Michelle: The Belle Of Washington

Michelle Obama introduces Stevie Wonder at a White House concert honoring him Feb. 25, 2009.
CBS
For Michelle Obama, welcoming famous Americans to the White House seems effortless.

"One my favorite people in the whole wide world, Stevie Wonder, in performance at the White House," she said.

But the new first lady goes from traditionally elegant and formal to relaxed and casual with ease, CBS News correspondent Bill Plante reports.

Just days before the tribute to Stevie Wonder, she charmed culinary students in the White House kitchen by talking about how tough it was to get her kids to eat vegetables.

"Sometimes kids are like 'its green!' and that bright green color is horrible looking to them," she said.

Michelle Obama's been seen at all the usual places around Washington - The Kennedy Center, Ford's Theater - and nationally on the cover of Vogue and People magazine, where she revealed that the Obama girls will be getting a Portuguese water dog this spring.

After a month, it's already clear that Michelle Obama won't be content to stay behind the well guarded gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The second graders at one Washington, D.C., charter school wanted to know what it is like to live in the White House.

"Then there's a bowling alley … and a movie theatre, and a florist shop, and a place where they make candy and chocolate," she told the class.

She's also been touring the government agencies.

But it's her message to local children that seems most important to her, as she tells them over and over, you can too be the president or the first lady.

"We were kids just like you, you figured out one day that our fate was in our own hands," she tells them

And its her ability to connect, historians say, that could make her mark as first lady.

  • Bill Plante

    Bill Plante is a CBS News Senior White House Correspondent