Michelle Obama Blooms in the White House

The White House garden has done quite well in weathering the wild winter.

The garden has produced 50 pounds of produce before the tulips even came up.

Fourteen months into her tenure as first lady, Mrs. Obama is enjoying the kind of popularity her husband would jump through hoops for, reports CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes.

Her approval ratings are blooming at 78 percent, higher than her recent predecessors at similar points in their husband's presidency.

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Comparatively, Laura Bush rated at 74 percent, and Rosalyn Carter rated at 59 percent. Hillary Clinton rated at 58 percent and Nancy Reagan at 57 percent.

And she has settled on a signature issue: Childhood obesity.

She is using her clout to chide grocery manufacturers and encouraging innovative ways for kids to get exercise, including hula hooping.

"I love the way that Mrs. Obama has stressed the simple things that people can change to make a huge difference in their lives," says Katherine Tallmadge of the American Dietetic Association. "Things like eating more vegetables. Having a garden and being more physically active.

"They may seem like simple things but study after study show they're effective things."

While Mrs. Obama is known for taking fashion risks, she's taken more pressing risks as well, including talking frankly about race.

"There were kids around my neighborhood who would say oooh you talk funny," Mrs. Obama admitted, candidly. "You talk like a white girl."

She granted an interview with right-leaning Fox News before her husband would.

She hasn't been afraid to get her hands dirty... which seems to be going over well with most Americans.