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Michelle Obama's Top 10 for 2010: 'Let's Move!,' Dancing in India, and That Spain Vacation

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First Lady Michelle Obama's 2010 included a clearly defined high (the launch of her "Let's Move" anti-childhood obesity campaign) and a notable low (her controversial vacation at an expensive resort in Spain). The year also marked her first solo international travel, to Haiti and Mexico, and having the very cool experience of Paul McCartney singing "Michelle" to her at a White House concert.
Here are Mrs. Obama's top 10 for 2010:

Kickoff of "Let's Move!"
On Feb. 2, Mrs. Obama formalized her healthy eating and exercise agenda into the "Let's Move!" campaign with an executive order from President Obama creating a Task Force on Childhood Obesity. The task force report, released on May 11, outlined potential paths to solving the childhood obesity crisis in a generation.
As part of "Let's Move," the first lady joined an administration-wide effort to pass the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed into law by the president on Dec. 13, with Mrs. Obama by his side.
Though the first lady never testified before Congress or even visited Capitol Hill on the issue, she made calls behind the scenes and used her bully pulpit to raise the profile of the obesity problem and the need for legislation.
Through the year, she also made speeches before food manufacturers, the National Restaurant Association, school lunch administrators, and others, recommending voluntary improvements to cut calories and offer healthier choices. She also worked to revitalize a program of linking up chefs with local schools, bringing hundreds of toque-wearing chefs to the South Lawn.
Joked Obama at the bill signing, "Not only am I very proud of the bill, but had I not been able to get this passed, I would be sleeping on the couch."

Controversial Spain vacation
After avoiding any controversy since the 2008 presidential election, Mrs. Obama faced her first criticism as first lady after an August vacation with daughter Sasha at a lavish hotel on Spain's Mediterranean coast. Mrs. Obama was warned that the trip would likely cause a flap, but she went anyway. She decided to make the trip because she promised to spend time with a longtime Chicago friend who just lost her father. Before jetting back to Washington, the first lady had lunch with Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at their summer palace on the island of Majorca.

First solo foreign trave
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In April, Mrs. Obama visited Haiti and Mexico, the first time she traveled on official business to a foreign country without the president.
In Haiti on April 13, she was joined by Second Lady Jill Biden for a five-hour tour of Port-au-Prince, devastated, along with much of the country, in the Jan. 12 earthquake. The women took a helicopter tour of the city and met with Haitian President Rene Preval and his wife, Elizabeth.
In a 40-hour visit to Mexico City, Mrs. Obama delivered a major speech about civic engagement to some 3,000 college and high school students at the Universidad Iberoamericana, met with some of Mexico's young leaders from around the county and spent time visiting with Mexico's first lady, Margarita Zavala.
Though the visit was billed as the launch of Mrs. Obama's international "youth engagement" agenda, she never made another solo foreign trip in 2010.

Return to the campaign trail
In October, after avoiding politics following the 2008 presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama returned to the campaign trail to help Democrats in the Nov. 2 contests. One of the most popular political figures in the nation, she appeared mainly before friendly crowds at fundraisers but did join Obama for a few rallies in key states and also called in to several radio talk shows to help get out the vote. To encourage early voting, Mrs. Obama did so herself at a site near the Obamas' South Side home while in Chicago to headline fundraisers for Illinois Democrats.

Fine dining high point
Mrs. Obama's East Wing organized two state dinners in 2010 for the leaders of Mexico and India, but the standout dining event she presided over was the United Nations spouses luncheon, according to Eddie Gehman Kohan, the editor of Obama Foodorama, the website of record for anything having to do with food and the Obama White House.
Mrs. Obama hosted 31 spouses of leaders at a "Farm to Table" four-course luncheon Sept. 24 at Barber's Blue Hill restaurant, located at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, about 25 miles from New York City. At the lunch, Mrs. Obama "cast a global spotlight on the importance of children being educated in every step of the food chain, from growing through eating, as she simultaneously gave smaller, localized, sustainable agriculture practices the White House seal of approval," Kohan told Politics Daily.

A hit in India
Some of the most iconic images of Mrs. Obama over the past year came during her four-day trip to India with the president in November. At Mumbai University on Nov. 6, she kicked off her shoes and danced to a Bollywood hit tune. The next day, at the Holy Name School in Mumbai, she watched children perform folk dances and joined in herself, showing off her moves.

First Fox News interview as first lady
No surprise that Fox host Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and himself a weight-loss advocate, recently defended Mrs. Obama after Sarah Palin accused her of waging a war against desserts. In February, Mrs. Obama chose Huckabee's show to make her first appearance on Fox as first lady. The show was taped in Philadelphia and the two talked about food "deserts," areas that are not served by grocery stores.

