Stargazing

First Lady Michelle Obama wows New York City

By JOCELYN NOVECKAP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — She’s already conquered Britain, France and Germany. On Tuesday, it was time for

Michelle Obama

to conquer New York.

After a visit to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and an appearance on “Sesame Street,” Mrs. Obama capped her first visit to New York as first lady with an appearance before a glittery crowd at Time magazine’s annual Time 100 gala, honoring its 100 “Most Influential People.”

There, she mixed sparkle with substance, introducing the administration’s proposal to give $50 million to innovative nonprofit groups.

Yes, her husband was on that most-influential list, too, as well as 98 other movers and shakers in the worlds of politics, technology, business, fashion, science, television, film and music. But it was clearly Mrs. Obama, dressed in a long black gown with a corset bodice and jet beads draped around her neck, whom the crowd wanted to see.

And it was a powerful crowd that stood to applaud her entrance, including fellow honorees

Oprah Winfrey

,

Barbara Walters

and her cohorts from “The View,” financial analyst

Suze Orman

, fashion designer

Stella McCartney

and the guys who invented Twitter.

In her speech, Mrs. Obama spoke of the importance of public service in her own life, and then announced that the president’s budget proposal for next year will include $50 million to help promote national service and advise nonprofit groups.

Earlier Tuesday, Mrs. Obama addressed diplomats and staff members at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, thanking them for promoting her husband’s new foreign policy of global engagement.

It sounded, though, like the highlight of her day — and to take her at her word, perhaps even her life as first lady so far — was the appearance with Elmo and Big Bird.

“I never thought I’d be on 'Sesame Street' with Elmo and Big Bird and I was thrilled,” she said. “I’m still thrilled. I’m on a high. I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve done so far in the White House.”

(AP writers Edith M. Lederer and Phil Elliott contributed to this report.)

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