December 12th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Early Blair House check-in for Obamas unavailable

The Obamas had been hoping for an early Blair House check-in.
The Obamas had been hoping for an early Blair House check-in.

CHICAGO (CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama will not be moving his family across the street from the White House early, despite his request to do so. Blair House, which incoming presidents traditionally occupy 5 days before inauguration day on January 15, is apparently booked in the early part of January.

An Obama transition spokesperson says the family initially "explored the idea" of moving into Blair House early so that daughters Sasha and Malia could start school on schedule. But the family was told there were previously-scheduled events and guests that could not be displaced.

"The Blair House, the President's guest house for visiting dignitaries, is available to President-elect Obama and his family starting January 15, as is historically the case," said Sally McDonough, spokeswoman for First Lady Laura Bush.

"As for any conversation, I don't comment on specific conversations about transition details."

The Obama transition spokesperson emphasized the White House has been "extremely accommodating" to the Obama family, adding that the entire process has been "smooth and friendly."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (1,230 Responses)
  1. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Not exactly an unreasonable request - and a rather petty response. Yes, Bush has the right to do as he pleases with the place until 1/15, but it's a fairly simple courtesy based on needs of the children, not arrogance.

    The idea of the Obama family staying in a hotel for two weeks would probably not fly very well with the Secret Service, after all.

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Debbie

    To Linda32 – The Blair House is traditionally available to President-elects starting Jan. 15. If you'll re-read the article you see that the Blair House IS AVAILABLE to Obama starting Jan. 15. It is in the time period prior to the 15th that it is unavailable. I'm sure the reservations were made prior to Obama requesting to move in early, or he would surely have been allowed to. And, if Obama is the gentleman he seems to be, I'm sure he does not want the person with the prior reservations to be moved out to accomodate him. Everyone is making too big of a deal on this issue....

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. J

    Everyone who thinks this is 'crazy' or 'ridiculous' or 'a travesty' needs to RTFQ (or 'article' in this case). He gets the house the same time every president before him got it. As we saw on Election Day, you are all blind to the reality that is Obama. You've made your beds and now you will sleep in them.

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Justin

    It was just a request from the Obamas. I am sure they anticipated it being turned down and already had a backup plan. To bad all the Obama haters don't realize that, this is a man who's trying to do right by his country and his family. Thats right, I said his country. The country he was born in, the country he has called home, and the country he is going to make better and honest. As far as the request for the Blair house goes, trust me they are over it.

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. nom deplume

    Comrade Laverne,

    Perhaps you forgot that Obama's election hasn't rescinded the Constitution, particularly those Articles dealing with transition of power and the authority (or lack thereof) of a president -ELECT, which is really a media-created title.

    Obama has no authority, no portfolio, and no right to dictate policy until he takes the oath on January 20.

    Nice to see that for all the blather about dividers and haters, there are just as much on the dem side. We'll see who wins the coming civil war.

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Paul from Phoenix

    Reading these comments, it seems people are incorrect about this story, so let me explain it:

    Obama and his family will be moving in on the 15th, as is custom. THe house is booked before that, as the White House calender is set way in advance. The Obama's asked if it was free before the traditional move in day of the 15th, and they were informed it isn't. It wouldn't have been available if McCain had won, either.

    There is nothing going on. This is a non-story. Bush isn't being a jerk for saying that the house is booked, and the Obama's aren't being elitist for looking to see if they might be able to move in there a couple of days earlier.

    THIS IS A NON STORY!

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Virginia

    He can stay in a hotel if he wants to go earlier than the 15th!! The girls will have secret service protection and a limo at their disposal anyway, so they can hack it. Besides, he is worth millions and could afford to stay there without us taxpayers footing the bill. Good grief, would Obama jump in Bush's grave if he rolled over????

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. mcl

    What ? He thinks that just because he made history ONCE that
    he can make history again? It'll never happen. In fact, all the things
    that he promised on the campain will not happen..............ever...........

    December 12, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Mike Pittsburgh

    Uh, if I read this article correctly, he can go in there on the 15th. He cannot go in there earlier than the 15th, that is when it is unavailable.

