Obama chooses Jackie Norris as state director

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has named Jackie Norris Iowa State Director.  I first met Jackie when she was working on Al Gore’s campaign in Iowa back in 2000 alongside Steve Hildebrand.  Hildebrand is now an Obama 2008 campaign insider.  She’s married to another Iowa poltiical insider John Norris who, among other things mentioned below, was the architect of Jesse Jackson’s 1988 Iowa Caucus campaign, an aide to Congressman Leonard Boswell, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party and former Governor Tom Vilsack’s first chief of staff.

A news release from the Obama campaign is pasted below:

CHICAGO, IL —Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announced today that Jackie Norris will serve as Iowa State Director for the general election. Norris most recently served as an Obama Senior Advisor who helped lead the Obama team to victory in the Iowa caucuses in January.

Norris said, “In January 2008, Iowans came out in record numbers to participate in the Iowa caucuses. The commitment that Iowans have to bringing change in America is evident by their desire to stand for a candidate that embodies a shift in the direction of our country. Iowans want a candidate whose value system is aligned with theirs and that recognizes that we have major issues such as the war and health care affordability that need to be addressed. During the caucuses, the Obama campaign formed a grassroots coalition of Iowans – from urban and rural communities, young and old. As a general election campaign, we are committed to creating a unified organization that reaches out to Democrats, Independents and Republicans about why Senator Obama is the best candidate for President of the United States.”

“We are grateful to have Jackie play this important role in our organization.  The network of volunteers and grassroots energy built up during the historic primary season has given us an enormous and unprecedented opportunity in the general election,” said campaign manager David Plouffe. “The list of competitive states is longer than ever before. We plan to wage an aggressive campaign in Iowa and compete for every vote.”

Norris, a long time Democratic operative, served as political director on Vice President Al Gore’s 1999-2000 Iowa caucus campaign and as finance director of Tom Vilsack’s 1998 campaign for Governor. Norris worked in Washington D.C. for seven years on Capitol Hill, in the White House as a scheduler for Vice President Gore, and at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Norris teaches high school American Government and History and is married to John Norris, Chair of the Iowa Utilities Board. They have three sons, Hunter, Cole, Sam.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Jackie is fantastic and is such a wonderful person. I have the highest respect for her. She is not into vilifying her opponents or engaging in some of the dirty tricks that have come to characterize recent political campaigns.