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. cabgx2

    Maybe this will be Bush's legacy.

    December 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Jim from CT

    He and his wife Michelle are only thinking of their two children and not pushing the issue. I'd of done the same thing if I were in his shoes.

    The children should come first...

    It was a nice request, but I'm sure they'll find out accommodations until January 15th.

    Can't wait until 1/20/2009!!!!

    December 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Taylor Woodbury

    I'd be happy to have him come stay with me for a few days. I live pretty close to his kid's school.

    December 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. BB

    Bushie must be putting up someone that has contributed big to his lucrative retirement.

    December 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. Tom

    They can move in there, as is customary, 5 days in advance of the inauguration. They ask for "special accomodations," and apparently these accomodations could not be made without inconveniencing others.

    I'm sorry, but there is nothing any more special about Mr. Obama and his family than any other President throughout history. I'm sure no one is doing it out of spite Ernie...

    December 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Alfred

    Well Laverne, he's not the President so your argument of "POTUS being denied such a request does not make sense" makes no sense. He will not be the President until January 20th and until then, he (and) you should remember that.

    December 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Nat Turner

    Who could possibly be more important in the United States than the President??

    December 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Michael

    This is ridiculous! If Balir House is traditionally used for incoming presidents and their family, then it should not have been booked during the 5 day period....Another smoth move by the incomparable Bush Administration, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

    December 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Mike

    OMG!!!! Who cares? If foreign dignitaries booked rooms before January 15th then the Obama's shouldn't be allowed to stay. If you read it says "which is historically the case". They can move in after the 15th. Remember, he's not the "POTUS" yet (technically not even the president-elect yet) and he's not even a senator right now either. He has actually no authority right now.

    How dare somebody actually have a reservation and how dare the Blair House not honor that committment.

    Give me a break.

    December 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Sandra

    Who may I ask ...is more important than the President -Elect of the United States?

    December 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Jessica Grimes From Dallas

    Oh give me a break. We all need to stop getting our panties in a bunch. Why is this news?

    December 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. Bobby from MS

    poor babies. boo whoo whoo

    December 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. QG

    Only a few more days of this idiotic administration..... Keep the Blair House, I have homes in the area I would gladly give to Obama and his family so the girls can start early!

    December 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Zach

    Obama is not the president until he takes the oath of office on January 20. President Bush still has authority over who can stay in Blair House and when. If there are guests scheduled for early January, then there is no reason why they should be ousted. Obama needs to realize that he is no different than any other incoming president and needs to play by the same rules as the other 43 men who came before him.

    December 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Kristy

    Jeez, who's staying there and won't make other arrangements for the president-elect, Sarah Palin?

    December 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    Wow! Who are these special people? Cant they just rent hotels to help the economy? Maybe it's a meeting of secret agents and FBIs.

    December 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Betty Anne

    Read the article more closely, Ernie. It's not just that they "want to" it's so that their kids can start school on time. Now, I understand that MOST Americans give absolutely no value to education, but the Obamas are a remarkable testament to what education can do for young people. I'd want special arrangements too, if it meant my kids' education didn't have to be interrupted.

    December 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. todd

    That's fine. Air Force One will be booked for the Bush's return to Texas on January 20th. (good riddance) They can fly home commercial like the private citizens they will be.

    December 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Scott Tucson

    Maybe Chicago is now getting a little too hot for Obama to handle.

    December 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Pat

    Then, to heck with them! If I were the Obamas, I would not move in there at all. I would find a place for my family so I could get my kids in school and I would stay there until we moved to the White House! I'm sure there is another place that would be more than willing to allow the Obamas to stay for the short term needed.

    December 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. JL

    If the place is booked, it is booked. There isn't a whole lot anyone can do about it. That is how I am going to think of this because it seems odd that there would be someone more important staying in a government house than the POTUS and I would hate to think it is subtle discrimination (because he's a dem)...

    December 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. JONNY IN GEORGIA

    PresidentGHWBUSH would not take no for an answer he would invade. that why i will miss him he was a no nonsense GUY

    December 12, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. Debbie

    C'mon people, give me a break. There is a date that the house is always made available to incoming presidents and the house WILL be available for the Obamas on that date. It would have been nice to let the Obamas in earlier if it wasn't already being used, but it IS. This is not some sort of slight on the part of the Bush administration. I guess you have never come upon a situation when there was "no room in the inn?"

    December 12, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Dewey

    Then Laura Bush said: "There goes the neighborhood!"

    December 12, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Charles

    Mr. Bush can let them move into the White House early. After all, he is totally irrelevant now.

    December 12, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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