Saturday, February 20, 2010

Desserts in the Desert

Yesterday we went grocery shopping in a former food desert in Philly. Where once there were only 7-11’s, there is now, thanks to an entrepreneur, a new Fresh Grocer store. For the occasion, Lady M dressed up as a giant blueberry.


MO dragged Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and Secretary of Treasury, Timmy Geitner, along. It’s unclear why, but I think Rahmbo just wanted them out of his hair. We had to get special clearance before they would let Toxic Tim into the organic vegetable department.I thought maybe Timmy came along to pay the bill for the organic arugula, but, as it turned out, Lady M had her own money!  She bought herself a strawberry, banana and blueberry smoothie: $4.31. Either Tom and Timmy didn’t want one, or it was a Dutch treat date.

Then we all went to the Fairhill elementary school to kickoff Lady M’s childhood obesity campaign, called Let’s Move. This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with moving, but our program also includes a $10 billion budget proposal to improve school lunches. I’m sure the connection will be revealed later.

Telling the kids about the cool Fresh Grocer store she just visited in the middle of a former “food desert” she said "What Pennsylvania has shown us is, if we provide the right incentives, people will invest in these neighborhoods." Uhhh, yup, it’s called capitalism. But we don’t teach that in schools anymore.

I know you want to see the  Zero + Maria Cornejo belt that MO wore with her blueberry velvet jacket:

2010-02-19-michelleobamablazer Frankly, I don’t see what’s so special about it, other than it’s price, although it’s position – somewhere below the boobs and above the hips – does begin to approximate a waist. So there’s fashion news right there! I don’t think you can make much of the white shirt, grey sweater or pin striped banker pants. Unless you want to talk about the fit. I’d really just as soon not.

Our newest East Wing staffer, Stephanie Cutter, hired to “co-ordinate” Lady M’s “Let’s Move” campaign, has already proven her weight in gold with the hugely successful kickoff of Lady M’s signature First Lady program.  MO’s chief of staff, Susie Sher, said Cutter was hired for the obesity initiative because "We needed someone to focus on just this for us. She's almost like a COO of the whole project," I thought that was Lady M’s job, but, like Big Guy, I guess she’s just the all-important figurehead. Which is a really big job too.  Stephie did manage to get us on Good Morning America, Today, Larry King, and Huckabee. And we all know how hard it is for the O’s to get face time on TV.

But wrapping the day up back at Fairhill, Lady M said the goal of eliminating childhood obesity within a generation was an “ambitious but doable goal.” Timmy, when pressed by a sixth grader, opined that the goal of eliminating the equally obese federal deficit was even more ambitious, and completely undoable.

ed and timmyEd Rendell amuses Toxic Tim with a little tax joke

All Tommy V added to the day was a reminder to the kids to be sure to thoroughly wash all  of the healthy fruits and vegetables they add to their diet  – especially the ones that come from Mexico and South America.