By Deborah Charles
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Forget the long hours, sleep deprivation and 24/7 scrutiny. First lady Michelle Obama has more upbeat advice for Ann Romney as they face a hectic summer of campaigning: Enjoy it.
Though Obama will be out campaigning for her husband, President Barack Obama, to beat presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in November, she said she hopes Romney's wife, Ann, will be able to appreciate the unique opportunity.
"The thing that I would say is, 'Enjoy it,'" Obama told Reuters on Tuesday when asked what advice she had for Mrs Romney. She was speaking during an interview about her new book "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America"
"One of the best things that is surprising about campaigning, that I love, is that it is rare that you get a chance to go into people's communities and into their homes and really just talk to them. And get to know them, they get to know you," said Obama, whose popularity level has remained high - even when her husband's dropped - since the 2008 election.
Obama said the opportunity to visit with Americans while on the campaign trail made her realize how much they had in common with her and her family.
"I've learned to let go and enjoy that process. I think people are surprised when I say that I do love campaigning. Because I do. Number one, I love people and I love this country and you get to see that when you're out there in ways that you normally wouldn't."
"So my advice is - enjoy it. It's a privilege. And I get the sense that she is."
(Editing by Doina Chiacu)