It was admittedly a tough act to follow.
Barack Obama had brought the wildly partisan crowd of Democrats to their feet Saturday night with a surprise appearance at their annual dinner at the Grove Park Inn. But when his turn came, N.C. Gov. Mike Easley was in rare form.
-- He said Obama, who was raised in Hawaii and went to Harvard Law, is a good fit for Southern Democrats.
"Barack," he said, "is Hawaiian for Bubba."
-- Riffing off Sarah Palin's line at the GOP convention, he described Democratic Senate candidate Kay Hagan.
"You know the difference between Kay Hagan and a pit bull?" he asked. "Nothin'."
-- Looking down the dais at Rep. Heath Shuler from nearby Waynesville, he took note of the congressman's Republican opponent, Asheville psychologist Carl Mumpower.
"I'm asking you," Easley said, "who needs the therapy?"