On Jay Leno show, Michelle Obama talks healthcare, 'Kiss Cam'
First Lady Michelle Obama wrapped up her two-day fundraising swing through Los Angeles on Monday, talking up her husband's healthcare initiative with Jay Leno and attempting to clear the air over the recent "Kiss Cam" controversy.
Asked on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" to name the initiative she is most proud of from her husband's first term, Obama pointed to the healthcare law recently upheld by the Supreme Court, calling it "something that hasn't been accomplished by a sitting president in a century.”
She told Leno that White House staffers were on a plane and “broke out in cheers” moments after learning that the law had been upheld. Some also “breathed a sigh of relief," Obama said, because they have pre-existing medical conditions and want to be sure that they can obtain health insurance when they move on to future jobs.
"That's no longer an issue for Americans," she said. "You can't be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions."
It was the first lady's third appearance on the "Tonight Show" and part of a larger visit to Los Angeles that included three fundraisers for the president's reelection, including one with members of the band No Doubt at the Beverly Hills home of singer Gwen Stefani. Proceeds went toward the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
Obama also used her time to revisit the Kiss Cam drama that erupted at a recent basketball game, where she and the president were shown on the video board but failed to smooch, eliciting boos from the crowd. She told Leno she had just arrived at the game with her daughters and was unaware that she and her husband were shown onscreen.
"I didn't see the Kiss Cam part, so I didn't know we were supposed to kiss," she said.
Once the crowd booed, daughter Malia was not happy with the First Couple, Obama said. "She was just disgusted with us. She said, 'Why didn't you kiss?' And I was like, 'Kiss what? What are you talking about?'" Obama said.
The couple was allowed to have a do-over later in the game.
-- David Zahniser