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. Venus

    Way to go Obama Team!

    Take care of our girl!

    Go Bam!

    June 18, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. Phillips' Place

    This IS the guy we need running our country! He is intelligent and knows how to deal with hateful people. Who better to deal with terrorists? He's got my vote, my money, my time, and his organizers have a place to stay if they need it. We love you Michelle. Thank you for taking on this challenge with your husband so that we might live in a safer world.
    Middle-aged white woman in WV

    June 18, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Enough Already!

    Janie, Raleigh, N.C. ................Has anyone noticed that the Obama campaign is full of people who worked for President and Senator Clinton now that the Primary is over?..................THEY are willing DEMOCRATICS and need to work........ I am sick of his supporters who boo Senator Clinton. They reflect badly on him......HRC supporters BOO and THUMB down to Sentor Obama .......Now get over it ......and if you have any money to DONATE help HRC with the money she owes to her STAFF...........DO something positive for a change

    June 18, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. dizizi31

    Michelle needs the team for (2) reasons. 1) because there is enough money from her husband's campaign to fund it and 2) because she is angry and will tell you exactly what she thinks. How many of these post come from "folks" that make >220K/year salary? Oh that's right some supporters are uneducated didn't finish college not holding a 220k annual salary.

    June 18, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Gabriela Rivera Moctezuma


    June 18, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Mike in NYC

    Marc PDX wrote:

    "Dems, next time why don't just find the handsomest man or most beautiful woman you can ..."

    You mean there are better looking people than the Obamas? Surely you jest!

    Haven't you noticed the homoerotic fawning that BO seems to inspire in his ostensibly straight male supporters?

    vicki wrote:

    "Fascinated [sic] family with values we Americans need."

    Nowhere needed more than in the black "community," with its 70%+ illegitimacy and remarkably persistent culture of failure.

    kingsley wrote:

    "... yes im an angry black man. now what?"

    Now go learn what capitalization and punctuation are.

    Informed voter from florida wrote:

    "No other president has had to hire a team to "mold" his wife and stave off the rejection of voters."

    She'll no doubt break that mold, sooner or later, despite their best efforts.

    June 18, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. Jack Cavanaugh, Portland, Or

    Tell you what, HUGE PARTY at my house when Obama is sworn in!!

    Yes we can!!


    June 18, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. Rob. B.

    I know that alot of people are scared, stupid,rascist,and just plain dumb so get over it and vote Obama in 08

    June 18, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. maketherightchoiceamerica

    Some of the things the media is saying is absolutely disgusting, they're simply clinging to any little thing to get a story and strike fear into America. Michelle Obama is clearly a very smart woman and I'd be extremely glad to see her in the White House along with her husband, Barack Obama.


    June 18, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Jeffery

    I have read most of the comments posted on this article. A lot of people have made comments that compare Michelle to aunt Ester on Sanford and Son and remarks about what she said, or did not say. physical appearance etc.... . It is very funny to hear this stuff and all he is trying to do for all of us is to try to make our lives better. High fuel prices, food, mortgages, weather, world, take your pick.

    People, get real.. There is tooooooo much on the line for 92.999% of US.

    June 18, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. mk

    Michelle Obama will make a fantastic first lady and great representative for our country. It is a no-brainer – I'd definitely want her to represent my country at any state function or diplomatic meeting rather than Cindy McCain.

    June 18, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. Sarah

    Off topic: BHO's smile lights up my entire computer monitor! What a refreshing man....... and smart too. Oh and yes, he is right on time because our country is such a MESS these days.

    Back at the topic at hand: And, this mess the country is in is fully reflective of cheap attacks on the BHO's wife. Its a total mess so why not toss mess at others. Its okay ... we will clean this up soon enough. (Soon can't come fast enough.)

    June 18, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. Ann

    I guess this will make Michelle Obama fair game now since she is receiving the treatment of the nominee.. First a website to stop the smears, now his wife needs a team to make sure she doesn't say the wrong thing.. What a joke this election has been and is becoming. I will never vote Obama..

