December 12th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
6 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. Ida, Md

    What the heck. What else is going on in Washington 5 days before the inaugural? Barack is the man of the hour, not some peabrain guests.

    The Bushes are true to themselves, alright. They are going out like the snakes that they are. Good riddance. They can't get back to Texas fast enough for me. I wish we had a giant boot to kick them out.

    December 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. J

    Some of you need to learn how to READ. NO Pres-Elect occupies Blair House UNTIL Jan.15th. THAT is why it is booked and they can't get in earlier. It WILL be available on the 15th as is customary. READ It really is rather arrogant of anyone to think that the current President (whomever) should displace his current guests. If it is so important for the O girls to start their PRIVATE school, they could stay in a hotel – Obama still has lots of campaign dollars left or his may 'friends' could foot the bill if he can't afford it on his own.

    December 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Mike

    Not a big deal. Sometimes you need to follow tradition.

    December 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. KG

    Calm down everyone. This is neither a snub by Bush or arrogance by the Obamas.

    December 12, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Heather

    OK..I think some people blogging here, didnt read very well! The PE always moves in Jan 15–this IS when the Obama's are welcome to move in....NOT BEFORE by a special "favor" Get over it, he isnt getting treated unfairly..he's being treated FAIRLY!

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Military Vet

    It is NOT booked beyond Jan 15 if you O lovers knew how to read the article. He asked to move in EARLY. They stated it is booked for the ACTUAL President, and that it is available to him as it is traditionally on Jan 15. Please, at least read the article before thinking that God, oops, I mean Obama, has been disgraced.

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Reason

    Meg:
    "December 12th, 2008 11:48 am ET

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

    It is VERY bad form."

    Get a grip, Meg! Why does everyone take offense to this? Why do we always have to bend over backwards for the "Messiah"? Jeez.

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. No Bush

    These are the last days of the Bush family in the White House.... so I don' t care anymore whether they are nice or not....JUST ON JANUARY 20, 2009, WE WANT THEM TO VACATE THE HOUSE FOR OUR PRESIDENT OF CHOICE.... and dont ever come back...

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. It could happen

    Do you think you will ever hear an Obama supporter say something nice about Pres. Bush?

    Even at the holidays?

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Joshua

    "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."

    They wanted to move in prior to the 15th so the kids could start school. They can still move in on the 15th. Just not before. Poorly written article. Check out some other news agencies and you will see the same story written a lttle differently. Just another way for the media to twist something around.

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Andy

    what aren't you people getting........as always, the Blair House will be available Jan. 15, which is the custom. The President-elect asked to have it before that date, and, understandably, it was already booked, because that's the schedule for that property. This really isn't a story at all, and people are twisting this for anti-Bush, arrogant-Obama, etc. This isn't arrogant or rude – simply an undoable request.

    December 12, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Anonymouse

    No reason to get your panties in a wad. Obama requested earlier-than- normal accommodations. Bush was unable to allow due to previous commitments. There's really no story either way here. The fact that either the left or right latches onto this non-story as if it means anything is really sad.

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Jen T

    Seriously people...there is no snub here. No one is dissing Mr Obama and his family. Obama asked the question – the simple answer was – it is booked. Why should the Obama family get any special favors prior to the inauguration? President Bush is still President and still has visitors – end of story. Everyone needs to seriously stop complaining and get a little perspective.

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. alvino

    Hey Rebekah,

    What color is the sky in your own little world? You are going to have to stop watching Hannity the Manatee. All your issues have already been dealt with and it is time for you to move on. Oh, I almost forgot. . .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Matthew in VA

    It appears that comments are not approved when they are critical of cnn reporting... If this post makes it through, it will only be after several attempts and fair-mindedness from the moderator. Moving on:

    This is a non-story — why bother reporting it? The piece is cynical as it seems to allege that the current administration is intentionally slighting Mr Obama, when in fact the situation is customary. I'm not a supporter of the current administration, but let's be fair.

    Also, for folks confused about the 5 days: Inauguration day is January 20th, not the 15th, and the Blair house will be available on the 15th. That is the usual 5 days. The article does not make this clear.

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Dave

    The house is already booked until the 15th. How dare the Obamas think they can bully their way in earlier.

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Maryland Democrat

    Oh my gosh!

    Oh wait, this isn't really a story worth commenting on.

    Read the article.
    President-elects usually get the house for the five days prior to inauguration – Obama is getting that. Tradition is being kept

    Obama asked to move in early, so that his daughters can start a relatively normal school schedule. Not an unreasonable request, by any standard.

    Said guest house, however, is booked UNTIL the 15th – also reasonable. So everything here is reasonable, and the Obamas, I'm sure, will find somewhere else to stay (or just come on the 15th).

    So all you people who are saying this is a crime, or elitist, or somehow disrespectful from either Bush or Obama, grow up. Its run of the mill nothing.

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Sammy

    I would hope the Obama transition team could find alternate accomodations. If not, that's scary. Perhaps they should consult with some of the family's that previously moved children into the Whitehouse. Duh?

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Lindsay

    How is it "elitist" to want his kids to start school on time? Seems like a reasonable request to me. I'm pretty sure you would inquire about the same thing if you were in his position.

    December 12, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Emit R Detsaw

    Several folks have misread the article. The Obama's are being provided the same consideration as all former Presidents. They are not having a hissy fit over not being able to move in early, they simply asked if they could and were told that the Blair house would be occupied up until the 5 day prior point.

    The sadest thing is, that Obama can't take over being the POTUS effective completion of the Electoral College vote instead of waiting until Jan 20th. The sooner we have a working President in office the better it will be.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Rob in NV

    Rebekah... when will you people get a real life? The man was born in Hawaii, and yes, it was a state at the time, and yes, his mother was a US citizen, and yes, he IS going to be the next President, and no, you don't have a brain in your head.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Jamie

    I mean, really, who cares? Why is this a news article? So Obama can't arrive at this 'hotel' earlier than Jan.15th. He'll just need to find alternate accommodations until then. No biggie to me.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Walter - Nazareth, PA

    Did you liberals that are in love with BO not read the article? It says that he will have the house on 01/15. It is booked up until that date. He was trying to get in earlier than previous PEs. You are all so enamored with BO that you don't care to read the facts. You just want "change" and to be part of history. That just shows the intelligence that was used in electing this guy as the next pres.

    As usual, you also just are looking for any reason to bash Bush.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. KC

    People get over yourselves. It says that he will be moving in on January 15th....as is the norm. He wanted to move in earlier than tradition has EVER allowed and the house was already booked. IT IS AVAILABLE FOR HIM AS OF JANUARY 15TH. Good Lord get over it.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Really

    Learn to read. It is amazing, Obama's blind disciples are up in arms. The Blair house will be available like it has for all other incoming Presidents on Jan 15. Obama wanted special treatment and he wanted to move in earlier than that date. President Bush has been very gracious and accomidating. Give it a rest people.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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