Michelle Obama signing books in Northwest D.C.

(AP/NewsChannel 8) - Michelle Obama signed copies of her gardening book, "American Grown," at a bookstore in Northwest Washington.

Scores of people, including men and women pushing babies in plastic-covered strollers, lined up in the rain Tuesday outside the Politics and Prose bookstore.

“Thank you for coming out on this really wet Tuesday. Not so good for standing outside but really good for gardeners,” she said.

Despite this miserable weather, some customers started lining up outside as early as 8 a.m., three hours early, hoping to be among the first to meet the First Lady.

“Of course it's a privilege to meet the first lady,” says Maxine Wright. “Even though it's not at the White House. I had wished for an invitation if you could tell her. I'd be glad to visit anytime.”

Obama was also greeted by protesters out front.

“We'd really like her to encourage her husband to close Guantanamo prison in Cuba,” said Alli McCracken, a Code Pink protester.

But by and large, the crowd was friendly to the First Lady.

“She commented I'm a big guy and I appear to be eating my vegetables,” says Silver Spring resident Graham Cole. “ I thought that was pretty funny. I just love Michelle. She's amazing.”

The publisher says more than 175,000 copies have been printed.

The book was published last spring, but this promotional tour was delayed by the president's 2012 campaign.

All proceeds go to a National Park Service program promoting gardening. And the first lady suggested "American Grown" would make a great mother's day gift.

“I would say that I was going to give this as a gift to my mother, but she already has like 10 copies, but I might buy her another one, just for the heck of it,” Obama said. .