Murkowski tickled to be with Elmo

Governor appears with 'Sesame Street' characters to promote healthy eating habits

Posted: Friday, March 24, 2006

Gov. Frank Murkowski has dined among world leaders and various celebrities throughout his career, but he didn't expect to add "Sesame Street" characters to that list.

The governor was recently tapped to appear in a public service announcement for the Public Broadcasting Service network. Murkowski will be featured with the red Elmo and blue Rosita, promoting healthful eating habits.

"Get your child excited about new foods by exploring tastes, smell, texture and flavor and help start a healthy habit for life," Murkowski says in the commercial.

The three eat hummus, carrots, burritos and mangos, which Murkowski describes as "sweet!"

The clip ends with Murkowski presenting a dish of Alaska wild salmon.

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"Every once in a while the governor has the privilege of reflecting on finally arriving," said Murkowski, at a Thursday press conference.

"Being in the presence of Elmo and Rosita is one of the extraordinary highlights in the minds of the grandkids," he added. The governor has 13 grandchildren, with one more on the way.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, appeared in a similar public service announcement last year, with Elmo also promoting healthful diets. More than a dozen U.S. senators have been taped.

"Healthy Habits for Life" was started in 2004 by the Sesame Workshop to fight the crisis of child obesity, as 10 percent of children are diagnosed as clinically obese and 30 percent are overweight, according to the organization.

The format of the long-running "Sesame Street" show also adopted messages on preventing obesity.

• Andrew Petty can be reached at

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