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. AUSTIN,TX

    GERDA EDWARDS- IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHETHER OBAMA'S MOTHER-IN-LAW MOVES INTO THE BLAIR HOUSE OR NOT. ALSO, IF HE IS ENTITLED TO MOVE IN ON JAN 15, 09, THEN HE SHOULD BE ACCOMMADATED.

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. josh

    he will get to stay in the Blair house starting january 15th, just like EVERY OTHER INCOMING PRESIDENT. obama expects everyone to cower to him simply because HE IS OBAMA. get a grip people, he will get the standard 5 days in the blair house. how DARE he try to tell PRESIDENT BUSH that he needs to have extra days. hey obama, try holiday inn express!!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. John

    Wow, Obama tries to start work early and help establish his family DC. Bush why don't you leave now what a watse. I guess W wants to make sure the country is such a state of disaray that Obama can't be sucessful. Monitor the dollar you'll understand

    December 12, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Obama'08

    What?!! Who cares if it's booked. Cancel and get Obama's family into The Blair House. It's top priority! This angers me.

    December 12, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. ashley

    I understand if past presidents moved in early regardless of the situation. But, Obama should be held to the same principles and standards as all presidents. But, there are people that think he is being treated unfair?? It is amazing how people can place this man so high on a pedalstool as though he is something to be worshipped. I am sorry, but the only person we should move people out of the house for is Jesus himself. Until then, Obama can wait!

    December 12, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Karla

    If you guys actually read between the lines of the article, Obama is requesting EARLY access to the Blair House. The current president can use the Blair House for his guests until January 15th. The article doesn't give a date as to when the Obama's want to move in; just that it's booked the "early part of January". In other words, he wants into the Blair House earlier than the 15th, which is not the norm. The article is phrased as if Obama is being "denied" the standard accommodations, but it's not the case. He's requesting special treatment, and it's not available to him due to other guests. People on here need to stop being so emotional and actually understand the articles they read...even the cryptically written ones (i.e, Blago is a democrat...but you won't read that on CNN!) :)

    December 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Meg

    Just goes to show you how "cooperative" the outgoing administration is.

    It is VERY bad form.

    December 12, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Scott Tucson

    I guess the C in CNN means censorship.

    December 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. AJNY

    If you read this poorly written article a few times, it's clear that the Obamas were hoping to move in BEFORE the usual Jan. 15 date. That's why Blair House is booked.

    It will be available on Jan. 15, as usual. Enough with all the bluster and outrage from BOTH sides, thanks very much.

    December 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Taryn

    Bush probably planned a couple of GOING AWAY keg parties!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Dan

    It says incoming Presidents always come in 5 days before. So, they booked the Blair house with that in mind far in advance. This really isn't a big deal.

    December 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Rick

    There are a lot of nuts here on BOTH sides. There's no controversy here. They just explored the idea. It is unavailable. Nobody is upset. People need to get a grip.

    December 12, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    Given that our current President is acting like an ex-President, that means somebody has to actually do the job. Raising money for a George W. Bush Library (a great oxymoron if I ever heard one) isn't a President's job. It's an ex-President's job.

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. citizen

    You people need to quick player hating. Such hypocrites! You all know that you would move early so that you kids can start school on schedule! You all need to go back to your poor, bitter lives. No wonder you aren't happy!

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. ashley

    Some people on this board cannot read. The article said that the Blair house is BOOKED but it will be available on the SCHEDULED date that has ALWAYS BEEN for the President which is the 15th.

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Steve

    Oh STOP it! Obama is no more an elitist than anyone else in Washington. Stop listening to Limbaugh's nonsense! Obama started out as a poor black kid with no future. He's worked himself to being President of the United States. His entire career he has worked for the people as an activitist and an organizer. Unlike some other politicians, he's used the education he got through his own hard work and student loans for the good of people around him. Give the guy some credit!!

    Now go back and READ the details of the article. Obama asked to move in. He couldn't, because the place is occupied. But his staff said that the White House has been very friendly and accomodating. It's no big deal.

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Rich

    wow, such idiocy and hate. The guy wants his daughters to start school on time and you people chastise him. Nice, real nice. I'd like to know who is so important that is staying in the residence from Jan 10 to the 15th, it's not like it's a freaking Holiday Inn. Get a life people, and look in the mirror while you're at it, maybe deal with your hate and negativity.

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Glenda, PA

    Whoever is in Blair House is not as important as the president elect. We pay for that house, and the guests should have been bumped. There are plenty of hotels in Washington and the Bush White House should have made sure that Blair House was available.

    Shameful.

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Annoyed

    Sorry, had to fix an error. Apparently, I shouldn't comment until I proof read......

    Here is one of the things that is wrong with the Internet. Senseless people who comment on a whopping 5 paragraph article and yet they apparently DON"T take the time to read it. Let me summarize. Obama wants to move in earlier than Jan 15. The customary date for a President Elect to move in is Jan 15. The White House said no, they can't move in until the customary date of Jan 15. The Obama campaign said that the White House has been extremely accommodating. Also, Obama is not the POTUS, and technically isn't even President Elect – not until the Electoral College chimes in.

    If you can' bother to read before opining, please do me two favors – don't comment and don't vote.

    December 12, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Bob

    My original comment mentioned upholding the Constitutional requirements for President – all of them. Now it no longer is displayed. So much for freedom of speech. What other changes does Obama plan?

    December 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Indiana voter

    He's not the POTUS yet, and they have told him he would and could move in at the normal time as all previous pres.-elects have. I don't see what the big deal is. The big deal is Obama wanting to bend the rules again for his own benefit. What a surprise.

    December 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. Nick

    Booked in the early part. The 15th is the middle of the month. I'm thinking it's booked prior to the 15th, and Obama wanted to move there prior to the 15th so his daughters could start school, probably right after the winter break.

    December 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    So what is the story? No one really thinks this place stays unoccupied almost the entire year do they? that would be a waste.
    Obama made an inquiry, it was booked so that is that.
    The bigger story I see is Obama being for the auto bailout and his supporters being against it. The same supporters who disparage anyone who disagrees with Obama. What's up with that?

    December 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Patricia in Las Vegas

    For all you NASTY and UGLY comment makers. He ONLY wanted in early so as not to disrupt his children's education. That's called good parenting you morons.

    December 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. mike in ohio

    to: Bertha Doucet, Cindy & Rebekah

    It still Hurts huh? that he will be your POTUS here in a few weeks ...it's ok ..let us all send them a ver BIG internet HUG as well.. you know santa knows when u been naughty ... keep it up and you wont be getting those socks and shoes you been wanted to walk around the cave in...

    December 12, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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