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. magella

    I love how anyone that comes from Chicago to serve in the administration is a "crony" or corrupt. Chicago's a big city, people–not everyone has ties to the political machine or organized crime or whatever it is you retards are insinuating. Michelle Obama has spent her WHOLE LIFE living in Chicago–it stands to reason she would choose someone she knew from her past to serve as her chief of staff.

    If you want to talk about cronyism, let's talk about how Dick Cheney ended up getting the nod for VP from Bush, along with everyone else from his "good old boys'" network.

    Give it a rest already!

    June 5, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. JonG

    Is it an organized tactic to blame the last eight years of financial, social, and political degradation on Obama-who's been in office only a little over 100 days-or do the wing nuts really believe that high unemployment and economic turmoil are his fault? Just think about how bad things would be if the "stay the course" Republicans were still in office. Unemployment would be 20% instead of 9. I'm glad they're a minority saying "no" instead of a majority saying "stay the course". And how did a staff change in the First Ladies' office lead to such vitriol from the right wing talking heads anyway? It's a staff change. Certainly not the first, won't be the last. Happens everywhere all the time. The level of anger and hate and indignation coming from the right is stunning. I worry that the shooting of George Tiller is only the beginning of a violent uprising of Republican extremism.

    June 5, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. John

    You people scare me. Seriously, I'm having nightmares about zombies that worship politicians as Gods and Kings.

    June 5, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Cowboy in West Texas

    I always wonder if the President and First Lady read this stuff – and then wonder why Mr Obama would want to lead us.......get a grip! I doubt that there is one of us commenting that doesn't want someone we can trust taking care of our business. I have a CPA – insurance man – financial man – all of them I hand picked!

    June 5, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. jo jo

    To all of the hateful remarks on this website concerning our first lady, SHAME ON YOU! What a bunch of losers you are. You don't have to like the way she looks, her husband does and so does most of America. She could care less what you low life peckerwood nuts think of her. I would bet any amount of money all of you who are writing these nasty remarks could use some plastic surgery yourselves. Before you make nasty remarks about someone, take a look in the mirror. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. That's what's wrong with some of you. You have become so fixated on the outer appearances and have become totally ignorant and blind when a real beauty comes along. All of you nasty people out there could only hope and pray to become half the woman our first lady is. GET A GRIP AND GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!

    June 5, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. cj

    did not know that the first lady could appointe anybody.

    June 5, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. summje

    I am sooooo sick and tired of people talking about our President and First Lady. I just wonder how many of you served your country and how many of you actually voted. No President can do worse that George W. Bush everytime he opened his mouth incert foot. Everyone wants to blame this President for everything that has happen to this country, but least yea forget that there was a president before him. Give me a break, I served this country for 20 yrs and he has not done any worse than any other president. Maybe some of you need to go and grab a history book and you will find that every First Lady had a Chief of Staff and I am so proud of Michelle O'bama at least she hasn't just been riding her husband's coat tail like some other First Ladies. STOP whinning and get a life maybe a little education.

    June 5, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. slipthalo

    Headline is very misleading. Norris took another position in the government so she had to be replaced.
    Shame on you CNN for being deceptive with the headline.

    June 5, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Ron

    Obama won! They can do whatever they want – just like Georgie.
    Get over it – move on. By the way, why is this a story??

    June 5, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. GOP says If your a muslim your a terrorist. The End!

    I'm not sure what everyone means by "another Chicago politician".

    So I guess that means everyone from Chicago is crooked?

    Cool, then I can say everyone from the South is a gun toting, wife beating racist.

    And everyone from the North is intelligent.

    And all muslims are terrorists

    And everyone from Texas supports invading Iraq

    So cute!

    June 5, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. New Hampshire

    More Chicago corruption?

    June 5, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. LoLo

    You nasty, low-life, one-tooth red necks need to find the job that your dear ex president and his buddies took away from you. Don't hate the liberals because you have no life. I know you don't have nothing in life because you are complaining all of the time. These people that have all these complaints need to get a life. As some have stated they are just plain jealous and racist. The Obamas have earned their right to be where they are. At least they are more educated and professional than you are. You are just angry because he knows how to campaign the political game as well as you do. Bush had picked all of his daddy's old fart friends and look where they took us. But it is okay. Please grow up and get a life. Better still just leave America and create your own country. You will be killing each other the first day of independence. CNN put this up. I dare you>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    June 5, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. all for the President!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It makes me wonder what it is. The fact that our prez is black or the evil, greedy, money hungry bandits will get discovered!!!!???. How is it we read that too many of our love ones are dying over there in a war that is TOTALLY unnecessary and down play it but we get up in arms with the President and his LOVELY First Lady (in every sense of the word), make changes, go places or give speeches. People!!!!!!!! Focus here, get behind Obama and make this country look splendor for all to see. He pushes for all of us to be more educated, who doesn't want that???? and lets not forget there is a missing plane and love ones, so leave Michelle alone and lets pray for the lost victims

    June 5, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Jena

    PJinDC, in addition she is for the first time in her life proud to be an American. Rumor is she had been a Chilean until then.

