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. Michelle in KC

    Bertha, our current President is a lame duck with the lowest approval rating in history. He's done a thorough job of letting this nation crumble, and very few people will be sad to see the back of him. We need at LEAST one competent person in Washington, and Obama has the approval of the clear majority of this country. With our nation in a financial crisis and no leadership from our sitting President, Obama is being RESPONSIBLE in his proactive and energetic effort to give the country some decent leadership. (He's ALSO being a good PARENT by wanting to get his kids settled in their new school before the term begins.) We've waited long enough for real leadership in Washington. I guess there are just some people who are still living in under the delusion that Bush has been good for this country... or just living in Texas.

    December 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I think this is all out of proportion. The Obama's, in the interest of their 2 daughters not having to move twice – after moving from Chicago and having to go into a school year mid-term – just wanted to see if it would be possible to move in early.

    They found out then that, unfortunately, the Blair House is booked and their request cannot be accommodated. Simply put. I'm sure at that point, other suggestions may have been offered and graciously accepted (but that's not as newsworthy, and it takes away from the tabloid nature of this story).

    The thing is, hotels are probably booked for the Inauguration, and where ever they go, they will have the secret service in tow; so it's not such an easy thing logistically.

    And as others have stated, the votes are in and counted.

    December 12, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Mike

    This is very suspicious. What is the Bush administration hiding? The public has a right to know who is staying in Blair House!

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. PK California

    His only motivation was for his girls to get started in their new school.The First Lady, who professes to be so interested in education, should have understood and come up with an alternative location. I hope the news media is stationed outside the Blair House to see just who is sooooooooooo important to get presidence over the President Elect!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. las

    Obviously not everyone is reading the article; you're just looking for slights against Obama. He asked to live there EARLIER than protocol calls for, and the house is booked. The Obama family is able to move in when every other PE has been allowed to move in, not earlier. This is not some horrible move by the Bush family to snub the new PE. Sheesh.

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Pat-GA

    This talk about the early move to the white house is "much to do about nothing." the Obama's are fine with it no feelig hurt....so let's go on to something else and more important.

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Brian

    So he wanted move in a little early and they said no. Did this really need to be a story? Who cares!!! I'm sure he and his wife can find other accomodations until 1/15. Moving on...

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Dingy Pelosi

    What part of 'available' and 'Jan 15th' don't you left wing whacko's understand?

    Always something to whine and moan about. Now if Jan 15th comes and they deny President ELECT Obama, then I would understand the frustration. We got bigger issues to worry about than when the h*ll he can move into a house!

    Ernie....ummm the PRESIDENT is the one to tell the Barry he can not that is who.

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Derrick Green

    You silly people are jerks! So, you won't allow the new President to move into the Blair House because of foreigners visiting good old George?? WOW! I wonder why they aren't as friendly to the new Presidents family, as they are to outsiders?? That makes no sense at all!

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. cynthia

    Give me a break!!! This isn't news this is a joke. Talk about real issues please. This isn't news worthy!

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. sickofthelibs

    Free N love it...Obama has not been sworn in yet...so slow down buddy. The president is the president until inauguration day. I know you guys are all excited but calm down before you have an accident in you pants. All the webcasts and phony podium and offices don't change a thing. President Bush is still the Commander in Chief and don't you forget it!

    Oh God Bless the Bushes!

    December 12, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. karen-phoenix

    Obama is a gentleman!!!! Will be so nice having him in the White House and a great working First Lady who cares about middle America!!!!

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

    Your apology is accepted Rebekah. You're reading and researching in the wrong places. Prof. Limbaugh is not tenured, so his opinions are not well thought through!

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. President Obama

    Hell, Brad and Angelina could have gotten into the Blaire House over the Obama's if they had asked.

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. C-A-T

    "If it is traditional used for the President-elect starting Jan15, why is it unavailable?"

    Linda32 asks this question in response to a story that reads in part:

    "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"

    Why is it so hard for the posters here to figure out that Obama is getting the SAME treatment as everyone else? It's not that long of story... just read it!

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. EW

    They aren't denying the Obama's access, morons. They are denying early access. LEARN TO READ.

    Wanting special accomodation because he has children is typical of the arrogance that has surrounded Obama's political career.

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Belle-starr

    I am not at surprised by the White House feedback to Obama's request.Its in line George Bush character.He's never made any sacrifice for anyone else talkless of public interest.History will hold him accountable for where we are as nation at this time.He can't wriggle out out of this one.The "No" smirks of people who are waiting for something sinister to happen to prevent Obama from taking oath.Otherwise how why would deny someone of something that's already within his reach just to prove a cheap point.

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Lakergirl

    Kitty- Your ignorance amuses me. =) Clearly, he asked to do it for his DAUGHTERS so they can be there to start school on schedule, and somehow you find it as the perfect opportunity to make a snide comment like that. Too funny!

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Greg in MN

    Sounds like Ron T and Sammy are the only reasonsable people on this blog today. I agree...everyone else needs to relax.

    Obama and his family made a request. The place was previously booked. So request was denied. No ego, no snub, no anything worth getting riled about.

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Frank

    Rebekah- looks like you think for yourself as soon as Rush tells you what to think. Mega dittoes!

    December 12, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. s

    Rebekah,
    You're an idiot! Your research is probably a source of Fox News and Hannity. You mention you don't get fed information but yet the information you spill are from the MEDIA (online, TV, Radio etc).

    Believe me it's easier to be optimistic than it is to be cynical, even when you don't agree...

    Peace!

    December 12, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Dallas

    bertha doucet December 12th, 2008 11:29 am ET

    obama have been acting like he is president already, this shows how presumptous and arrogant he is.I guess this is the changes we can believed in!!!!! Houston Tex.

    -------------------------------
    Obama might as well be president NOW. what has your lame duck president done in the last couple of months or the last eight years?

    Yes, Obama is change we can believe in.

    December 12, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. common-sense

    I've got some empty space in my house. Michelle, Obama and the children are welcome to stay here. Homeless President-elect? Bush is such a sore-loser.

    December 12, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Brandon

    This is not a snub to Obama.

    however,
    Gutting environmental regs weeks before leaving office even after strong requests not to – that is spitting in his face and in the face of the nation. But that is par for the course for bush. Potential revenue streams for the bush family and for the gop ALWAYS trump the good of the United States.

    December 12, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. CIndy from Jersey (not to be confused with that other one)

    tsk tsk tsk - you people drive me nuts. You jump on any little trivial piece of news to show your behinds. Obama only EXPLORED the idea - when he saw it wasn't available, he looked for other alternatives. SMART MAN. Bush has every right to book that house until the day Obama moves in. Leave it alone, its a non-issue.

    December 12, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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