    June 18, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. missouri

    Xena--are you out of your mind?? Racist??? She is married to a bi-racial man and has a white family-in-law!! How can that be racist? DUH!!!! And it is not YOUR white house–it is OURS and a lot of us want the Obama's in there-so get used to it!!

    June 18, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. Carol

    I still say the campaign would be better off to hide her than to focus on her. She is more polarizing that Hillary (if that's possible). Her husband's positive, up-lifting messages are brought down by her negative, angry, and arrogant attitude.

    She can be as sweet as pie from now on, but it won't change anything. It will be too obvious that it is canned. They can tell her what to wear and tell her what to say but, like Hillary, all of those instances of "mis-speaking" will come back. It's hard to believe that a Harvard educated woman fumbles over her words and cannot articulate what she truly means.

    I support Obama but I really think that she is a liability. I think they need to sweep her under the rug for his own good.

    June 18, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. NickNas

    Unprecedented only because of the unprecedented HATE these sad people have toward this woman ONLY because she is not a Blue Eyed Blonde like Cindy.

    One is a Woman of Iherited wealth and of no speacial education or accomplishment. ( I won't even go into Mistress issues)

    The Other an Accoplished , Highly Educated woman who just ISN'T White.

    People are so Blind with their Racist views the cannot let go of False attacks even when they CLEARLY and 100% have been proven FALSE.

    How Fearful do you have to be when the FIRST LADY even defends her but you still are so eaten up with Ignorant fears you cannot see straight??

    This IS 2008 Right??

    Sound Familiar??

    June 18, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. Chut Pata

    I am an Obama supporter and think Michelle has the potential to act like the "First Lady In Making". However she needs a "fast path" in grooming to be one.

    First, she needs to control her excitement and say nothing "on-the-fly". I remember what happened to Howard Dean when he was a presidential nomination hopeful. One expression of excitement and he was gone. I am still mad at the press for using that one moment to bring him down.

    The other thing is that she needs to control some real annoying habits. The one that annoys me most is her habit of sticking her tounge out and licking her lips. This is digusting and I hope she avoids it.

    June 18, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Pam from Michigan

    She really does need to have someone telling her what to do ,she really isn't that smart. she's already made several mistakes, like going on the view. oh, who watches that? a bunch of women who don't have to work for a living. obviously she and her husband have nothing in common with me. I need to work everyday to support my family and support a government that wants to increase my taxes more to pay for folish programs that just line their own pockets. The democrat party can say goodbye to me forever. they didn't want my vote to count in the primary, now it won't count for them in the election.

    June 18, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. Stand Together America

    After reading several of the posts here it is very clear why America is in such a sorry state. These people VOTE? They are good at a few things, however. Guessing, gossip, conjecture, hate, ignorance. There are a few intelligent posts but they are hard to find. So just how bad do things have to get before Americans really wake up to the danger we are all facing because of a regime that has managed to divide us all so strongly that we have lost sight of our real worth as a strong nation, part of the family of man?

    June 18, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Not as stupid as you! to ALI


    YOU are most definately the LAST person to know that was faked. How stooopid are you??

    June 18, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Pam from Michigan

    she looks like she's had plactic surgery recently, more of my tax dollars at work.

    June 18, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. missouri

    Ali-if there was such a video or tape I am sure it would have been out there by now!! If not by the Clinton campaign then by McCain's....get smart and think for yourself!!

    June 18, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. kingsley

    SHANNON, your idiotic and anti obama comments should be banned from this website. your rights for freedom of speech should be revoked. I have observed you and you never make any sense for so ever. you are fool of hate.

    and to all that co signs to these nonsense put your mom in this situation if your daughters are watching tv and sees a media destroyong you for no reasons when you are suppose to be role models for your daughters and others who will like to follow your footsteps of acheivements only to see these destructions from the media?

    June 18, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  24. READY999


    June 18, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  25. Colorado Dem

    Go Michelle!! I watched her speech about a month ago and it was fabulous and well grounded in the present, focusing on family issues, women in the marketplace, child care and other mainstream problems that can't be sugar-coated. Barack is lucky to have such a wife. Repuglicans will not win with attacking her and NO ONE can put words in her mouth. I hope someday to meet her at the White House.

    June 18, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
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