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Video: First lady talks about shopping undercover

By
TODAY staff
updated 10/12/2011 7:21:42 AM ET 2011-10-12T11:21:42

She is not the first inhabitant of the White House to hide her famous face behind a baseball cap and sunglasses, but Michelle Obama may be the most audacious shopper to ever inhabit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

First lady Michelle Obama — who practically sailed through a Virginia Target without a second glance, and admits to sneaking out "as much as possible" — told TODAY’s Al Roker that she and first dog Bo once visited a major pet store without being recognized by a single person.

Image: The First Lady Meets With Members Of The US Women's National Soccer Team
Getty Images file
Michelle Obama walks Bo while hosting a "Let's Move" soccer clinic on the south lawn of the White House, on October 6, 2011.

"I actually took Bo to Petco," the first lady told a bemused Roker.

The Look: Clad in baseball cap and sunglasses, first lady shops at Target

"The cashier asked me, 'Oh, what kind of dog is that?' I said, 'A Portuguese water dog.' He didn't recognize us because he didn't expect that we would be in Petco."

Although Mrs. Obama said the cashier eventually realized who she was from her credit card, the trip, like others she’s reportedly taken while in the White House, revealed just how simple it was to quickly slip into and out of a store if no one was expecting you.

"They're looking right through you. They don't know it's me," the first lady told Roker.

Story: First lady does jumping jacks for world record

"People realize and it's amazing how people don't recognize you. They don't expect to see me at Starbucks or at Chipotle."

The first lady told Roker that although she misses the ability to shop and travel as she likes, the clandestine sprees offer a sense of normalcy for a family bearing the weight of the free world.

Slideshow: Life inside the White House (on this page)

The trips "help keep our kids' lives normal."

And while the Obamas may yearn for yesteryear, when a trip to Target didn’t involve an advance team, there’s one White House perk the first lady isn’t willing to part with just yet: she doesn’t have to buy toilet paper.

"You know, we pretty much have our supply stocked," she told Roker. "I know, it's one of the advantages."

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Michelle Obama’s effortless style

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  1. Michelle Obama's effortless style

    The first lady looks as sophisticated in designer dresses as she does in outfits from J. Crew. Take a look at her great style:

    First lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Diaoyutai State guest house on March 21, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Andy Wong / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ping-pong fun

    Michelle Obama plays table tennis at the Beijing Normal School, a school that prepares students to attend colleges overseas, in Beijing, China on March 21, 2014. (Andy Wong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Welcome to China

    Michelle Obama waves as she and her daughter Sasha leave their plane at Capital International Airport in Beijing on March 20, 2014. (Alexander F. Yuan / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Green day

    Vice president Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, and Irish Prime Mininster Enda Kenny's wife Fionnuala O'Kelly smile during a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House on March 14, 2014. (Ron Sachs / Pool / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. We're green with envy

    Kermit the Frog is welcomed by Michelle Obama at a screening of Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" on March 12, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Win Mcnamee / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Seeking shades

    President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama make their way to board Air Force One before departing from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida on March 9, 2014. (Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Pretty prints

    Michelle Obama delivers remarks during s workshop titled "I'm Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul" with (L-R) Grammy Museum Executive Director Robert Santelli, and music artists Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae and Patti LaBelle in the State Dining Room at the White House March 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Jump to it

    Michelle Obama sports a chic black jumpsuit during an interview with Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 20, 2014. (NBC; Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pretty as a painting

    Michelle Obama, in a bold print skirt, is escorted by Rose Cameron, CEO and founder of WAT-AAH!, a line of bottled water targeted to kids and teens, as they view the "Taking Back the Streets" art exhibit at the New Museum in New York on Feb. 20. (Richard Drew / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Snow bunny

    Michelle Obama skis at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo. on Feb. 15. This is the third year in a row that Michelle Obama has vacationed in Aspen over the long President's Day weekend. (Chris Council / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Ultimate elegance

    President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, in a dramatic Carolina Herrera ball gown, arrive at a state dinner at the White House on Feb. 11. The dress featured a sheer black top with hand-embroidered and beaded appliques and sleeves that dipped just below the first lady's elbows. (Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Lady in red

    First lady Michelle Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and President Barack Obama wave at the balcony of the White House on Feb. 11. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Deep green

    Michelle Obama, in a hunter green Azzedine Alaïa dress, waves next to U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, who was injured while serving in Afghanistan, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech in Washington on Jan. 28, 2014. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Vision in blue

    First Lady Michelle Obama smiles as she listens to President Barack Obama speak at an event on expanding college opportunity in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Jan. 16, 2014. (Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Bold bling

    Michelle Obama wore a festive lucite necklace while speaking about education in underserved communities in the State Dining Room following a screening of the movie "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" at the White House on Jan. 15, 2014. (Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to China - Day 2
    Andy Wong / Pool via Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (15) Michelle Obama's effortless style
  2. Image: NBC's Brian Williams looks out onto the Rose Garden from the West Wing's Palm Room. He was preparing for the president's arrival and the start of a day spent reporting a behind-the-scenes documentary at the White House
    Antoine Sanfuentes / NBC News
    Slideshow (17) Life inside the White House
  3. Pete Souza / The White House
    Slideshow (32) Inside Obama's White House
  4. Image: Sunny, the Obama family's new puppy
    Reuters
    Slideshow (41) Who’s a good Bo?

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