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Michelle Obama on 'Tonight' review

First lady Michelle Obama appears on

First lady Michelle Obama appears on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Jan. 31, 2012. Credit: Getty Images

How do you spell "soft?" Easy! "J.a.y. L.e.n.o." Let's put it this way: First lady Michelle Obama asked Jay Leno more difficult questions last night than Leno asked her.

Of course, this wasn't supposed to be an opportunity to grill -- her first appearance on a late night show as first lady wasn't meant to turn into an inquisition. But it wasn't supposed to turn into a pizza-eating contest either.

Some of Jay's questions: "You must be thrilled the troops are home? "What kind of frosting was on your wedding cake?" "Do you and the president have daily workouts?"

She asks him: "You haven't eaten your vegetables in a decade. How do you get your fiber?" (Zzzzzing! Take that, Pillsbury dough boy.)

Now, let's all admit: These interviews, when they occur, are never hard-piling-driving what-do-you-know-and-when-did-you-know-it affairs, nor should they be. (That's what network news divisions are for.)

But there certainly isn't a rule book anywhere that says, "thou shalt not ask a first lady pressing or at least interesting questions."

Why, a new book out says she's almost like a Nancy Reagan -- not exactly beloved by staffers, or some of them, and someone who wields considerable influence behind the curtain. Is there a question in there, somewhere, anywhere?

She and her husband are facing an extremely tough re-election campaign -- how are they preparing for that? (Jay did brush against that in the nicest possible--- people are going to say mean things about you! Well, really!) Obama's an interesting, intelligent person in a profoundly important place -- the White House! She can handle challenging or interesting questions. She doesn't need a commercial here. 

Even David Letterman -- largely in the bag for any Democrat -- would have asked tougher questions.

I count this as a lost opportunity.Sorry, Jay. And do eat your vegetables.

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