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. SRG

    I don't understand what the big deal is, All First Ladies have a Chief of Staff. The Obama administrtion did not invent this practice. The way that GW and his administration left this country the Republicans should be the last to criticize anyone else or the new administration. If they had better ideas, we wouldn't be in this situation now. Get the message: You lost the election, the American spoke!

    June 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Joe Publicini

    John, you really need to brush up on your knowledge and need to stop worrying about the level of other people's education. Oh by the way, Laura Bush has multiple degrees for your information. Please try to be more informed before making such baseless comments.

    June 5, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Mary

    I just read 146 comments on this hateful blog. The BEST comment by far came from PJinDC......thankjs PJ for the intelligence that is so rarely found here.

    June 5, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter

    Fair is Fair wrote: 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?

    I think neither Carter nor Reagan are to blame for those. I believe they were a result of a de-industrialization process that began in the late 60's. Some areas of the country adapted to an information economy, some did not. If you grew up in Buffalo, NY around this time, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The current recession is nothing compared to the misery in that particular time and place. Sorry to be a downer, but I still think about it to this day. Have a nice day!

    June 5, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Debby

    Hey liberals people talk about your first lady and Pres. because their mugs are plastered all over airwaves. I am so sick of the Obama's that the Sci-Fi channel is more interesting in our house.

    June 5, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    @ Fred:

    Semper Fi, Sir. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

    June 5, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Gop

    So you say the staff at the White House serves at the pleasure and privilege of the President? Well yes that is true just like the fact we had judges that served in this same manner.

    But I should point out the liberal democrats went after Bush when he fired some of them did they not?

    And to this day they still bring this up though Bush did nothing wrong. When Clinton became president he fired every judge and no one said a word about it.

    Again liberal left can dish it out but cannot take it back.

    June 5, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. rachel

    That's her choice, however CNN if you dont show some real news and stop showing that stupid Bo Obama clip of him bitting the microphone I am gonna scream!!!. Enough with the dog.

    June 5, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Gop

    The problem with you liberal Democrats is you like to dish it out but cannot take the same.

    I don’t care how much you might be in love with Obama and his wife that does not give you a pass on the things you all said about Bush and his wife for 8 years.

    I like to point out when Bush had the economy running well all we got from you liberal left was how bad it was and how no matter how many people had jobs it was just not good enough.

    Now with your great love Obama you spin it as hey it’s bad but it could be worst. Are only 300,000 people lost their job last month it could have been half a million “wow Obama is doing a great job”

    I could care less whom Michelle the horse teeth girl hires. It does speak of cronyism and I do recall that is what was said of Bush every time he hired someone. Again it’s fine if you liberals do it but not any one else.

    June 5, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. LacrosseMom

    @ FRED......... First, thank you for your service! And thank you for your thoughtful comment! I agree with you. In my case, I voted for Bush in 2000, and was deeply disappointed in his policies. I may have disagreed with Bush every step of the way, but as you said, he was MY president. Not once did I suggest a "revolution" or to secede from the Union as many on the "right" have.

    God bless you, Fred!

    June 5, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. jm


    Since when do we have royalty in this county. We fought a war to get out from under the control of a monarchy. You're comment that Laura Bush is a mere "commoner" is ridiculous. If you want a monarchy I suggest you move to England.

    June 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Paul

    John, "Not like Laura Bush who was just an Ordinary Commoner."

    Laura Bush was a librarian and school teacher. John, hate is clouding your perception. You need therapy.

    June 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Nancy

    I'm an independent, and have voted for both Republican and Democrat in the past. Obama didn't get my vote.

    Even though I don't agree with Obama and many of his policies and decisions, he's the sitting president and he gets to do what he wants to to. It's too early to cast the verdict on his performance. Until the next election comes, give the man a chance.

    With that said, what's so big deal about the Michelle changing her Chief of Staff?? People got hired or fired or repositioned all the times. Everyone needs to chill out.


    June 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |

    Out of curiosity, and in an attempt to understand some of the negativity expressed here, I looked up Jackie Norris. I learned that her new job is a real promotion to the leader of CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE (CNCS), whose programs include Americorps, Learn and Serve America, Senior Corps, etc, and will in 2010 have a $1.1 billion annual budget. This means jobs people, even if you don't need one, and encouraging others to serve this country, which I think is a good thing. So I say congratulations to Ms. Norris and Ms. Sher, afterall, why shouldn't the First Lady hire someone she already knows, and the President use someone who is already proven? Let's all try very hard to be more grown up, because since 1/20/09, reasonable and rational decisions are the new order of the day.

    June 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Jim

    why do the conservative right feel the profound need to slam any and everything that doesn't coincide with their narrow viewpoint? and to do so with such vehemence and vitriol.

    in my everyday experience, that kind of action/reaction is soley because they don't have any kind of realistic arguement for their stance.

    and here ... here they are picking on someone's wife, kids, and even the dog, for crying out loud.

    how can anyone take them seriously.

    June 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Eye of Sauron

    How about Rezko? He saved her $300,000 on her house, she owes him.

    June 5, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. tonytuntun

    What is the big deal? Oh Ms. Obama replaced someone under her....big deal. What next Ms. Obama killed a fly.

    June 5, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Cliff

    CNN and other liberals depend upon people like Leah.
    The blind following the blind.
    The "shake up" in the office of the "first lady" isn't news and doesn't belong on a news source.
    It is simply the infatuation CNN et al have with fellow liberals, socialists and others with a desire to destroy a once-great country!
    And NO, there was nothing even resembling greatness about what Obama said in Egypt. His slight of Israel again points to his loyalty to his "bros" in the mideast! How sad!!!!!
    The "nuts" (A.C.O.R.N.) aren't staying too far from their tree of plenty!

    June 5, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. obama support team

    @Joe Publicini, yes I used the word haters and it is in the dictionary, but your comments are so vague. Why don't you consider going back to school, you MORON!!

    June 5, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Notfooled


    Continue to Criticize, Condemn, and Complain!! There is no justification for it and it shows!!

    June 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. lia

    Shameless tabloid titles CNN? This is why your ratings are dropping!
    The other day you call Cheney "former president"!!!

    Who cares what Michelle does with her staff? Or he kids, or Palin's kids or my neighbors kids or my kids?????

    9.4% UNEMPLOYMENT and the VP says thats Positive!!! My goodness is it so hard to discuss something that matters! Why can we comment on that instead of trying to invoke attacks on the First Lady that doesn't do anyone any good?

    June 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. LacrosseMom

    @ " Fair is fair"...... First of all, its spelled...... LacrossE, with an "e" at the end.

    Aaah..... blaming the "Twin Recessions" on Carter. Well, why not. However, Reagan's "trickle down economics" did not help, either. Our Nation was in trouble throughout the 80's, I am old enough to remember. If it makes you feel better, blame Carter, but even Carter inherited a very bad economy from Nixon/Ford. Times were tough.

    I am willing to admit that Carter was not the best president we have ever had, if you are willing to admit that Bush was the worst. How's that?

    June 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. New Hampshire

    It appears most of the hateful comments are posted by liberals against anyone who disagrees with them

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

    CNN... how low can you go?

    June 5, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Lindsey

    How old are all of you? Because I feel like I just walked into a pre-school play yard. Grow up. Cronyism? It happens all the time in every single White House administration. Also, it's called networking. They don't say "it's all about who you know, not what you know" for nothing.

    June 5, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12