Michelle Obama on Leno show: Why did she tease an Olympian? (+video)
Michelle Obama, who was a guest on Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show' Monday, recounted her trip to London for the Olympics and shared giggles with an Olympian. It was part entertainment, part campaign stop for the first lady.
First lady Michelle Obama was on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” on Monday, and she spent a lot of time talking about the experience of visiting the London Olympics. Her operative word was “cool,” as in, the opening ceremonies were “actually really cool if you were there," the events she saw were “very cool,” and she was “cool with it” when a US female wrestler picked her up as if she were a training barbell.Skip to next paragraph
Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.
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We’re not making fun of the first lady here. She seemed genuinely excited by the whole thing, as befits someone who has made fighting childhood obesity one of her signature issues. While in London she hosted a kids’ play event on the US ambassador’s lawn, and Leno showed video of her schooling a Sponge Bob character at soccer, playing tug of war, and so forth. At one point Mrs. Obama disappeared under a parachute or tent-like thing with some children, and you could see in the tape that the Secret Service agents suddenly got very nervous. They jockeyed around other kids to try to keep their protectee in view.
“It’s always fun watching the Secret Service trying to manage a bunch of kids,” said the first lady. “That’s when their parent voices come out. 'Stop it! Stop pushing!' ”
Gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas was another Leno guest, and she (Gabby) made the mistake of admitting in front of Mrs. Obama that she’d downed a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich to celebrate her accomplishments.
Michelle leaned over toward the tiny Olympian and said, “Gabby, we don’t encourage that. I’m sure it was a whole-wheat McMuffin.”
The pair then dissolved into a fit of giggles.
“You’re setting me back, Gabby!” said Mrs. Obama.
“Sorry,” replied the gymnast.
Leno felt the sting of the first lady’s needle, as well. She showed a purported surveillance photo that zoomed in from space to show a grainy but recognizable long-chinned comedian emerging from a Dunkin’ Donuts.