June 5th, 2009
01:50 PM ET
5 years ago

First lady names new chief of staff

The White House said Thursday the first lady had selected a new chief of staff.
The White House said Thursday the first lady had selected a new chief of staff.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama has brought in an old Chicago friend, Susan Sher, to replace chief of staff Jackie Norris.

The White House announced the switch late Thursday.

Norris was part of the team that led the Obama campaign to victory in the Iowa caucuses. She will now serve as a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

"I am grateful to President and Mrs. Obama for the opportunities and friendship they have given me over the last few years and I am looking forward to becoming an integral part of this Administration's efforts to advance the cause of national and community service," Norris said in a statement released by the White House.

In a statement, Mrs. Obama described Sher, who has been advising her on issues like health care, "as a trusted advisor, longtime mentor and friend dating back to my work at the City of Chicago and later the University of Chicago."

She also thanked Norris for building "a strong organization in the East Wing."

The first lady is slated to join President Barack Obama in Europe for the final leg of his latest overseas trip.


Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Shari, NY

    John: Laura Bush was a librarian. That's a pretty decent professsion. Pity that she could not user her expertise to get her husband "hooked on phonics".

    June 5, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Jim in Florida

    The only reason she changed was to give another friend a job. It's the Washington way. Besides, they are playing with our money. Chicago cronyism.

    "senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service." equals a deadhead job.

    These are people who the public will never see vetted – certainly not by the in love with Obama media, so we won't know how many years these women cheated on their taxes.

    June 5, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom

    @ ~~ July~~.... Great comment! You are SO right. Let's not forget that for years in the 50's and 60's the Republicans were saying "the communists are coming!" Their calling us, Socialists, is nothing new. Its pathetic that when the Republicans are scared they resort back to fear-mongering and the same old tired name-calling.

    June 5, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Suzi who wrote: All you have to do is look into the first family eyes and make a determination of who they are and the energy they give off."

    Suzi, sweetie, we have looked into their eyes, and we see a FAMILY (you actually included the little girls!?!) that radiates good family values; a family that loves each other. The Obamas radiate positive energy clearly evident in the way that leaders WORLWIDE (see the Queen actually touching MIchelle, unheard of!) respond to them, and the very strong following from people of all walks of life that they have here at home. They have medication for what ails you Suzi.

    June 5, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Libra

    If the Color of Skin is White, that does not necessarily mean the Brain inside is Brilliant.

    Black people might have more Brilliant Brains than Most Whites.

    We need a President and 1st Lady with Brilliant Brains not Just White Skin. :|

    June 5, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Gop,

    When did the Bush economy run well?

    Let me refresh your right wing idiotic memory (not that it would make a difference, heck if Rush told you to eat maggots because Reagan liked jellybeans, you probably would),

    the Bush economy ran well for about 3 months after Clinton left him a surplus.

    June 5, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Californian

    Wow! Staffers get fed-up working with the Obamas only after a few months?

    Well they should have known. No surprise to me.

    June 5, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Sean

    Nofooled, I agree with you, but GOPoops? Really? Let's be mature here.

    June 5, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Gop

    Hey Notfooled

    Continue to Criticize, Condemn, and Complain!! Well you just summed up what us conservatives have had to deal with you liberal Bush haters for the last 8 years.

    In fact I thought you liberals only knew how to Criticize, Condemn, and Complain!

    Again you need to take a bit of what you been dishing out for the last 8 years so enjoy it and be well!

    June 5, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. katiec

    CNN liberal??
    You have to be kidding. They are about to overcome their cohort, Fix News for their bias.

    June 5, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. No-More-Barry in 2012

    I hate Obama...but who really cares about this. If she did something wrong she should leave, if she was unhappy, she should leave. If she did something illegal, we should be told and she should be prosecuted under the law. But unless it is the later, and so far there is nothing to suggest that there is anything nefarious going on...we should simply not care. Job changes happen all the time in the real world. They should also be allowed to happen in the fantasy land that is the WH. Hillary in 2012!

    June 5, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Yna

    To Biased:
    I suggest you need to gather your facts before you write your comments. The Obamas did not bring in any personal chef. The current chef has been there since the Clinton Administration.