    June 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Donnie in Minneapolis

    To all you haters of the Obamas, I really feel sorry for you. You can't get pass the fact that they are our leaders now. Stop being stupid and malicious and start caring about our country and the work that needs to be done to get it back on track.

    President Obama has his work cut out for him and I think he is doing a hell of a job so far. He is surrounding himself with people of intergity and intelligence to help him get the job done. As they say, "Can't we all get alone." We are more alike than we are different.

    Remember the world is watching us and so far you are acting like kindergardens who can't have their way. I am glad that you complainers are not the leaders of this country. We would be in pitiful shape.

    June 5, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Sabrina

    I'm curious about the ways in which CNN moderates these blogs. I believe in freedom of speech, but when I hear some Americans calling their First Lady ugly, a monkeyface, and that maggots could feed off of her – it frankly scares me.

    I am a Canadian who admires and loves America, but in light of some of the things I read on these blogs, I'm afraid you have tough days ahead of you.

    Be united. Fake it if you have to!

    June 5, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Meg

    Especially to Steph and the other haters: One would thought that racism was almost dead, but you guys sure let it known it is alive and well, "cool aid people" and "more Chicago trash"-what a way to describe the President and First Lady-all because they are African Americans. I think you guys would love to have us back as slaves in the fields, but be advised THOSE DAYS ARE GONE AND WILL NEVER RETURN. Hate them as much as you can, they will remain President and First Lady for the next eight years–(yes!!! he will be re-elected)-so if you don't like it –just eat crow . You just cannot stop destiny. Long live the President and First Lady and I send blessings to Steph and the other haters.

    June 5, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. DaBird

    Another great hiring like Brian Deese, 31 year old with no experience who was appointed to head GM.

    June 5, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    All First Ladies have a Chief Of Staff. This person is responsible for keeping the schedule for and activities for the First Lady. So someone please tell me why now it is a problem for Michelle Obama to have a Chief Of Staff.

    It's haters. Plain and simple,,,,,, haters. It's OK for all other First Ladies to have one but not the first Black First Lady. Never herd a word about this and other stuff like this until there was a color change at the top.

    June 5, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Karl in SLC

    If the rightwingers are complaining, Michelle must be doing something right.

    The minority party in this country sure are a bunch of hateful people.

    June 5, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Vickie


    Have you heard of Google?
    You can put your spoon down now, and stop stirring the pot. 🙂

    June 5, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Free from Rethuglican rule

    I guess Boner will slam this choice also. It seems that he is becoming more and more of a whinning punk everyday. I guess that means he thinks he is qualified to be POTUS. Look out here is another Rethuglican that will be throwing his name in the hat shortly. Hopefully the good thought producing people of Ohio will show this idiot the door next election. No,no,no, wah,wah,wah!!! (Rethuglican opening comments at press conferences.)

    June 5, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Grin and Bare It

    Okay, Who is kidding Whom? There are alot of people in the US that must have their heads buried in the sand. If you can't see where this nation is headed, then I really feel sorry for you all. Actually, no I don't. When this nation falls apart, you will all be singing a different tune! For me and my family, we have lowered our expectations during an Obama administration. That way the fall will at least seem to hurt less. Good Luck America. We all need it.

    June 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. ButterflyLady

    I am not a Democrat or liberal (more moderate) and initially did not like Michelle Obama. But I do think she has handled herself very well since becoming First lady. I really do not care who she has to run her office, I am more concerned about her husband's policies, which I believe will soon ruin our economy causing hyper inflation and ridiculous tax increases. The rich will not be harmed (they have lots of money to bare the burden). The poor will be able to get some governmental help, but the middle class will be DOOMED to servitude to the government! I hope I am wrong but i have no faith in politicians anymore. I have heard this same song and dance before from the Carter administration, which was an utter failure. Guess when you don't learn from history you are bound to repeat it!

    June 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Ajaye

    You know you critics are pathetic. You DON'T know why there was a change and yet you want to assume the worst.

    Let me make this very clear. Barack Obama IS the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!! Michelle Obama IS the FIRST LADY!!!! with all the same rights and priviledges as their Predecessors!!

    The big problem here is that "THE RACISTS" can't handle it. That is the real problem here and therefore you come up with DESTRUCTIVE REMARKS!!!!

    June 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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