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. Milo Ippolito of Atlanta

    That scares me. If they don't want him moving in, do they know something we don't. Coupled with the fact that NASA is not cooperating with Obama, it makes you wonder. Do the Republicans have reason to believe it won't be necessary?

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Brian

    Thank you Ron T. You are right–people should read the article thoroughly:

    Bush is not being vindictive or petty. The house has been reserved in advance.

    Obama is not being arrogant. He was looking out for his families and trying to ensure his daughter's were as situated as possible for starting at a new school.

    There is nothing newsworthy in this story. Simply people trying to draw up a controversy.

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Steve from Florida

    The White house should make other arrangements for the visitng dignitaries and accomodate Obama's request. There is nothing more important than his children's education. I commend him for placing that at such a high level.

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Doug

    All of these moronic, hateful comments because the Obamas can't move into a house early. You would think after all of the negativity over the past two years people could get a grip on themselves and their emotions. It's nobody's fault and certainly not Bush's fault that they cannot be accomodated. Get over it. They will not be left out in the cold. They, the Obamas, are not whining about it but alot of you seem to be. I guess some people will never be happy and will always look for a reason to spew their hate.

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. saj

    Thank you Ron T! Let's put away the irrational emotional conduct and settle down and think it through. The president elect asked if he could move in EARLY. It was already booked. He made no demands, he merely asked. When informed it was booked, he let it go. He has it reserved for the 15th-20th. If you make a reservation at Holiday inn for a certain time, then go back a month later to try to add another reservation prior to your previous one, you may be out of luck.

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Film Professor

    It would be very enlightening to know who the "dignitaries" are that the Bush folks would be allowing to stay in the Blair House from January 5-15. Some of the people lobbying Bush for a last minute pardon perhaps? One or more of the scarce number of newly elected Republicans to Congress? Friends of Barbara's and Jenna's?

    How tacky for this not to be made available to the Obamas.

    I am counting the days until this horrible administration is over, as are millions and millions of Americans.

    December 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Jes

    If people actually read the article, most of these comments would be nullified.

    There's nothing wrong with Obama wanting to move in earlier then January 15th, especially for reasons of his daughter's education.

    There is also nothing wrong with that option being unavailable because there will already be guests there.

    So why is everyone trying to make either Bush or Obama out to be the bad guy? It's not that deep, and it doesn't make either of you more intelligent by trying to analyze their motives.

    No wonder our country is in the shape it is in when no matter what something says they will start to blame the other side without even knowing anything.

    Try actually comprehending the things you read folks.

    December 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Dean

    Rebekah,

    what is with all the hate?

    December 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. dj

    all of you anti-Obama people are morons

    December 12, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Recently Unemployed - No Distractions

    You trifling ignorant people who never voted for Obama anyway. You are sad and ugly with jealousy. They could accomodate Obama and his family if they wanted to. The most unpopular president ever, should be more understanding and sympathetic because his children were young once.

    As huge as that place is, they could work with him. You sad ignorant people who haven't accepted the fact that Obama is president need to grow up and move on.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. MsBlake

    Thanks Ron T

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. jan

    What part of "the traditional temporary housing of President-elects in Washington, DC" do you guys not understand?

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Michael

    Since Bush hasn't been doing his job for a long time, why doesn't he move out of the WH earlier. He stopped being President awhile ago. As of now, he's just a squatter.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. RZ

    Read the article. Bush may be a terrible president but he is not a terrible person. It's amazing how many people will make something out of nothing just to satisfy their prejudices’.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. LA2NC

    CNN,please consider adding an option to flag some of the posters as "ignorant, rude or just plain offensive. With everything that is going on in our nation, some of the comments really speak volumes about the people that post them.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Dino

    Bush just following "protocol"? This is the same guy that threw a war based on lies that killed thousands of people. But, he's still concerned with protocol? Spare me. I say, Barack should just kick him out.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Joe

    I see a couple people saying that Obama is being presumptuous; or at the least “presumptious” and I am wondering exactly what it is that they feel he is presuming. I guess he must be under the impression that he’s been elected the next president of the United States, silly man.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. dsk

    Unbeliveable....more coverage on this POS news story than his ties to Blag – a – bi^%&%. You are all a bunch of loons.

    December 12, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. rodlang

    The Blair House is not available prior to Jan. 15. The Obama's can stay at a very nice hotel for the first two weeks of January. What's the big deal?

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. andrew

    Please people, read the entire article before you post. It clearly states, "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". Nobody is saying that they cannot move into the house WHEN THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO, just that they cannot move in earlier. Now, could they have worded the article different, yes IMO the first part of the article is poorly written and if you stop reading after the first paragraph I can see why you would think that the Obama's were being mistreated.....but they AREN'T!!

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Cynthia

    Bush is still President and has been very accomodating for the Obamas moreso than I am sure the Clintons ever were. In addition, as the article states the Blair House is ready for the Obamas on January 15th.

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. SHIRLEY "60"

    For all of you writing who think they should or should not be allowed to move in early to Blair House, get a grip. It was merely an idea to help their children. I hope that the new First Family will be able to occupy Blair House on 1/15/09 as usual, and we will hear the last of GWB for a long time. I am sure that the PE and the future first lady had no problem with arrangements that were already in place, because they are first and foremost reasonable and intelligent people. Furthermore, everything that is written or reported as news does not deserve a comment from us. Let's all try to return to good manners and common sense, and stop the negative, nasty rhetoric that has been a part of lives for so long. We are ALL Americans and need each other to raise this blessed country back up to where it once was.

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    To the idiots who cant read.... Blair House IS available to Obama and his family as of Jan 15, as is the traditional case. Its just not available any earlier. Don't go blaming this one on the President. Just another attempt by liberals to make Bush look bad. Obama is NOT Jesus Christ, for God's sake.................

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Dan

    Everybody CHILL out. The Obamas made a reasonable request – could they move in a little early so their kids could start at their new school on time.

    Just as reasonably, the Bush administration said, sorry, we hadn't planned on that, and the place is already booked.

    Reasonable question, reasonable answer. End of non-story.

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. MaryK

    Some of you people you watch Shaun Hannity ALOT, don't you, and when he's not on, R. Limbaugh plays all the live long day. Let's blow every single teeny tiny news bite that mentions Obama's name out of proportion, that'll work!!! They asked a favor, it was booked, everyone is fine with it. Get a life!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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