    And to all of you who are saying Michelle is ugly, what a perfect way to let the whole world know what a shallow individual you are!

    June 5, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. jm

    Lolo,

    You are vile. If all the so called "one tooth rednecks" or producers left the country, who would you sponge off of?

    June 5, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. CNN-Stop and Think for a Minute

    As I peruse the cable news channels, I have noticed that the only channel that ever covers Michelle Obama and Bo is CNN. At the same time, CNN's ratings are dropping at a fast pace. Hmmm...possible the two events might be related. DUH!! Word to the wise, CNN, news about Michelle and Bo belongs on ET, not the Political Ticker. Oh well, keep it up. Your ratings will continue to stink. The bottom line is that people simply do not care about Michelle Obama. At least I do not. I am only posting because I thought I might give a word of advice from my perspective.

    June 5, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. The General

    @ James – good analogy about Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin, except Michelle hasn't done anything except infer how she held contempt for this country, become disbarred from the bar assoc. in Chicago for disciplinary reasons, and occupy the white house in an undeserving manner.....Palin's twice as smart..and twice as hot.

    June 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    @ Randolph Carter:

    Insightful response – and I remember the time all too well. Thanks... and have a nice day yourself!

    June 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Imarriedmy sister in TheOleSouth

    Laura Bush was a stepford garden tool.

    June 5, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Ms. Dee, Texas

    Wow GOP blogger – you are no better than the people you call "left-wing liberals". That was a mean-spirited comment you made about our First Lady.

    Perhaps you should practice being the bigger person!

    If memory serves me correct. None of the First Ladies were remnants of beauty. Certainly not Laura or Barbara!

    June 5, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Obamaisinthewhitehouseohyes

    I respect the President and First lady and the doll babies they have. We love you Barack! And he loves us too! I always had respect for Mrs. Laura Bush. I have respect for librarians, the art of handling the library and helping us learn knowledge is fantastic. I am african american and although I didnt vote for bush II, I prayed for the first family then and always will.

    Try some love, you'll like it.

    June 5, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    Joe Publicini,

    I really don't care whether you feel better or not, but the country does, and so do I. I do not want an idiot in the whitehouse, and after 8 years of Bush I feel a heck of a LOT better with Obama.

    As far as getting a perfect candidate, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    Whould you people really want McCain and the insane lady from Alaska instead of Obama?

    I despise Republicans for their idiotic political beliefs, but I also despise those Democrats who "will never be happy" with whomever is in office. Obama's not perfec, but he is better than what we've had in the whitehouse since Carter (yes Carter, probably the most descent man whitehouse has ever had, yes, even Abe)

    June 5, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. barry in las vegas

    I don't care for the Obama's politics, but they have the right to have the people they are most confortable with working for them.

    I don't think that the former Chief of Staff had any real hopes of being retained in this position.

    Michelle is entitled to this change and any others she wants to make in her staff.

    June 5, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. TCM

    @phoenix86 -

    Yeah, ain't that great? 150,001....saved! and funded by the working Americans. Although it appears that obama failed to mention the 1.9 million lost during the same time. What's really a hoot is the MSM bragging about the jobless rate slowing down...instead of focusing on the real issue; unemployment 9.8%....THANKS OBAMA!

    June 5, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Really

    Breaking news. I am surprised they did not cut into my regularly scheduled program. For the first time in my adult life, I am surprised by the medias bias. 3 and half more years of hearing about every little thing she does. I wonder how often she is out in her garden she planted to show the people that she is making sacrifices just like everyone eles. I really do not like her. Sorry but that is my opinion.

    June 5, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Paul

    obama support team, "Why don't you consider going back to school, you MORON!!" Excellent, it is Friday afternoon, which means it is time for name calling! I am not a moron, you are a moron, MORON!

    June 5, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. tom

    To all the doomsday sayers and chicken littles. Can you look in the mirror and say the world would be better off with Palin and Mc Cain. They offered us no economic plan and no foreign plan. We might have been at war with Iran and Korea as I write. The truth is our country needs a new direction. Rome failed as did England as did every previous great empire.Obama is far from perfect but hating Gays, Mexicans and Arabs isn't the answer and neither is war.

    June 5, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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