(CBS News) Democrats shouldn't follow Michelle Obama's lead when it comes to paying attention to the Republican National Convention proceedings in Tampa, Fla., the first lady said in an appearance Wednesday on CBS' "Late Show" with David Letterman.
"I, as the wife of the guy they're running against, I tend not to watch it," she said in the interview, which aired shortly after Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., accepted the GOP presidential nomination. "But I think it's important for everyone to watch these conventions, because this is the time you get to know the party, you understand the platform, you understand the candidates.
"You know, this is technically where the campaign begins," she continued. "So I think it's very important for everyone to watch as much of both conventions as possible to make their decisions."
Just days before her own party's convention kicks off in Charlotte, N.C., Mrs. Obama said she's "one of the few people" who's not yet been worn down by the campaign season. "Being out there really does pump me back up," she said.
Though she said her husband, President Obama, doesn't bring his own energy from the trail home at the end of the day in an effort "to keep the home as a place of peace and solace," she added "there are moments when there are interesting things that happen, and we discuss them."
Case in point: Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" remark, to which, when brought up by Letterman, Mrs. Obama rolled her eyes and groaned, "Oh, God!" Asked by Letterman if Akin's comment is "not a big deal - I don't know, dumb guys are allowed to say dumb things?" the first lady quipped, "That's how guys are."
Putting politics aside, Mrs. Obama also talked with Letterman about her work with the Joining Forces program, which helps veterans find jobs and tries to debunk certain stigmas that come with hiring them, like their potential for post-traumatic stress disorder. Letterman lauded the program for reaching its goal several weeks ago to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2013.
And since the appearance was billed by the White House as promotional for the first lady's food and fitness initiatives, the two also talked about the first-ever "Kids' State Dinner" she held recently, which hosted one child from each state, chosen by submitting his or her own healthy recipe. Challenged by Letterman on the kinds of healthy snacks featured, Mrs. Obama told him, "They were grubbin' on the kale chips, I'm telling you!"