactly what I’m feeling, and that I’m no fan of politics. But you also know how much I love this country and how much I care about all our children. And right now, I’m deeply troubled by what our kids are witnessing—a nation that’s underperforming not just on matters of policy, but on matters of character. In our hearts, we know that so much of what’s happening is just not right. It’s not who we want to be. And if we want any chance to end the chaos, the division, and the nastiness; if we want to keep alive the possibility of progress on the issues we hold dear, we’ve got to elect @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris like our lives depend on it. Joe Biden is a profoundly decent man, guided by his faith. He knows what it takes to rescue an economy, beat back a pandemic, and lead a country. Kamala Harris is a dedicated public servant who has committed her life to fighting for those who can use a hand up. Together, they will listen. They will tell the truth and trust science. And they will make smart plans and manage a good team. Because Joe Biden has served this nation without ever losing sight of who he is, but even more than that, he’s never lost sight of who we are—all of us. And he will channel that same grit and compassion to pick us up, help us heal, and guide us forward. To everyone who has given so much this summer to awaken our consciences and shout out for justice—I could not be more proud of you. Keep it up. Because progress isn’t an either/or proposition. If we want to move forward, we’ve got to march. We’ve got to kneel. We’ve got to protest. And we’ve got to vote—and make sure everyone we know does, too. So vote early, in-person if you can. Request your mail-in ballots right now—tonight—and send them back immediately, and follow up to make sure they were received. And when Election Day comes, get prepared to wait in line overnight if you have to. Because if we want to be able to look our children in the eye after this election, if we want to realize the progress that we seek, we’ve got to do everything we can to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

Related: Michelle Obama Joins the Podcasting Community