(CNN) – Michelle Obama surprised many when she appeared at the Oscars last night to announce the winner of best picture.
At the Academy Awards, the camera whipped around to the winners, but back in the White House, it was clear who the real star is these days.
The First Lady’s approval rating in the CNN/ORC poll two months ago stood at 73 percent, more than 20 points higher than the president.
The First Lady is in the spotlight everywhere; dancing with Jimmy Fallon and bantering about her bangs with Rachel Ray.
“This is my mid-life crisis, the bangs,” Michelle says.
She has lit up Twitter with her tweets and she even took a stroll to Sesame Street, talking up healthy eating habits with Big Bird.
None of this is new for First Ladies. They are generally more liked than their husbands.
Michelle Obama for instance is about as popular as Laura Bush.
Still, the headlines swirling around Mrs. Obama have ruffled some conservative critics who in the past have grouses about her trips to Europe, her expensive clothing and who suggest even now that she’s trying to distract voters from her husband’s political struggles.
Her awards show appearance only inflamed such talk.
A Washington Post blog says, “It makes both the president ant the First Lady seem small and grasping. It was downright weird.”
However, an awful lot of fans are giving her Oscar debut two thumbs up.