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. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    June 5th, 2009 10:43 am ET

    "... we have in Sarah Palin a beautiful, accomplished woman who advances conservative values and is regularly lambasted by the media."

    Caribou Barbie? Let's see ... daughter had baby out of wedlock, relatives arrested for dealing meth, multiple ethics investigations, husband a secessionist TRAITOR ..."

    Want more?

    Palin isn't fit to do Mrs. Obama's LAUNDRY.

    June 5, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    why does she have a staff? Does she pay their saleries out of her own pocket?

    Hey Darth, keep drinking that Kool-aid.

    June 5, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Gene

    who cares...

    June 5, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Middle man

    Did anyone give thought to the fact that Ms. Norris was the one who decided to move on and the First Lady, as a result, chose someone she was accustomed to to replace her?

    As to that Republican slamming the Administration over the unemployment figures, I think that someone should remind him that this trend is expected to be worrying until the end of the year. In the meantime, job losses are on the decline. The money that it is being injected into the economy is meant to stablize the bleeding, then comes the healing and regrowth. Gee!

    June 5, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. ButterflyLady

    Yes there is too much hatred, but it was started by the left back in the Bush days. The left demonized and dehumanized Bush. And now you wonder why the right is doing the same to Obama? Get real! When you throw a boomerang it comes back to ya!

    June 5, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Vickie

    You are a patriot and a retired military Veteran???????????

    I seriously doubt that! I've never heard a "real" patriot or a "real" veteran talk about any current US President that way.

    June 5, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. ~~ July ~~

    Joann June 5th, 2009 11:30 am ET

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

    Yes Joann .. there is a plane missing somwhere .... but YOU were the one that click on this story to read it and comment on it. Silly silly you.

    June 5, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Fair is Fair who responded to Lynda/Minnesotta.

    I do believe "fair is fair" that Lynda's last blog applies to you as well. See your first blog.

    June 5, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Jen from CA

    "Better still just leave America and create your own country"
    So many liberals promised to move to Canada if John Kerry lost the election and didn't do it. I doubt any of you could manage to promise to stay out of a conservative country if we did create one. First, Wal-Mart would move there as well as many of the companies with labor unions and, instantly, liberal country would lose millions of jobs. Then the people in your country would have no work and want so badly to move to the consevative country that they would stop demanding $17 and hour to sack groceries (the average wage in CA before Wal-Mart) and move there just to have a job because, without those companies and jobs, the liberal country would not collect enough taxes to support all the unemployed; unless you continue to borrow from China.

    They tried to suggest this in Texas but most liberals freaked out because, deep down in their Obama and Michelle worshipping minds, they know liberalism FAILS.

    June 5, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair


    Mari (if I may be so bold), your party is blaming the current recession on Bush. Would it be fair to blame the "twin recessions" of '81 and '82 on Carter? If not, why not?

    June 5, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. playlist

    It is sad that CNN has reduced itself to just doing inflammatory journalism designed to illicit knee jerk responses and arguments...your ratings are going down because of this type of headlines....you can't out FOX..FOX NEWS....they have their audience

    you are losing the moderates and independents with this strategy

    June 5, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. makesUwonder

    One more guest to be included in those Wednesday dinner parties each week. I'm sure Susan Sher will enjoy that imported steak at $100.00 per pound, the best wine, food etc. Perhaps they'll take a little trip on AirForce 1 after dinner to see a play in New York. Just a little more of the taxpayers money, and how about that carbon footprint. Oh yes, it must be nice to be the Obama's and have all that money. Something the middle class taxpayer will never know! After all, we just foot the bill.

    June 5, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. sidlodi

    For once we have intelligence, sophistication coupled with humility.
    The white house is a symbol of integrity and hope, we as Americans should support it for all the right reasons. The threat of complete financial meltdown was real, president Obama is trying his best. Lets be united in saving this becon of hope in the free world.

    June 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Operation Crush Rush

    Susan will do a great job at this post and Jackie deserved her new post. We have Rush on the run,keep those e-mails and phone calls to him clogging up his system.

    June 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Suzi

    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. They both have eyes that look through you like shark eyes...and that being said you are crazy if you trust they are working for you or do not have an agenda working together to control this country with their cheating lying croonies in Chicago in a one party system. It isn't jealousy or sorry that he won..I felt this before he was ever elected and did more research than apparently most of " follow him off a cliff mentality did" because had you done your homework Ron Paul is the guy that wants transparency and honesty and makes no bones about exposing institutions like Freddie and Fannie and the Federal Reserve and also coming to grips that Democrats voted for the war and voted to change the banking rules that caused our economy to go bankrupty. Michele Obama is just as cold and calculating as her husband and not surprising she will dispose of anyone who gets in her way. Nothing more be said.

