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Posted at 3:41 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Michelle Obama reads Dr. Seuss to kids, celebs at NEA's Read Across America kickoff

By The Reliable Source

First lady Michelle Obama with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, 2011. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Michelle Obama would not, could not, in the rain, she said Wednesday.

Speaking to elementary school children, the first lady affirmed that she similarly would not, could not with a mouse -- or in a house, or on a train.

"I do not," she said firmly, "like green eggs and ham."

Spring is just around the corner -- do we detect the fresh scent of photo-op in the air? Yes, and it was a rich one: The NEA's "Read Across America" kickoff at the Library of Congress, on what just happened to be the late Dr. Seuss's 107th birthday. So, an array of attractive celebrities (Jessica Alba, Green Bay wide receiver Donald Driver), a gaggle of D.C. area school kids in floppy Cat in the Hat hats, and the first lady resplendent in pink and orange.

Message: Reading is cool. Hey, Barack does it.

"The president reads so much," his wife told the giggling throngs, reports our colleague Aaron Leitko. "He knows all of the facts."

Jessica Alba taking her turn reading to kids. (AP/Evan Vucci)

And kids -- don't watch so much TV!

"Guess how many TV sets there were in my house when I was a kid?" asked Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

"Eight?" one kid helpfully guessed. Wrong: The answer was zero. "I used to have to sneak over to my friend's house to watch TV," Duncan explained.

No offense intended, we're sure, to the TV personalities convened for the occasion: Reality hosts Padma Lakshmi and Camilla Alves, "Real Housewife" Adrienne Maloof, actors Bridget Moynahan and Mehcad Brooks, and MSNBC correspondents (hey, is that allowed?) Luke Russert and Norah O'Donnell, among others, who later were each assigned a small group of the kids for a book-reading session.

But first, it was "Green Eggs & Ham," read tag-team style by Duncan and Obama, he taking the Sam I Am role and she reading the part of, you know, the other guy in the book. They kept it pretty dignified, no hokey voices or dramatic gestures.

And now, "We have another special guest!" shouted NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.

"Obama?" a kid guessed hopefully. No, said Van Roekel, "the president is not in the building." Just some guy in a Cat in the Hat costume.

By The Reliable Source  | March 2, 2011; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, First Family  
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Michelle Obama is doing a lot of good things. Clearly a lot of people on the far right don't agree though:

Posted by: Jonesey83 | March 2, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I AM OUTRAGED! Here in America (not Kenya) we red-blooded Americans eat orange eggs and pink ham. They're not GREEN! How dare Michelle Obama try to foist her anti-American values on our children. Without question, she is trying to sneak ENVIRONMENTALISM into their diet!

Another thing, Ms. Obama: soda pop, potato chips and M&Ms are perfectly healthy lunch foods, because they were invented here in the good old US of A!

And one more thing, Missy: women's breasts were designed by God to slake the lusts of men, not for children to be fed from. That's just too disgusting!

When when will we restore sanity to this country? **Screech**

Posted by: weylguy | March 2, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin doesn't know how to read. But she can wrestle a "bar" in the woods.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | March 2, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Was Sarah Palin and the Tea Party crowd there for the reading?

Posted by: lcarter0311 | March 2, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

It was touching to see how much Dennis Van Roekel cares about all the little children in America. Perhaps he can arrange for the First Lady to read to every child while their teachers are walking the picket lines.

Is it time yet for me to stick my finger down my throat?

Posted by: r_loveland | March 2, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I do believe she is holding that book upside down!

Posted by: JCM-51 | March 2, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

With a Wisconsin Governor who couldn't complete college, rich boys who's parents brought their degrees and elections. With the education rate so low, as we see some of the dumbest Law Makers in history. Children had a book read to them, Law Makers had to have the Constitution read to them. Sarah will have something to say about our First Lady, with the hope President Obama will just think about Sarah. At lease the kids didn't have to learn something called Bushisms the President Bush spoke and the media had to translate into English.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | March 2, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, just add this to the list of things including breastfeeding, good nutrition, and exercise that she is promoting in order to destroy America.

Posted by: RMS70 | March 2, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Rush Lumbaugh is a big, fat idiot.

God hates Fred Phelps.

Posted by: bs2004 | March 2, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!
It's an honor to once again see this picture and video and remember when we had fun reading to our grandkids.
Years ago, one evening after bowling, our team went to have coffee at the local IHOP.
My husband's best friend suddenly asked me if I was familiar with "Green Eggs and Ham".
When I said no, he launched into a complete recitation of the entire book.
The restaurant fell silent and when he finished, while tears rolled down my cheeks I was laughing so hard, he received a standing ovation and cheers from all over the cafe.
Cheers to First Lady Obama and Secretary Duncan for saluting this magnificent author and a wonderful book for the ages.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | March 2, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Does Sarah Palin attack the First Lady for telling parents what to read to their children? Maybe Michelle Bachmann.

Posted by: James10 | March 2, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: zhenge221 | March 3, 2011 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Read Across America is a wonderful program. Each year I am invited to read at a couple local schools. If you haven't participated, contact your local school about volunteering to read to a group/class next year. It would be great to get more parents and community members involved. More 'journalists' and 'reporters' ought to attend. They might learn how to write stories that present the facts and not just their biased opinions. They also might learn more about the institution which they so often disparage without having the facts.

Posted by: 12345leavemealone | March 3, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

That Sam I Am!
That Sam I Am!

I do not like Barack Obam!

I do not like him in the White House! I do not like his unpleasant spouse!

Do you believe he is from Hawaii? He was not, is not, from the land of the Free!

I do not like his Reverend Wright, I do not like his racist blight

I would not have him here or there, I would not have him anywhere!

I do not like Barack Obam! I do not like him, Sam I Am!

Posted by: pgr88 | March 3, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

2 more years of this looooong national nightmare..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 3, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a bunch of idiots we have in this nation. Were you losers complaining when Laura Bush read to kids? No, but then, she's white.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 3, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

That Sam I Am!
That Sam I Am!

I do not like Barack Obam!

I do not like him in the White House! I do not like his unpleasant spouse!

Do you believe he is from Hawaii? He was not, is not, from the land of the Free!

I do not like his Reverend Wright, I do not like his racist blight

I would not have him here or there, I would not have him anywhere!

I do not like Barack Obam! I do not like him, Sam I Am!

Posted by: pgr88

I do not hate the President, but I have to admit that was pretty funny. Gave me a chuckle.

Posted by: forgetthis | March 3, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

For the sake of our country's educational system, I hope pgr88 is a pre-schooler. If you happen to know that he/she is not, please keep the information to yourself.

Posted by: stroud00 | March 5, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

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