June 5th, 2009
01:50 PM ET
9 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. Montana

    Michelle Obama is such a true beauty! She is a well-liked and respected First Lady!

    June 5, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. hmpo

    The Queen has spoken

    June 5, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Susan P.Obertone

    I guess both Obama want only yes mas around them! They
    show loyalty to the people who gave them money in the campaign and not to the hard workers.

    June 5, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. dave

    another article about the First Lady, how soon before the nastiness begins

    I heard Rush say she only got to be First Lady b/c she is a woman

    June 5, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. TCM

    From The Business Insider, June 4, 2009:

    Ben Bernanke's language yesterday on the future of the economy and the risks of our ballooning debt was startlingly frank coming from a Fed Chairman.

    Specifically, Bernanke warned that the recovery is likely to be weak and that Obama and Congress need to get spending under control or the interest payments will start to destroy us.

    He agreed that the size of the deficit is contributing to rising interest rates (very startling point, especially in light of Treasury's happy chirps that rates are rising because the economy is recovering.) He also cast doubt on the effectiveness of the stimulus programs.

    Most importantly, Bernanke also raised concern about our impending debt-to-GDP ratio of 70%, which is well below the Obama administration's (probably optimistic) forecast of 100% for the next decade.


    June 5, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. dominican mama 4 Obama

    I wish the Obama family a well-deserved mini-vacation in the City of Lights. Thank you for your continued and successful efforts to restore lustre and prestige to our much-tarnished image abroad.

    June 5, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. The General

    She will now serve as the.....

    GEE...just how many times can they rebrand ACORN?

    June 5, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Don

    Who cares?
    Meanwhile, no analysis of historical inaccuracies, omissions, over political correctness and lack of honesty while asking honesty and in the process taking too much political risk in her husband's speech is ignored. Turning the presidency to a social event (yes nice, young and smiling couple) is not part of politics and CNN is not real journalism!

    June 5, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. missnigg

    I guess poor Jackie Norris Didn't have a long enough tongue.

    June 5, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |

    Congratulations to the First Lady in her choice and to the President on his wonderful Cairo speech which I have now read twice. They are truly a first couple who make us proud. Also, WOOHOO!, more good news, economists expected 504,000 lost jobs , but there were 345,000 in May. I just love positive news!

    June 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. CWO_USN

    And how much will that cost us taxpayers for her joining the trip?

    June 5, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. phoenix86

    independent Jim June 5th, 2009 10:36 am ET

    A sudden and early change in a new Administration always makes you ask, "Why?". So, CNN, why didn't you dig a little deeper on this story and ask, "Why?". Headlines without good reporting only go so far…

    Headlines without good reporting is what put Obama in the White House.

    June 5, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |

    Mrs. Obama is a national treassure – what else can be said.

    June 5, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Dan

    It will cost taxpayers the same amount that it cost for W's wife to join him on all his trips.

    June 5, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. anderson n carolina

    Norris gets a promotion and the First Lady names a replacement.......and this is big news? Cnn every day it becomes more apparent why your rating are dropping.....FAST1

    June 5, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. Darlene

    Why is it assumed that a problem caused the change, perhaps, Norris wanted the change, sounds like a good positive appointment to me.

    June 5, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Eric Ethridge

    This is one of those hirings, that while the candidate might be vetted and worthwhile, the selection seems to be based more on prior relationships then a quantitiative process that garners the best person for the job. It is one of those sad factors of political life – the people we choose to lead our nation get to choose their own 'personal advisors' who help guide them in areas and have a great opportunity to assert their own, possibly misguided, influence. This is a pattern that has been replayed throughout history. The King of Assyria in 7th Century B.C. was supposedly guided by their God; however it is shown that both the royal family and the kings personal eunuch had enormous influence in his descision making.

    June 5, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. grandma22

    Stop running around the country. Our hard earned money is paying for the jet fuel you're using. Start thinking about the unemployed and how you can help them!

    June 5, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Leslie

    NaySayers...take a look at the Bush years CLOSELY, over 4k american lives lost in a War over 10k Iraq lives...that's too much blood on the hands.

    The Obama's are trying to correct years of murder, lies and thievery so please BE QUIET cause your comments are uncessary and unwarranted.

    June 5, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Brent

    We are paying for the first lady to have a Chief of Staff? Thats a joke... Well,of course she is going to bring in her old friend rather than the hard workers who got her there, I mean its not like we mean anything. Just think, she could give that job to someone that really needs it instead of a multi millionaire.

    June 5, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Kelby In Houston, TX

    wOw, it's great that Michelle Obama is naming a new chief of....Michelle Obama is so hott, SHE IS! SHE IS!!
    She looks like Campbell's soup, Mmmm Mmmm Good!
    If she was a historical president, she would be BABE-braham Lincoln.
    Our president is so lucky to have her.

    June 5, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Joann

    why is so much attention paid to this woman.
    who cares, isn't there a plane load of dead people missing somewhere???

    June 5, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. lkb

    For all the dems that say the repubs will whine even about this....right you are. I have to wonder where this white house is taking us with all the "favors" they have to pay back. To me, this leads to corruption in an already dem controlled government. I think this is what our forefathers fought against.

    June 5, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. geecee

    So what? Is there something nefarious behind the change? Some scandal? You make the headlines look like a sinister plot is afoot, when all it was is that Norris was leaving to take another job, and Michelle appointed a qualified, old friend to take her place as Chief of Staff. Big deal, but you have to make it news so the haters can post their dispicable comments, right? Sorry, once again, to disappoint you "fail" advocates. The Obamas are both doing a fine job as President and First Lady, and they will continue to do so. Blimpbag should be tried for treason. I hope the Secret Service arrests him, the guy is inciting insurrection at a minimum! Aren't there laws against insurrection? Hateful speech and riling people up to overthrow their government should not be a First Amendment Right. And I see Palin is still up to her old hateful remarks, like that did her a lot of good during the election. What a dolt.

    June 5, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. mary from CT

    Hey, Susan, hope you've practiced your curtsy!!!

    June 5, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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