I can remember sitting there, with my two fellow Democrats. They had just sold their multimillion dollar home by a famous architect for a cool few million in profit, and were settling down in a new town, with a new house and new jobs.
Unfortunately, one had just been terminated by her non-profit employer. And she was collecting unemployment. Thousands a month in unemployment. For a job she had for a few months.
It was not just that they were doing this because they had paid into the system. They were in a new state with huge fiscal problems. This was not pay for meaningless work. It was pay for a few months of work. That would be extended by Obama time and again for many like this couple. Without end.
It was a seminal moment for me. Perhaps not immediately. But in the next year, Barack Obama began to work his magic in terms of who was entitled to what.
Means testing was absent. As was any knowledge or reasoning behind what have become known as "entitlements." You had to get them no matter how wealthy you were. And many very wealthy did.
Last night, during the first presidential debate, we all saw what should have been obvious from the outset. Mitt Romney has answers. And, more importantly, Romney is convincing.
Yet, as it is when any Emperor seeks new clothes, you do not see that the Emperor is duped until the "clothes" are worn in public.
There is no knowledge from which Obama draws his wisdom. No new idea. He has no clothes.
The idea of a balanced budget, not spending more than you have, has no reality to this President. And so he was mystified how it was that Romney could possibly be thinking of giving up tax cuts as long as the budget were not balanced. His clothes are designed to prove that Romney wants tax cuts to give more to himself and his cronies. Obama's Big Lie.
Obama's Big Lie was bought by Obama's cohorts hook, line and sinker. There is no other reality for Obama. All he can see is Republicans as heartless people. Instead of people worried sick about what we are doing to generations to come.
And Obama has no clue how to compromise and make things work. Because you cannot compromise if you do not understand.
Romney has compromised and can.
Your friendly spin merchants from both sides tried to dress Obama last night and this morning. Why Republicans like Republican Chair Reince Priebus kept harping on Obama being unprepared is beyond me. The guy is an idiot, picking up the Democrats theme.
The reality of the debate last night seems lost on most of those writing about it.
"Why didn't he mention the 47%?" "He was off his game." On and on the excuses went all night.
The reality is far different.
Sure, we have 47% who will vote either Democrat or for Obama without thinking. After all, he is an African-American. He is smart. He is clever. He can figure out how to out speak the Republicans, assuming he is using his real talent. Speaking in public. He can even part oceans.
But reality bites. As it did last night. When forced to say more than platitudes.
Apart from Obama and his cohorts in the media spewing how bad Romney is, how mean he is, how Romney wants to hurt everyone, how Romney is focused on getting himself and his billionaire buddies more money, Obama has nothing.
No answers on what to do. Four more years of more of the same. No compromise. It will be worse, not better. Unless you buy into the Democrat view that we must give them once again majorities in both chambers and the presidency.
So we were faced with stark reality last night.
Obama has run for his second term since his inauguration in 2008. He was AWOL during the killing of our ambassador in Libya, and is without answers in our domestic setting, merely telling us we need more money, without end. And with all his concentration on getting a second term, he was unprepared?
I heard one of those universals yesterday that bears on this election.
No one has ever become president without 30% of the Hispanic vote, according to Fox News. They claimed this was a major weakness for Romney. Yes, this may turn out to be a very "racist" election. One where minorities vote exclusively for someone because of his race.
But somehow, despite the racist caricature of some lazy guy sitting under a tree with a huge sombrero on, neither the Hispanics we see and know or the African-Americans living in barrios and ghettos allegedly with their hands out has any reality in today's world.
The real world is all around us.
Almost all minorities work very hard. And they will lose nothing under Romney.
This is why the Big Lie is so important.
Because you may learn that, like Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney is a nice guy. He will not make you starve. He will not be biased.
Our country is begging for work and change.
Not a world based on race. But one based on reality. In need of real knowledge, not book learning smarts. And real experience. And the fundamentals on which we built this country.
Not Hope without change.
When, as I fervently hope, we have cleaned out the waste in Washington, and the richest are not those who work in Washington or teachers ending up with millions each in pensions despite their abject failure to teach and help our children learn, we will look back at last night not as one when Obama was unprepared.
Instead, it will be the night when, before more than sixty million of our citizens, Obama showed himself to be without clothes. Not an empty suit. No suit at all.