Jackie Norris to head Michelle Obama's staff

Congratulations to Jackie Norris, who has accepted an offer to be chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama, according to the Washington Post.

She was among Barack Obama’s key early supporters in Iowa and headed Obama’s Iowa campaign during the general election.

I will update this post when I find out whether her husband John Norris plans to stay on the Iowa Utilities Board after the family moves to the Washington area. Governor Tom Vilsack appointed Norris to that position in 2005.

UPDATE: I just remembered that John Norris ran Jesse Jackson’s Iowa campaign before the 1988 caucuses (that was before he and Jackie were married).

He never could have imagined that just 20 years from then, his future wife would be hired to run the first lady’s office in the administration of America’s first black president.

What a great day for the Norris family, and for the country.

  • Good for her!

    I was a student in the class Jackie did her student teaching in back when John was running for Congress in the 4th District, and I’m sure she’ll be an excellent fit.

    • clearly she knows how to manage

      a staff and an organization, which is going to be crucial for the first lady.

      She also used to be a scheduler for Al Gore during the Clinton presidency, so that experience would obviously be helpful here too.

  • Methinks

    This puts John in a very good position to run for Congress with the heavy backing of a incumbent president who’s very popular in Iowa in 2012. If Iowa loses a seat in redistricting  and Boswell retires perhaps there would be a open field to get that seat and the Latham/King districts would be merged. Then a bloody primary would happen on the Republican side and someone closely identified with the Obama administration (either Norris for all that matter) could run and really milk the Obama coattails since he won every CD in Iowa.

    • that's one scenario

      I think it’s more likely that Latham would run in the redrawn 3rd CD, moving if necessary. He moved into the 4th CD after the last redistricting and beat John Norris in 2002 easily.

      If King is dumb enough to run against Culver in 2010, then Latham might take over the redrawn 4th district, which is probably the Democrats’ best chance to hold three out of Iowa’s four districts.

      Many Iowa Democrats feel the best chance to ever get a woman elected to Congress is to nominate a woman in the 3rd CD after Boswell retires. I’ve heard many names mentioned, including Christie Vilsack, Jackie Norris and Andy McGuire.

      Whatever happens, I expect a competitive Democratic primary in the 3rd CD and don’t think any candidate would cruise to the nomination.

      By the way, I don’t think Obama won the 5th CD in Iowa. He only won 6 of the 32 counties, and neither of the biggest ones (Pottawattamie and Woodbury).

      • Oh

        that’s right. He won the third though and I think Kerry didn’t beacuse I know he won two Iowa districts Kerry didn’t.  

      • Lying Again, DesMoinesDem!

        Tom Latham did not “move” into the new 4th district as you wrote.  He is from Alexander, which is in Franklin County.  

        If you know anything about the old districts, you’ll know that Franklin was apart of the old 5th district and then became a part of the new 4th district.

        I hope this is just an innocent oversight because I read this every day expecting honest journalism.

        • he moved to Ames

          after the redistricting took place.

          You are more and more obviously revealing yourself to be a Republican troll, by the way.

          You are also in violation of copyright on the diary you posted today. Please go edit that diary to include a link to the original source and a brief excerpt.

          • HaHa - Nope.

            Never been a Republican but finding the party a bit more palatable lately, believe it or not.  I’m an old school Democrat probably a lot like Leonard Boswell except even he’s not quite what I want these days.  

            I like Delores Mertz and consider her to be very close to what I like in a public offical – more moderate type.  William Meyers had that appeal to me.

            Latham did not move to Ames until 2006 and in case you didn’t know, the redistricting happened in 2002 so I think you are again in error.


            Posted this link to prove to you that you are in error and I am correct.  

      • correction

        Bleeding Heartland’s biggest Latham fan (Bill Spencer) points out that Latham didn’t have to move into the 4th CD and moved to Ames in 2006. I thought it was earlier than that.

  • I can't understate this

    This is the most remarkable thing to happen for an Iowa Democrat in memory, period.

    • apparently you're not old enough

      to remember Henry A. Wallace!

      Which is ok, because neither am I.

      • I read the John Culver bio

        Wallace was a registered Republican when Roosevelt asked him to be Agriculture Secretary.

        • I did not know that

          and I find it surprising, given what else I know about his politics. Thanks.

          I suppose Iowa was such a GOP-dominated state in that period that to accomplish anything in politics here you had to be a Republican.

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