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. Marc in Virginia

    Why are some of you Obama people getting so upset? He put in a request and was turned down. Big deal. The place was booked. Obama didn't ask they be kicked out and it'd be bad form for Bush to kick anyone out, especially foreign guests. Case closed. Get over it.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    Oh, come on folks, there are enough serious problems to deal with, let's not get involved in a faked issue. The Obamas, with their daughters school schedule in mind, asked if they could use the White House guest house a bit earlier than normal (i.e. BEFORE Jan. 15) for an incoming President. Nothing extraordinary about that and a legitimate request. The White House responded that it is booked up until the traditional time of January 15th. Nothing extraordinary about that, and legitimate unless proven that it actually ISN"T booked, or that the bookings are last minute and used only to inconvenience the incoming First Family. While I don't care for our current POTUS, I seriously doubt that White House staff, and particularly Laura Bush who for all her husband's faults, is a gracious and nice person, would be doing this just to be nasty. Actually, I can't even see President Bush doing this to be nasty - or involving himself in anything so domestic. Another manufactured issue to deflect us from true issues.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Gerda Edwards

    To all you people bashing Bush and thinking that Obama is being slighted — re-read the article! … "The Blair House, the President's guest house for visiting dignitaries, is available to President-elect Obama and his family starting January 15″

    Obama IS going to move in on the 15th (as is tradition), but Obama is the one asking to move in even earlier, when it's already been reserved for use by Bush for HIS guests. Sheesh, all you're doing is reinforcing the stereotype about liberals not digging into the details, but only reading the headlines.

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Jim

    Some of you apparently didn't read very carefully. Blair House will be available for the Obamas on the 15th just like it has been for all of their predecessors. So what is the problem???

    December 12, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Hypocracy has no bounds

    Wow do people actually read the artcle. He can move in 5 days before just as all the President Elects before him. No where does it say that he is being denied that. However I would like to know now who will be occupying the place for the administration to say no to the presidential elect.

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Thomas

    YOUR FAMILY IS VERY WEALTHY MR. OBAMA TRY A HOTEL, OH, THATS RIGHT THERE ALL BOOKED! GIVE DICK CHANEY A CALL, MABEY HE'LL PUT YOU UP. PUSHY, PUSHY!

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Brandon

    If only Obama could take occupancy of the White House early. Like this afternoon.

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. An American

    If it is status quo for Presidents to move in around Jan. 14th or the 15th and the Blair House is already promised to other prior to those dates, then I do not think Obama should be offended. If he is, then he is just trying to use his power to push other people around in a very rude way. I do not fault Blair House for telling it like it is – good for them.

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Kitty

    He is not the president – why should he get treated like one?

    Follow the rules Obama – oh I forgot he is from Chicago – they don't follow rules – they break them. Maybe Obama can get his governor to buy him the Blair House – since they are buddies!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    To Bertha

    The guy is a LAME duck Prez. At this point in time, he shouldnt be doing anything BUT packing up and getting the heck of town before the ECONOMY crumbles.

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Mike T. Vaughn

    So even the IDIOT PRESIDENT BUSH CAN'T MAKE A SIMPLE SOLUTION OF SAYING NO LET HIM MOVE IN, JUST LIKE THIS IDIOT PRESIDENT COULD NOT MAKE ANY OTHER GOOD SOLUTIONS FOR THE US!!!!!!!!! BUT THE ONLY SOLUTION HE HAS MADE IS PICK A NEW HOME IN TEXAS!!!!!!!! WOW..............STUPIDITY TO THE END!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. carl

    Why is this housekeeping trivia in the news? Wherever Obama hangs out will be hugely deluxe and guarded. He'll certainly get his run of the White house soon enough and then he can book Blair House with whomever he chooses in his own term. Back of the current resident!! And mind the real issues!

    December 12, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Ron T

    Let's all take a deep breadth and re-read the article....ok, now we all realize that the Bush's are not being rude or spiteful or denying Obama anything. They are following protocol. They did not reserve out the Blair House during the last 5 days before the inauguration. Those days are available. They did reserve it out before then, which is reasonable since president-elects do not normally stay there earlier. And unlike the Motel 6 down the road, something tells me that guests to the Blair House are planned very long in advance, which would make it reasonable that it not be available early. There now, let's be less partisan, more American, read what is written and not act like we are on the Maury Povitch show.

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. adam taylor

    Could people just stop whining.
    it was a request made from a children's school perspective.
    the place was booked already.

    no issue with the reuest or the declining of the request.

    leave it to rabid partisans on both sides to make an issue of anything.

    Adam

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Nothing with early move to bring the kids from chicago ane enrole them in school. well break tradition rent a house move the kids anyway it will be Blair House lose not to have the first family stay there. I know there are places would be more than happy to have President Obama family move in for a while. when shoo you lose.

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. rusell

    Obama is the POTUS YOU IDIOTS , . AND THIS GOES TO WHOMEVER DOESN'T AGREE.........................HE 'S PRESIDENT ELECT . WON IT FAIR....................SO STOP YOUR HATING BECAUSE HE'S YOUR PRESIDENT TOO !

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. sammy

    Don't you fools read the article? Blair House will be ready for Obama on Jan 15th. Obama wanted it earlier than that but it is not his til then. It was booked prior to that.

    I am amazed at how such "intelligent" individuals don't read articles!

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Mystyph

    Everyone relax! This is a ridiculous story. They asked and they were told the place was booked. It does not say that Obama got mad. Nor does it say that Bush booked the place on purpose to humiliate Obama. It is a non story.

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. none ya

    obama should not act as president until january 1st 2009

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Anthony Smith

    Smooth and friendly? Definately not adjectives I would use to describe the Bush administration. I can't wait until George is forgotten and God judges him for his actions and inactions. He is the most pathetic president EVER!!!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    December 12, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. j random

    This is not a big deal. Obama's family said "hey, maybe it would be nice to move in a little early to make it easier on the girls when they start school." Very reasonable. Bush said "Sorry, no can do. It's already booked" Also very reasonable. Obama said "OK. We'll make other arrangements." Fine.

    All the drama is in you people's minds. Jeez.

    December 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. sickofthelibs

    please reading things like "courageous first family" want's to make me barf. Why can't you people see through the smoke and mirrors.

    Tradition is that it's 5 days. So it was reserved for the obamas from 1/15. Much like a hotel-if there's other reservations, you are out of luck. There is no conspiracy here to keep them out so just stop with the stupid nonsense

    December 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. indpls

    I just don't know what to say besides that whole thing is crazy. Those guests should have been moved to another location, he is going to be the POTUS whether they like it or not so they can go ahead and be stupid but it is not going to change anything

    December 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. H. Charles

    CNN, why is this news? All you're doing is giving these uneducated morons who question his citizenship and call him arrogant a forum to express their stupidity. This country is getting dumber by the minute. No wonder China and India are killing us when it comes to education.

    December 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Dan1234

    Obama can rent a trailer for now. Who cares what he does. He has to just suck it up and find another solution. If he can't handle the issues regarding his kids school schedule then how the hell will he ever govern the US?

    December 12, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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