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As world watches Cairo, Michelle Obama shakes up White House staff

June 4, 2009 |  7:06 pm

One other thing that President Obama left out of his global speech to Muslims today was word of the top-level shakeup in First Lady Michelle Obama's White House staff.

While the nation was watching the world watch Obama speak and tour in Egypt, news of the East Wing staff changes came out. Out as the old chief of staff after less than five months is Jackie Norris, who started working with Mrs. Obama during the Iowa caucus campaign.

In as the new chief of staff is Susan Sher, who's been a friend of her boss since even before they started working together years ago at the University of Chicago.

Norris was sent over to become a "senior advisor" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

To make things look all smooth and friendly-like in a city that thrives on gossip about invisible internal conflicts, all three women issued boiler-plate statements of their longtime friendship, deep commitments and excitement about pursuing the administration's agenda.

Norris, for instance, was quoted as saying: "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."

The only cliche left out of the White House statement was anyone's avowed goal of spending more time with their family.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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