Tales from the Trail

Michelle Obama’s close encounters with Elmo, Big Bird and U.S. diplomats

Michelle ObamaU.S. first lady Michelle Obama told an audience at the U.S. mission to the United Nations that she was “thrilled” to be back in New York for the first time since her husband Barack Obama became the 44th U.S. president in January. But she said some things are even more exciting than addressing an audience of 150 U.S. diplomats, military advisers and other government officials.

“I’m thrilled to be here but I was just at ‘Sesame Street’, I’m sorry,” she said, referring to the long-running U.S. children’s television program. “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. I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve done so far in the White House.”

Elmo
One of the biggest rounds of applause during the first lady’s 20-minute appearance at the U.S. mission in midtown Manhattan came when she read a letter the son of one of the mission staffers, Scott Turner, recently sent to the president.  According to Michelle Obama, Turner’s son Jack, a first grader,  wrote to the president:

“Dear Mr. Obama – Can you move to New York? Because people like you in New York. I will help you come to New York and 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. From Jack.”

The first lady said she had already found a job for Jack: “Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have identified the new future New York Police Commissioner. Jack is on the case.”

Palin Strikes Back

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is firing back in a war of words with the the environmental group, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, over the group’s new national ad campaign which attacks her for promoting aerial hunting.

Actress, Ashley Judd, narrates the group’s You Tube video which takes direct aim at Palin and the controversial practice of  shooting wolves and other animals from low-flying planes or helicopters.

Palin, the failed Republican vice presidential nominee, blasts the ad campaign as attacks by an “extreme fringe group.” She accuses the group of misrepresenting Alaska’s wildlife management programs, which  aim to protect vulnerable wildlife from predators.

Obama rakes in $9 million at Hollywood fundraisers

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Democrat Barack Obama raked in $9 million at fundraisers on Tuesday night flanked by celebrities. But he stopped far short of celebrating.

The White House hopeful kept the tone of his remarks  somber as he talked of the financial crisis that has cast a pall over the economy to an audience that included Pierce Brosnan, streisand2.jpgLeonardo DiCaprio, Jodi Foster and Jamie Lee Curtis.

“This should be a celebratory evening. We’ve got 48 days to go in a campaign, a campaign that started 19 months ago, at a time when a lot of folks thought we might not get here,” Obama told a reception of 800 people at the swank Beverly Wilshire Hotel.