First lady Michelle Obama has officially harnessed the "power of Elmo."
On Wednesday at the White House she announced that Sesame Workshop had agreed to allow the Produce Marketing Association to use the "Sesame Street" Muppet characters for free, in advertising, for the next two years. Elmo stickers on apples, and other creative displays, would be at the grocery store countering advertising of sugary and fatty foods that use kids' favorite television and movie characters, she explained.
"So just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store and they see the 'Sesame Street' Muppets lining...the produce aisle," Obama said. "Just imagine what it's going to be like, moms and dads, when our kids are begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips."
And then, of course, the Muppets on hand – "Sesame Street's" Elmo and Rosita – had to say a few words. Elmo looked rather dapper for his White House debut.
"Elmo, I love the tie. You dressed up for our press conference," the first lady gushed. Not to be outdone, Rosita interjected. "And I wore my pearls, my mom's pearls," Rosita said. Elmo then asked the first lady if she could keep a secret. "It's a clip-on," he said.
The "Sesame Street" characters were also successful in getting the first lady to show off her fit arms. "Wow, strong," Rosita said of FLOTUS' guns as the first lady flexed. "Oh, Elmo, oh, your muscle, too, is so powerful," the first lady told the red, fuzzy Muppet who was showing off his spaghetti-like arms.
Elmo then asked the first lady for her favorite foods. "Oh I love sweet potatoes, I love broccoli and you know what? I love them when they're put on a pizza, I love veggie pizza," Obama said. The Muppets quickly called her out. "Now wait a minute, wait a minute," Elmo said. "We're talking about healthy foods here and you're going to put cheese on them?"
But the first lady had the last word. "Veggie pizza is very healthy for you," she said.