Big Bird, Live, at the White House — Dancing with the First Lady

Photograph by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Big Bird of Sesame Street in New York City.

Big Bird is back.

After suffering the debating slings and arrows of Republican Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential election campaign, the iconic feathered star of Sesame Street  is taking a big new role for President Barack Obama’s White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Big Bird have teamed up to film two public service announcements “encouraging kids to eat healthy and get active,” the White House announced today. The new PSAs are going out in celebration of the third anniversary of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign aimed at getting kids to get out and exercise along with keeping a health diet.

And Big Bird puts some moves on in the State Dining Room in this ad:

It was Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and his party’s candidate for president last year, who questioned the federal government’s sponsorship of the Public Broadcasting Service that presents Sesame Street.

Asked in debate how he’d cut the federal deficit, Romney said he’d start by repealing “Obama-care,” the president’s health care law. Then: “I like PBS,” Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS, as he spoke of cutting federal aid for public television.

“I love Big Bird,” Romney told Lehrer. “Actually like you, too.”

Obama carried the Sesame Street fight to the campaign trail, telling supporters of Romney in Virginia: “For all you moms and dads out there, don’t worry, somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird… Governor Romney is going to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s going to bring down the hammer on Sesame Street.

So, Obama won re-election, and PBS survived the campaign. And now PBS plans to distribute these PSAs to 320 PBS Stations, Sesame Workshop’s partner channels, as part of their Healthy Habits for Life Initiative, the White House says.

”No matter what your age, it’s important to get your body moving every day,” the first lady says in the ad.

“And now,” Big Bird says, “I’m dancing.”

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