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New Staffer for Michelle Obama

Updated 1:35 p.m.
By Shailagh Murray
Democratic operative Stephanie Cutter is joining the Obama campaign as a senior adviser and chief of staff to Michelle Obama.

Cutter is a longtime top aide to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and served as communications director to Sen. John Kerry during his 2004 presidential campaign. She also has worked as a staffer and consultant to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.).

Cutter's new Obama role underscores a growing concern within the campaign and among outside allies that Michelle Obama is becoming a lightening rod for the opposition. Last week, a new Obama "Fight the Smears" website debunked the latest Internet-based rumor, that the candidate's wife had said the word "whitey" during an appearance at her former church, Trinity United Church of Christ.

But Michelle Obama also is a highly valued surrogate who draws large crowds and passionately advocates her husband's candidacy. Cutter's role will be to help Obama to navigate the general-election transition -- both the positive and negative dimensions.

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 16, 2008; 12:03 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Next: Solis Doyle Joins Obama Campaign


I would so much like to get in touch with Stephanie Cutter or anyone else on Mrs. Obama's staff (interns welcome!) regarding an idea that I believe will help bridge the infuriating and (potentially) tragic gap in black and white people's understanding of each other--especially women.

Please, may I just have an email address for her campaign office, even a general one? I believe I have something useful and pertinent to contribute. See the Washington Post review of my novel, HALLAM'S WAR, May 20, 2008, for my bona fides, or go to I am an Episcopal deacon and hospital chaplain, and eager to help make a difference in this campaign.

(The Rev.) Elisabeth Payne Rosen betsyrosen@comcast,net

Posted by: Elisabeth Payne Rosen | June 18, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

If she had said cracker's I might beleive it but whitey, no way!

Posted by: Dawn | June 17, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Are we really still talking about this mythical "whitey" video clip?

Other nations must weep when they see us waste time on trivialities like this.

Posted by: jericho4119 | June 16, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm a democrat, but...
Michelle Obama put me off when she was speaking to a black church right after her husband won in Iowa. She commented "AINT NO BLACK PEOPLE IN IOWA." So there are either two alternatives: harvard lawyers can't speak proper english, or she feels she needs "street credibility." She is very condescending, and not first lady like. What's next, is she going to kick Obama out so he can have a "baby mama" and "really connect." Maybe she feels guilty living in her ivory tower, which would explain why she advises many young people to stay away from corporate america, while serving on the BOD of many corporations. Please!

Posted by: Mike | June 16, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

ok...that is FUNNY! 'WHITEY!' If they would have said "WIGGER"..okay i might have believed them a little ...but WHITEY! NOW THAT IS FUNNNEEEEE!

Posted by: 1986spicy | June 16, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Sliceddrip, I said I have heard blacks say derrogatory things about white people all the time but not using that word. That's not a word used by blacks about whites. Racist or not, the word "whitey" is so ummmm "white" and no self-respecting black person would be caught dead using that word.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This is still a racist world and some people won't let it go. God is in control and in charge. He want a Black President and Black First Lady. It is about time. This country was built on black labor, sweat, and tears.

Posted by: Ricci | June 16, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Its about time. She is the first lady and she should be respected.

Love you Michelle.


Posted by: BIG WIG | June 16, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I am black and I have not even heard the word whitey since about 1960. "Whitey" is not used anymore. It is lame, out, passe, dead.

Posted by: Adnora, in California | June 16, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Too bad "Fight the Smears" had to lie about what Limbaugh said.

Posted by: Dan Collins | June 16, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The closest to a real explanation I've seen is that Michelle was saying "Why'd he..." as in "Why'd he go to war in Iraq?"

But there is no tape that I've seen or heard that even comes close to that. Waste of time non-issue.

That said, it is perfectly normal for candidates' wives to get staff help as the campaign ramps up. Michelle is an important surrogate in this effort, and it's good that she can get qualified assistants.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | June 16, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter if your educated or not, I have herd many black people call Caucasians "whitey". You must live in shelled world. OOOOOOOO She is educated, that must mean she loves white people. HA, you left liberal people are so clueless, I'm not saying she did say it, so don't go there, all I'm saying is that it isn't out of the question. Have you heard some of the things said at that church. It's a breading ground for racist black people.

The other gentlemen who says white people now nothing about black culture. Your are as ridiculous as everyone else. You never herd any black people make derogatory remarks about white people. Are you serious? I'm from Cleveland, Ohio and I have a victim many times of racist, and I'm white.

McCain 08

Posted by: SlicedDrip | June 16, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The use of the word "whitey" is as stupid. I have never heard any black person use the word "whitey". A person of Michelle Obama's intelligence would not use the word "whitey".

The attempt to paint the Obamas as Jeremiah Wright should not work in a society that supposedly values the mindset and ideas of the individual.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 16, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

There's good news for Democrats in a poll from Arkansas, where Obama has picked up FIFTEEN POINTS in a month:

Posted by: Dan | June 16, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

It is about time that Mrs. Obama is being treated as valued member of the Obama08 team. She is not a professional political person. The Obamas have my vote.

Posted by: DenisR | June 16, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm black 40 years old and have lived in four cities since finishing college. I have *never* heard any black person (even when making derrogatory rermaks about whites) refer to whites as "whitey." That word simply isn't used--BY ANYONE.

It might be what what white people think blacks call them but they're wrong. This proves that some white person who knows nothing about black culture fabricated this ridiculous story.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

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