Big Bird is back as a player in big time US politics.
Mitt Romney wanted to get rid of him, but after a reprieve following the Republican’s election defeat, the towering Sesame Street puppet has signed up to endorse First Lady Michelle Obama’s nutrition and fitness campaign.
The fluffy yellow character known to generations of US kids is seen jogging in the East Room of the White House and checking out a bowl of fruit and vegetables in the presidential kitchen in two new public service ads.
“Gee, I bet you could get just anything you want in this kitchen,” Big Bird said in one of the ads, before remarking “those look good” when the First Lady points out some crunchy vegetables.
The ads will be distributed to 320 public broadcasting stations as part of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign which is designed to fight obesity and improve the diets and health of American kids.
The First Lady will kick off a national tour next week to mark the three year anniversary of the program.
“Eating healthy is easy and it’s fun and delicious too,” Michelle Obama says in one of the ads.
The use of Big Bird may be seen as one last jab at Romney by the Obamas after the famous Muppet emerged as a punch line during last year’s presidential election.
Romney said in a debate in Denver that he liked Big Bird but pledged to cut a government subsidy for public television where he appears, as part of efforts to trim the deficit.
President Barack Obama’s team seized on the remark to ridicule Romney after the president badly wobbled in the debate.
“Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” one Obama ad said, jokingly describing Big Bird as an “evil genius” towering over financial felons like Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff.
“Mitt Romney. Taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest,” the announcer of the television ad said.
Watch the video, uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 20.