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Michelle's a secret shopper

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Michelle Obama (above) said she goes on "covert" shopping trips in an effort to escape the confines of the White House and mingle with the American people.

In an interview with the late-night comedian David Letterman, the first lady said she was able to go for "little jaunts out" despite protests from her secret service bodyguards.

During a trip to a supermarket last year a small woman approached her and asked Mrs Obama, who is nearly 6ft tall, to reach up and grab a product from a high shelf.

The shopper, apparently oblivious that she was speaking to the president's wife, said merely: "Well, you didn't have to make it look so easy."

The shopping trip -- during which Mrs Obama disguised herself with sunglasses and a baseball cap but was still found by a press photographer -- came under fire from Republicans who branded it a publicity stunt.

The interview was filmed shortly before Mrs Obama took part in two New York fundraisers for her husband's November re-election effort.

The Obama campaign often says the president "has a day job" and in his absence the first lady has become the strongest fund-raising draw, overtaking even Vice-President Joe Biden.

This month, Mrs Obama has spoken at at least seven campaign events. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent