June 19th, 2008
06:52 AM ET
14 years ago

Michelle Obama to get unprecedented campaign team

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/18/art.michelleobama.ap.jpg caption="Michelle Obama will be surrounded by a team of veteran aides."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is planning to beef up the team surrounding his wife Michelle Obama, to give her the kind of professional campaign veterans experienced in rapid response to negative attacks – the kind of staff that is usually only seen around an actual candidate, according to a senior aide.

The move is meant to address concerns within the campaign that Michelle Obama will be the target of significant attacks from conservatives this year. Their pre-emptive response is a team that one aide says is unprecedented in presidential politics. According to multiple aides, this team will work with Mrs. Obama to modify her stump speech - in part to include more stories from the voters she met during the primary season - in a bid to counter criticism by some conservatives that she is out of touch.

Former Kerry campaign Communications Director Stephanie Cutter has already been tapped as Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff, and additional staff will be hired in the coming weeks.

Aides say they expect Mrs. Obama to make occasional campaign stops over the next several weeks - including roundtables with military wives, and a womens’ event next week – before hitting the trail full time around July 4.

Michelle Obama has already become a target on the Web, with ads and e-mail rumors that criticize her as unpatriotic, elitist, and angry.

But the campaign says Mrs. Obama is a net positive on the trail. For every conservative turned off by her message, they say, there are voters - especially women – who are drawn to her husband’s campaign, which describes her as the best surrogate he has.

Filed under: Michelle Obama • Popular Posts
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. tedious898

    That's our girl. Stand up in the face of the hatred and racism and declare...Not this time!

    June 18, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Concerned Voter

    Who cares about Michell Obama?????

    June 18, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Proud American

    Love it!!!! This is the guy that we need running our country. He quickly responds to everything that needs taking care of.
    Obama '08!!

    June 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. America The Beautiful

    Great, I'm glad to hear it. It is long overdue. If the GOP thinks they can attack Michelle, they are mistaken. She needs a staff who can focus on the ridiculous attacks, so that she will be free to meet the American public and assist her husband in winning in November.

    She will make a terrific first lady, and I can't wait to cast my vote in November for Barack Obama. Our next American president.

    Barack and Michelle 08. Oh and those adorable little girls. We wil have a young American family in the White House.

    June 18, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Ann Romero

    Alright, this is great news maybe Michelle Obama can apply for the Vice President slot and be the number two. Only in America, Dream a Dream and CNN can promote the vote.

    Lets do it, this will turn around our country and make us all so very proud to have them both run the country that we all can now be proud.

    This is a exciting vision of change and they can do it.

    Go Obama and Michelle, we love you both.

    June 18, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. Lynn

    I guess she is scared of being thrown under the bus. I would be too. Look what he did to those two young women and countless others.

    June 18, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Felice Judkins

    That's great! I think that it is a shame that the Repubs would attack the wife but that's what they do best, personal attacks because they lack substance on the real issues that matter. Michelle is awesome and I look forward to learning more about her and seeing her on the campaign trail.

    June 18, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I think she is hot, nice long legs!

    June 18, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. cheryl

    The Obama camp is so intelligent, I love them....Go Obama!

    June 18, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Michael

    Looks like the Obama camp realizes that Michelle Obama is out of touch with America. Why else would they spend money hiring her such a large staff.

    June 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. A recovering Republican

    One just needs to review the many posts on the political ticker to see why this is necessary - misinformation, rumor, and out-right lies - about both of them. There are still those who state that Obama is Muslim (which if he was, wouln't have anything to do with his ability to be an effective President) even after all the cra that has been posted about his 20+ years a member of a Christian church. He has taken his oaths of office on the Bible - but these idiots lie and say he took the oath of office on the Koran - they provide not a single shred of evidence. Is Michelle "fair game" - yes - but only when it is accurate and relevant - FNC using a slang term for an unwed mother is not accurate, and hardly relevant even if it was - it is unfortunate that the Obama's, unlike the McCains, find it necessary to have a "truth" telling website and to have to be so proactive in responding to falsehoods. It would have been nice if Cindi McCain had also joined Laura Bush (at least one of the Bush's has Class) in her support of Michelle's patrioitism, but she has already joined the negative numnuts who try to make something out of noting. And don't forget, Just as Michelle is "fair game" so is Cindi - and the McCains claim they want to run a high-brow campaign - sure.

    10 years sober

    June 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. The Kitchen

    If you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

    Maybe he can throw her under the bus, like he did Rev. Wright, his mentor of 20 years.

    June 18, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. Ali

    Haha!! can't wait until the "whitey" video hits the internet.

    Let's see what Osama has to say about that!!!

    June 18, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. tedious898

    Right wingers – or should I say "road kill smelling wrong wingers" – which one of you would respect any man that stood aside and let his wife get broad sided by the hateful, racist remarks already being pushed through the right wing blow holes?

    Even if its not about the "wife of the candidate" ...its certainly about defending one's better half. And that my friends (in famous words of McSame) is change WE CAN believe in. By the way, is McSame's 1st wife still living? Does anyone know? Better yet, does Grampea even care?

    June 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Okay...What?

    Barack is brave to run for the presidency. George Bush is a coward and needs to hang his head in shame and crawl back to Crawford for destroying the country. Everything he touches turns to cow manure. He can't do anything.

    Note To George: Don't think, and don't do anything. Just stay in the WH until your time is up. Don't make another stupid decision, just go back to Crawford and take your tired legacy with you. You are an embarrasment to the country, and anyone who voted for you should have their heads examined.

    June 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Roy, San Diego, CA

    Well, is she unpatriotic, elitist, and angry? How about we have a look at that thesis and go from there.

    June 18, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |

    Michael–they would spend the money because of BIASED, IGNORANT, HATERS like yourself. They see it for what it is and they see it from 7 miles away–their foresight is 20/20. BTW: Michelle Obama is "right on time" with the current times and in step with America's heartbeat. It's fools like you who make it difficult to see goodness in anyone–experience change on ANY level. Go lie down under a rock and chant your PUMA PAC nonsense....we don't want to hear from you any further...

    June 18, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. rainbowgirl

    Attacks against her are ridiculous, but I don't really understand why the campaigns is ADVERTISING that they are going to orchestrate her speeches and her persona –it sounds like they are saying they will "modify her stump speech" to make her sound a certain way, or tell us what we want to hear, etc. and we will not be seeing the genuine article, the real Michelle Obama. I understand this is politics, but they should not ASVERTISE it!

    June 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. T in Kzoo

    Well, apparently Michelle needs her own war room since something she said (that was taken extremely out of context and is always inaccurately quoted) is reason enough to to deem her mean, "angry", and elitist, while at the same time Cindy is a filthy, stinking, only-in-your-dreams rich beer heiress, and a former drug-addict and theif and yet she is seen as the sun shining out of John McCain's . . . well, you know.

    t's actually quite sickening the lengths to which people will ignore bold-faced problems and conflicts of interest just to be able to put together a sorry excuses for an excuse as to not voting for someone or the other. The new rallying cry heard around the world will soon be, "How can 300 million people be so stupid?"

    Dems '08

    June 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  20. Christoffel van Vuuren - Montreal - Canada

    Your prejudice is free for all to see.
    Of the last 15 articles 12 have Obama's name prominent – 1 McCain's.
    You have 8 pictures of Obama and 1 of McCain.

    It is the worship of your eyes that gives you away.

    June 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Obama/Rev Wright 2008

    Maybe she can get some braces on them teeth.

    June 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Robert J C

    It's pretty bad when the Republicans have to go after a guys wife in order to win the election. Of course, snide little yes-men/women like Karl Rove don't care who they smear as long as their boss wins. It'll be nice to see a First Lady who doesn't look like a Stepford Wife.

    June 18, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. Lamont

    Does anyone else think that Michelle Obama looks like Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son?

    June 18, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. John

    Now hear this!
    Barack is not JFK!
    Michelle is not Jackie O!
    Most of you peobably know nothing about JFK other than the "ask not what you country can do for you" thing. He's probably rolling in his grave when people compare him to Barack.

    June 18, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |

    ALI- You can wait forever thre is no such tape. You are not what America is about! United We Stand!

    June 18, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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