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. C Spurgeon

    Just read some of this stuff on here. What a bunch of mean nasty people. Must be religous too huh, Such grace and nice spirited. You knpw who you are!!

    December 12, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. James

    I'm sure they will manage to find a place.
    Remember eight years ago when the Clinton's left the white house the letter "W" went missing from all computer keyboards, plus a total of $15,000 in damage....

    December 12, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Angela London

    Obama is a puppet president who enjoys the bling lifestyle. As a black woman I am apalled by the stupidity of black people who voted for Obama who is an establishment candidate. Wake me up when change comes. Martin Luther King died for nothing because Black people voted for the MSM candidate. Do you really think Obama has power to do anything, just check out his administration. Go figure..

    December 12, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. ken

    To me shows how Obama is serious with his children education and doesn't want then miss a day. Did we see that with Palin, guess not!

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. bg

    RIF. Reading Is Fundamental. Some of you should try it.

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. borha

    Like or not Obama is our president...to all those black and minority individuals...this is is your chance to change and act to get our country more powerful..

    Can we at least chnage the color of white house to Black&White....or may be just have a black strip around ...it will look great...this will sure show our greatest racial harmony...I think this may be my fantasy!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. robert knopp

    Welcome to Washington. There is no need for your children to get into school. George is going to ride this out until the very end. I just feel sorry that the kids are caught in this political slights. I'm surprised that there wasn't a recount.

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. New Yorker

    Good grief! So you expect President Bush to tell those who already have reservations to say, "sorry you'll have to change your plans for the Obamas". Give me a break! That would be the rude and inconsiderate thing to do. You obama lovers think the world should revolve around him.

    Cnn, maybe this article should be written so aome of your readers understand that the house is available to Obama when it is suppose to be. He's asking a favor and hoping to move in before he's allowed. Surely he wouldn't expect the President to be inconsiderate of those who have reserved it.

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Belle

    Hey folks,
    It IS available on Jan 15. It is ALWAYS available on Jan. 15 for the incoming President.

    THERE IS ONLY ONE POTUS, and currently that is President Bush. Visiting dignitaries use the guest house until then.

    There is no hidden agenda here. It is not unusual for a President to have guests during the holidays. Obama knows this. So why is this even a story?

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Emma from Texas

    The Bush family got an attitude to treat our president elect this way! I love the Obama family!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Are all these posts for real? It says right in 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, as is historically the case"

    As in he is being treated like every other president.
    The anger on here is ridiculus

    December 12, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Mary

    How about getting a president who actually cares of his kids and the kids of this nation education. Just for once!

    December 12, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Ben in Illinois

    How is any of this being blamed on the current President? If you read in the article, they state that the house is opened on 15 January for the family to move in. That is the standard. So as long as the President-Elect is there by 15 January, there shouldn't be a problem.

    It is presumptuous of PE Obama to expect dignitaries to the White House to leave early so he can be there early. He is the one making things complicated.

    December 12, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. sickofthelibs

    Rebekah I'm with you!
    I can't believe these kool aid drinkers being led down that path.

    If they are so happy about their guy getting in, why are they still wasting their time bashing President Bush? Really guys are you never happy?

    We'll see about that change and Hope it works out well, but hey do you have your panties all twisted because it sure is shaping up to be more of the Bush years by your saviour.

    December 12, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Alan - Kentucky

    I guess the White House shold just throw the other guests out??

    December 12, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Chris

    So... whats the big deal? Yeah, his kids can't start school at the start of January and have to come in halfway through the month, happens to a lot of us throughout the States. I fail to see why this is outrageous and unheard of. He is still meeting the Historical tradition of moving in on the 15th. Least of all newsworthy beyond making folks angry at nothing important

    December 12, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Rodger

    The article CLEARLY states that Obama CAN take residence of Blair House beginning on January 15 as is past practice with prior transitions. Obama asked for an excection to move in early. I'm not a big Bush supporter but one thing I CLEARLY understand is that he is the President until 12pm on January 20, 2009. Get over it. Obama has personally stated that the Bush Administration has been very cooperative and accomodating during the transition which that in and of itself is amazing and does not happen very ofter during an administration change.

    December 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. CJ

    Come on people. Don't you all have enough to worry about? The sad part with most of your comments is that you are making it sound worse than it is. Every president has followed tradition. Yes, Obama has based everything around change and it may be change that he is looking for in this tradition. However, change can't always happen over night. He is just a person like you and me. People have already made plans to use it and the government has chosen to honor their word. If he really wants his daughter to start school off the way he and his family had planned then maybe he should dip a little into his pocket and rent for a bit. It would hurt him to live a bit like the average tax payer before stepping foot into the White House. Maybe it would help him to really see what kind of change we really need.

    December 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Angry?

    Are all these posts for real? It says right in 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, as is historically the case"

    As in he is being treated like every other president.
    The anger on here is ridiculus

    December 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Matt from Michigan

    I think everyone posting here is taking too much out of this. Obama just wanted to move in a little early to get his kids set for school. He's not being an "elitist" in doing so. It should also be understandable that Blair House will be unavailable until that time, considering it's probably booked about a year ahead of time. It sounds to me like it was just an idea Obama family had that just didn't work out.

    December 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Kevin Lester

    Come on Bertha!

    Wanting access so his kids can start school is PRESUMPTUOUS and ARROGANT?

    What planet do YOU live on?

    December 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. paul-Kansas

    It's amazing Bush and Obama are cool and respectful of each other and most people on here (on both sides of this non-issue) are taking cheap political shots.

    The Obama family was understanding and not offended, they understand President Bush's position. And the update indicates that the President has made the Blair House available to the Obama family immediately.

    Why don't we take the example of the President and the President-Elect as a model for how to get along in peaceful coexistence.

    December 12, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Mari

    How strange! But then again........ this may be more Bush-mischief.

    December 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. So what?

    You know when I was a kid my family moved to a new town and I had to start at a new school after the first day of school. It was awkward to say the least. Considering all the other changes these girls will need to adjust to, I can completely understand why the Obama's made the request. It's not being "elitist" to want a smooth transition for your kids as they enter into a very strange and very public stage in their lives. But it is still the right of the Bush administration to make the decision on the use of the Blair house.

    So what I can't figure out is why this is "news." Obama asked for an early booking, it was already booked - end of story. They'll probably just rent an apartment at Watergate for a few weeks. Big deal! All the haters trying to make this more than it is, you need to chill out.

    December 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Rose

    Yes, the Obama can wait. This is not a big deal! The Bush should also be more accommodating in this case because of the little girls going to school!

    December 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50