First ship christening
In a July 23 christening ceremony, Mrs. Obama smashed a bottle of champagne across the bow of the Coast Guard cutter Stratton at the Northrop Grumman shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. She became the first first lady to sponsor a Coast Guard cutter (this one was named for Capt. Dorothy Stratton, who led the Coast Guard Women's Reserves during World War II).
Said Mrs. Obama: "I have the honor of christening a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, the Stratton, named after . . . one of the finest women in uniform, and I'm very excited and honored to do that."

Finest fashion statement
Mrs. Obama loves clothes and dressing up, and her outfits are often stunning. At a Dec. 17 "Christmas in Washington" concert, she may have become the only first lady to wear a vintage dress -- a tea-length tulle skirt by the late designer Norman Norell, purchased at a vintage boutique in New York.

White House kitchen garden expansion
The White House kitchen garden continued to yield crops -- and inspiration for school and home gardeners and tons of positive press for Mrs. Obama in 2010, just as it did the year before. On March 31, the first lady welcomed school children to the South Lawn for the second spring planting, joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sam Kass, who then had the title assistant White House chef and food initiative coordinator. (In July Kass got an upgraded title, becoming the White House senior policy adviser for healthy food initiatives.)
The garden this year was expanded by two rows -- an additional 400 square feet -- bringing the total to 1,500 square feet. Ground for the original 1,100-square-foot garden on the west side of the South Lawn was cleared on March 20, 2009, with its initial planting the following month.
Speaking to students, Mrs. Obama said, "Everybody is talking about that garden, not just here in Washington, not just here in the United States, but all over the world. And we've been able to start thinking about things like getting kids to try new foods that they've never tried, vegetables that they've never had."

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44 Comments

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Patty

The American public is delighted to have Michelle say "let's move"....Americans across this nation are saying the same thing......... moved liberals out of congress...will be moving Obama and Michelle out of the White House. The progressive agenda will be moving out of american policies, will be moving more liberal senators to unemployment lines.

December 31 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Patty's comment
Julius

Amen, sister! Move 'em all out!

December 31 2010 at 8:44 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Not a chance.

December 31 2010 at 8:48 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
fatimagb

I don't understand why people complain about Mr President Obama,He did alot already .Thanks Mr Bush he left this acountry in a big deep role.And people think this would be better in just a couple years?Will take time..

December 31 2010 at 8:02 PM Report abuse -18 rate up rate down Reply
Sieben

I am proud of the First Lady, she has represented the White House with dignity & Class,Most important ,she has represented the United States Of America EXTREMELY Well. God bless The President and his family & God bless America

December 31 2010 at 7:58 PM Report abuse -20 rate up rate down Reply
Uncle Eddy

They forgot Paul MaCartney singing "Michelle" to the First Lady. Fox News thought it was a conspiracy because the song contains words spoken in French.

December 31 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse -12 rate up rate down Reply
Keshet333

Is this some sort of conservative blog? Happy New Year to President Barack Obama and his beautiful wife and OUR First Lady, Michelle. Here's to SIX more years.

December 31 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse -35 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Keshet333's comment
Tom

Obama 2012

December 31 2010 at 8:51 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
tistolaugh

I was so happy to hear Michelle Obama exclaim 'let's move!' Because 2012 is coming soon and she and the mister will indeed be movnig.

December 31 2010 at 2:38 PM Report abuse +39 rate up rate down Reply
Johnny Boy

I mean the United States

December 31 2010 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Johnny Boy

her and whats his name are not God and his wife,Wish they would leave the country permantley and find their own lil cave and eat scraps left by Burger King..

December 31 2010 at 2:01 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply
lmonta

ginione2 you have got to be freaking kidding me. Where were you at the end of 2008 when Bush left office oh I guess you think everything was peachy and rosy. Some you same guys said that Obama would never see the inside of the White House that he would never win and had no chance of winning.If I were you I would not brag to much 2012 is a good ways away and its a long time to be wishing something to happen only to find out that your wish did not come true and that you wasted your time. By the way Michelle Obama is awesome and a wonderful first lady.

December 31 2010 at 12:31 PM Report abuse -27 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lmonta's comment
david

Oh yea her fashion statements make me want to keep her there for sure.

December 31 2010 at 7:14 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
tistolaugh

I don't think Mrs. Obama dresses poorly, but I have never seen all the fuss about her clothing. Despite what the media continues to say, she is nowhere even near the best dressed first lady. They know it and everyone else knows it, yet they continue to repeat it as if saying it over and over will make it true somehow.

December 31 2010 at 12:28 AM Report abuse +54 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tistolaugh's comment
imarti9625

I agree that she isn't the worst dressed, but some of her outfits just don't go with her frame. She would look so much more elegant in simple, solid colors rather than checkered jackets on printed dresses. The First Lady should try to attract more attention to what she says rather than what she wears.

December 31 2010 at 9:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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