    June 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. ~~ July ~~

    Jim Pavo June 5th, 2009 12:30 pm ET

    The (Socialist) Democratic Party members are blind to the weaknesses of our President and the First Lady!

    Jim Pavo ... if you want to call my party Socialist ... do it without the ( .. ) ... just say it baby. I would rather be known as a Socialist Democratic then a ................................... Republican!

    June 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Paul

    Over the last 8 years, questioning AND criticizing the White House over EVERY move was called being a responsible citizen. Now, it is called being a traitor. The level of hypocrisy puts my stomach in knots.

    June 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. John

    First Lady is Well Educated and an Attorney.

    Not like Laura Bush who was just an Ordinary Commoner.

    June 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Simmy

    Janice in Mississippi.........I appreciated your words......

    Those who continuously make vile and untrue statements about the President and First Lady, more than not, are insecure, jealous, and hate that there's a black family in the White House.....It's that 'Not in my neighborhood mentality.' Living well is the best revenge, so those who hate are getting more miserable by the day......

    Helen.......Your words reflect who you are and how you look.....Your words are very ugly.....I pray that God transplants a heart of flesh in you.

    June 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Randolph Carter

    CC wrote: You know this is the kind of crap I don't like. I did not vote for her and why does she need a "Cheif of Anything". I just love the way Politics just basically assumes they have a right to do what they want. Why can't First Ladies be just that and not try to change policies for their own causes. I think this can back fire on a President and a fine example of this is Jimmy Carter the Peanut Farmer. Who when in office let Roslyn have a major input on the decision making process and look what happened, when his re-election occurred every one turned on him and he was gone. First ladies should just look nice, be sweet, support their husbands and shut up!!!!

    First of all, nobody voted for her. Alot of people voted for her husband, though. So first ladies should look good and keep their mouths shut? I suppose they should be barefoot and pregnant too. Stop living in the 1950s. This is the 21st century, we've come a long way, baby. Have a nice day! 🙂

    June 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Joe Publicini

    Darth Vadik – No it doesn't feel better to have Bush 2.0 in the white house shoveling out money that we do not have. Wait until we have to pay the piper, you will not be feeling better either.

    Anonymous – It's called freedom of speech and in addition, CNN is an independent entity that can do as it pleases.

    To all that use the word "haters" – You should really should study the dictionary a little more.

    June 5, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Leah

    Playlist and Lynda from Minnesota: I so agree with your comments about CNN. I stopped watching them shortly after the election and occasionally come into the blogs to read these hateful, uniformed comments.

    The President made a speech that the wjole world is talking about; Elie Wiesel made one as great at Buchenwald that hopefully Israelis were listening to, and CNN is worried about some changes in Michelle Obama's staff leaving out key information and posters worried about what color her new secretary is. Absolutely pathetic in a democracy that depends on access to information!!

    America will fail not because of policies but due to hate, ignorance and rigid ideology.

    June 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. katiec

    I know hate is bad but I truly hate the republican politicians for what they are doing to our country.
    And, reading some of the sickening remarks on this blog by the hateful supremists, Limbaugh puppets, the radical religious
    right and stupid, thoughtless, angry people, have to add them to'
    the list of unAmerican undesirables.

    June 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. TagMan

    I cannot believe some of the comments people have made on here. CNN provides this as an outlet to share opinions and thoughts on a particular story... personal attacks on this womans appearance, weight and the how she dresses have nothing to do with her Chief of Staff pick. Additionally, we must be reminded that staff at the White House serve at the pleasure and privilege of the President and the First Lady. I believe and Mrs. Obama has shown herself to be a competent and accomplished individual; Given the agendas she has chosen to champion, her Chief of Staff will have the privilege of helping her choose those that are most qualified whether through experience or expertise. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I also believe we can be objective and agree to disagree.

    June 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Fred

    At age 56, I'm beginning to understand why I never ran for political office. Everytoby said I should, but I don't want to bear the slings and arrows of the opposition. I'm a retired Marine and I know how to fight, but there's a lot of difference in the ammo when you compare the media to an M14. The media doesn't shoot straight. A rifle does. I'll just pray for the best and whether I like him or not, Mr. Obama is MY president. I served under others I didn't like either. But they were all good in their own peculiar ways. Semper Fi.

    June 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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