Michelle Obama Shops at Potomac Yard Target

Only the Cashier Recognized Her

Friday, Sep 30, 2011  |  Updated 4:17 PM EDT
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First lady Michelle Obama makes at shopping trip to the Target at Potomac Yard.

First lady Michelle Obama makes at shopping trip to the Target at Potomac Yard.

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Attention Target shoppers: You could have been standing in line with Michelle Obama.

The first lady, hard to recognize in a baseball cap and sunglasses, shopped Thursday at a Target store at Potomac Yard Shopping Center in Alexandria, Va.

Casually dressed Secret Service agents arrived about a half-hour before Mrs. Obama, who walked in through the main entrance with an assistant. She spent 30 to 40 minutes shopping, pushing her own cart. At the time, she apparently was recognized only by the cashier who rang up her purchases.

However, since the news broke, at least one shopper realized after the fact who "that tall gal" was.

"I'm 5'1" and came around a corner looking for someone tall to help me get something off the top shelf," Sandra Litwin told us. "Little did I know the gal who looked like a friendly tourist was the first lady! ...She was very gracious in helping me when I asked for her assistance."

Litwin told us she didn't realize until the next day exactly who had helped her out in the laundry detergent aisle -- but she recognized Mrs. Obama's outfit on the news. "There really wasn't a lot of face there," Litwin said, alluding to Mrs. Obama's sunglasses and ballcap.

Since moving to the White House, Mrs. Obama has lamented missing out on what she calls "normal stuff," like Target runs.

On Friday, President Barack Obama commented on his wife's surreptitious trip. "I don't even want to shop," he said during an interview. "All I want to do is take a walk.... She always jokes about my motorcade.... She gets embarrassed. I'm glad she can sneak out because one thing she loves to do is go shopping at Target."

She isn't the first first lady to try to go out unrecognized. Hillary Rodham Clinton went for walks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, too.

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