According to AP, casually dressed Secret Service agents arrived roughly a half-hour before Mrs. Obama, who later arrived with her assistant and spent 30 to 40 minutes shopping, pushing her own cart. She was allegedly recognized only by the cashier who rang up her purchases.
“It is not uncommon for the First Lady to slip out to run an errand, eat at a local restaurant or otherwise enjoy the city outside the White House gates,” said Kristina Schake, communications director for the First Lady.
Wanting to do the shopping herself and not rely on the staff employed with handling such tasks, Obama drew scorn for what critics argued was a misuse of Secret Service and public resources — all to purchase vegetables. The Washington Post explained what went into making the First Lady’s shopping experience possible:
The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.
Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. “Now it’s time to buy some food,” she told several hundred people who came to watch. “Let’s shop!
Source: The Blaze