DALLAS (AP) — In just the past few days, she's danced with cheering school kids, chatted with troops, swapped ideas with busy parents and engaged in a friendly cooking competition with stars from "Top Chef."

Michelle Obama is on a national tour to promote the second anniversary of her campaign against childhood obesity. The images have been disarming, intriguing and non-political — just the type of thing her husband's re-election campaign can't get enough of.

Five years to the day after Sen. Barack Obama announced he was running for president, Mrs. Obama's travels this week offer fresh evidence of what an out-sized role she's assumed in the public eye and how powerful a political asset a first lady can be.

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