Alexa

First lady: Sesame Street tops everything

First lady: Sesame Street tops everything

Inauguration Day? Nope. First puppy? Negative. Triumphal tour of Europe? Not even. It was first lady Michelle Obama's appearance Tuesday on "Sesame Street" that she called probably the best thing she's done since arriving in the White House.
Mrs. Obama went to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations to thank the diplomats and staff members promoting her husband's new foreign policy of global engagement and said she was delighted to meet them _ almost as much as some well-known TV characters.
"I'm thrilled to be here but I was just at Sesame Street _ I'm sorry," she said. "And I never thought I'd be on Sesame Street with Elmo and Big Bird, and I was thrilled. I'm still thrilled. I'm on a high."
She added: "I think it's probably the best thing I've done so far in the White House. But we were there talking about nutrition and healthy eating. and it's just been a thrill,"
On a more serious note, the first lady stressed that the work of some 150 U.S. Mission staff at the U.N. was more important than ever as President Barack Obama pursues "a new era of engagement when it comes to advancing America's interests around the world."
As the swine flu outbreak clearly demonstrates, she said, countries must cooperate.
"This new policy recognizes that America's future is intricately linked to the rest of the world, that the threats facing the global community know no borders, and no single country can tackle them alone," Mrs. Obama said. "Your work links the world to America and American ideals that are beacons of hope for millions of people."
And the first lady said she hopes to "work with you in some way, shape or form to help build that mission."
The first lady was introduced by Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who called her staff "the foot soldiers in the front lines of the new administration's effort to engage the world in an entirely different manner."
Rice called the first lady "a regular human being ... down to earth, funny, charming and wicked smart."
"We love your style, your warmth, your brilliance and your commitment to our children and to a better future for us all," she said.
The first lady called Rice, who was top foreign policy adviser during the presidential campaign, "a trusted adviser and friend to the president and to me."
While there was no mention of first dog Bo, Rice said "we wouldn't be good hosts if we didn't have a little something" for first daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.
"They don't have enough, right?" the first lady interjected.
Rice then presented her with gifts of UNICEF children's books, soccer balls and light-up pens.
Mrs. Obama, on her first trip to New York since the inauguration, met 40 U.S. Mission staffers who had worked for the government for at least 20 years and singled out one _ Ivan Ferber, a general services adviser.
"He has worked here a remarkable 47 years _ more than I've been alive," she said.
The first lady also revealed that the president had received a letter from the son of another U.S. Mission staffer, Scott Turner.
"Can you move to New York?" she quoted first grader Jack Turner writing in his letter. "People are doing bad stuff in New York. I will help you get the bad people and when I catch the bad people I will put them in jail. That's why I want you to move to New York."
"Well ladies and gentlemen," Mrs. Obama quipped, "I think we've identified the new future New York police commissioner."