    December 12, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Ray Fisher

    Well, everyone touted Obama as a messiah, now there's no room at the inn!!! If we see a bright star in the sky and three wise guys emerge (Rubin, Geithner, Volcker) I'm moving to Australia toavoid the onslaught!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Brad

    It amazes me that people are so sure that Obama will be found to be complicit with the Governor of Illinois or that he was part of the ACORN 'scandal' (please read about what happened people, a few people put in bad names to up their numbers, but there was no concern that these 'extra people' would vote because they would have to show ID showing they were who they are – there was no concern for voter issues, unlike the gross ploys the Republicans were doing (sending out mailings that Dems vote on the 5th, purging lists based on name only, etc)). These same people can't seem to find the time to notice that the current President lied us into a war that has killed over 4000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, has taken our civil liberties away and can jail us for life based upon a whim, has continued to destroy the environment and our country's good name, and has been an all around doofus. But let's attack the incoming President with no facts and ignore the current President when we have all of the facts we need. If Obama has done something illegal, then he should be held accountable, just like Bush should be, but let's get some facts before we start spouting off...

    December 12, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. Rob Stumpf

    Somebody denied a request from Obama?! How can this be? He's God. If God tells you he wants to move in a week early, you say no?

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. lanray

    You guys sound like we have just elected God to be our president! Surely the Obama's are not of that status YET. Put them in Motel 6 for a couple of weeks so he can remember his roots before he starts in on his liberal, minority favored policies.

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Michael

    Let's not get carried away, boys and girls. He has children who are going to start school in early January. So, he asked to stay in Blair House sooner than the usual custom. He was turned down for good reason. Presumably, the Blair House is committed to other activities. So, the Obama's will probably stay at the Watergate for a few weeks. No one is angry. Everyone understands the situation. Let's gain some perspective people.

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Lauren

    If you people would READ the article. It says Obama can move in AFTER the 15th, which is traditional. No one said he could not move in just as the other President elects have.
    He was asking to move in EARLY.
    Before the15th.
    He was asking for special consideration, which he nor any other person should get. I do not care if McCain had won, they should not be allowed to kick someone out who probaly has had it reserved.

    All of you Obama people are gasping, saying OH MY GOD,,, How can they treat him just as they have every other president elect.

    No one is denying him the traditional move in date. READ the article.

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. New Yorker

    I can't believe the stupid comments griping about the PE not being able to move in early. Read the article. It says tradition has it that the Blair House is unavailable until five days before the inauguration. With regards to the Blair House, PE Obama is getting the same treatment as past presidents–nothing more, nothing less.

    Linda32, Laverne, Ernie, Mary from Sarasota FL, Peggy from IA, and others that either are attempting sarcasm or don't know how to read and connect dots: you are pathetic. Please go back to kindergarten and ask students to help you learn how to read and use your brains. If your brain cells are already fried from all the blow you've been doing, then seek substance abuse help and do us all a favor and shut up.

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Marge

    As it should be why does the one think he can have special treatment. The zonkies and zanies would make him king but THERE are some rules he can't break.

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Virginia

    Hey Mack, read the story again-the house IS available on 1/15 like for all the other presidents, but not any earlier-get over it, will ya!

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Mike

    OH please people ..he simply ASKED, he didn't DEMAND anything.

    December 12, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. President George Hussien Washington

    The Governor of Illinois: You know what he'd say, bleep that bleeping blepper blepper

    December 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. billy-bayou

    Wha is it with you people? Are you stupid? It has been said that Blair house will be available to the president elect and his family on the traditional date of January 15th. Why is that not acceptable? Should this clown (obama) be given some kind of special treatment? If so why? Is it a racial thing? Just what does the Bush family owe him.

    December 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Leah, WI

    People need to read the article more SLOWLY and relax...It IS available as of 1/15/09, 5 days before the inaug–as it ALWAYS has been used.

    The Obama's simply checked out if it would be available a bit early for convenience of the girls school. It's not...don't think it's a big deal to them...I am sure they will find suitable options. This REALLY is not a story.

    December 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Bill

    Read the article, you anti-Bush bigots. The Obamas wanted to move in BEFORE Jan 15. The house is reserved Jan 15-20 for them, exactly as per protocol. They wanted to move in on say...Jan 5, not 15th.

    December 12, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. tanner, ca

    People (Laverne, Mack, etc.) PLEASE go back and read the story. It is traditionally available starting the 15th. It is unavailable UP UNTIL THEN. Come the 15th Obama will have his access. And Mack, seriously, do you not know that inauguration day is the 20th and NOT the 15th?

    You people really aren't that bright are you?

    December 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Johnnyboy

    The article clearlysays that the Blair House WILL be available for them beginning on the 15th; 5 days before the inauguration as is the tradition. The Bush administration hasn't done anything wrong here. I understand why Obama asked and I understand why he was told "no". I didnt vote for him but don't necessarily think it was presumptious of hom to ask nor was it inappropriate for them to be denied. Nowhere in the article did it say that Obama was angry about the response. So why are so many of you trying to stir up contoversy?

    December 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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