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. Frustrated and Fed Up!

    Neither the Repudiated Republicans nor the Self Anointed Savior's of the US Democrats have the answers to our problems! I think the only thing the Dems have one is the opportunity to screw it up as bad as the Republicans have for the past 8 years. We are going to go from an absolute lack of self control to as much governmental control as the Dems can possibly put in place. I'm pretty sure we simply traded "one tyrant for another".

    God help us all!

    December 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. mona

    it's completely understandable that they'd want to move to DC early to minimize the inconvenience for their children by making sure they start school on time, any parent would; their children didn't choose this life so it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for them. i'm sure the bush's tried their best to accommodate their request, but that's not always possible, who knows what's been scheduled there and how long ago; i'm sure something else will get worked out, though i hope it's not just some random guest of the bush's that they just didn't want to relocate, the incoming president certainly ought to have priority over most people.

    December 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Larry

    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.

    Not good enough-----People, they are just getting started!

    December 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. SIMONE

    Wow! here we go again! As for Cindy, the soot from your fireplace has gone to your brain and the kitty litter to Kitty's. You are sick and twisted people. Ya just can't stand to see this Black Man in Office I betcha! Your racism is showing like a slip from a dress. Pipe down and Chill Out Whydon'tcha! I am a Proud White Woman that is Thanking God that someone Honest and Up Front and Clean and Clear is going into the White House for a change. Man, you really need to get over yourselves. Are you two and others like you two so afraid that the covers of ALL THE DIRT THAT ALL OF THE WHITE MEN BEFORE OBAMA will be spread on the table before the public to see? This is a new day, new time and you-all need to get use to it.

    December 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Michael

    Relax people. The Obama family "asked" if Blair House was available earlier than January 15. They did not "demand" that Blair House be made available earlier than January 15.

    The Obama family is not out of line here and neither is the Bush White House. As for CNN running the story, it is simply to inform everyone that a request was made and it had to be denied because of previous commitments. If the Obama family needs to be in Washington D.C. prior to January 15, there are other options.

    I voted for Obama. I do not see how the Bush White House is in the wrong here and I do not see anything that suggests Obama is offended. Some people on this board really need to read, think and breathe before typing.

    December 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. sickofthelibs

    Yes Maxine Roberts-let's stop the ignorance..and let's start that with you. The president elect is not the president until inauguration day. Therefore the Bushes do not/should not get out NOW. Sorry Federal Law and you can't really make it up as you go

    Take a chill pill-there's enough time for you obamabots to throw this country into an unrecoverable tail spin.

    God Help us all\

    Oh and MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

    December 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Wendy NC

    People, get a grip. There is no arrogance in wanting to do what is best and easiest for two small children who are being uprooted in the middle of a school year. All the Obama's asked for is to see if it was available so the children could start school on time without having to make additional moves. It's all about parenting and NOTHING else.

    December 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. READING COMPREHENSION

    The lack of reading comprehension reminds of "Gracie" from the article about McCain going for re-election to the Senate in 2010. She responded how there is no way he should be president in 2012.

    December 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. BeefyDaddy

    How is this an issue?

    Aren't there real concerns to be writing about?

    CNN, do you need to hire more writers? If so, let me know...

    December 12, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. disgusted

    There are thousands of people without jobs, homeless and hungry and you're bickering about something that is not important in the grand scheme. Get a life, get your priorities in order and while you're at it grow up!!

    December 12, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. akgr

    ZOMG! They're not treating him like a King! You can't deny the Messiah! Everyone call it racist!

    December 12, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    Let this be a lesson so that we'll make sure the new Prez has what it takes manage a trillion plus economy... You cant govern alone. You need a really good staff and you also need really good jugement and patience to see things through.

    December 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Kisha

    To Bertha (Comment #17). Are you serious????Obama is arrogant because he is acting like the president. How is he supposed to act? If he was doing nothing you would probably call him lazy. I think his actions are very responsible. He is not waiting until he is inaugurated to take action on our economy, he has taken action since he was elected...unlike our current President who has gotten us in this mess and done nothing. Has anyone seen Bush lately?

    December 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. Debby

    I can just hear it now about the race card being played. I mean can't the Obama's stay in a suite at a hotel till they can get in there if they are so anxious about their kids schooling.

    December 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Sharon

    I find it appalling that the Blair House is already taken, by who? for what?
    President-Elect Obama and his family should have 'turn down' rights. If they didn't need it, it's one thing...but since they do, it should be theirs.
    Anything else, I take, as just another republican arrogance.

    December 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Chris R.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. If it's been such a tradition, how did they not realize that the new president would be staying there? Did someone over there forget about the election? It makes no sense to me.

    December 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Scott, Wichita

    What is the story here? If you book a trip to Philly, and show up 2 days early, they aren't going to kick the guy out of his room for you, regardless of who you are. It was reserved for the 15th, and someone reserved it before that. This isn't a "White House refuses Obama Request" as the headline says on the main page... It is a clear-cut case of "No Vacancy"

    December 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Soccer Nana

    My question is, why would someone be allowed to live in the Blair House so close to the date the PEOTUS and his family will be moving into the White House? It is well known that two school-age children are involved in the move. When guests were being "booked" for the Blair House at anytime during January this consideration should have come up.

    December 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. J. Donelan

    The Willard is nice. Have the Eggs Benedict for breakfast.

    December 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Jevon - Atlanta,GA

    This isn't a big deal. I'm sure the Obama's will still be in the area for the kids to start school on time!

    December 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Christian, Tampa FL

    Sheesh. I'm sure that there are plenty of guests willing to move aside for the next leader of the free world and his young children. This is a bit ridiculous.

    December 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Enough from the nutjobs

    The Republican party will never get back in office because the people they goaded into hating everybody but them, like Rebekah (obviously it didn't take much), will forever spew wrong headed ideology. She only knows one line, and you will reap what you sowed. Good luck in stuffing folks like her back into your idiot box of tricks. Pathetic. CNN is stupid for even printing this non-event.

    December 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. akgr

    "Peggy from IA December 12th, 2008 11:03 am ET

    Unbelievable, Rude & Outrageous. I agree w/Ernie. Who do they think they are to tell this courageous first family that?"

    Ummm... a private business owner in the United States of America, maybe? Where do you get off telling them to kick paying customers out so your king can sleep there? I'm sure he can find another 200,000 rooms or so in or around D.C.

    December 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. steve

    as has been said this is a non issue. all of you need to reread the article. neather side is wrong. it is news because everyone just can't get along!

    December 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. fru teston

    Probably the Bushes didn't know, for the last eight years, that SOMEONE would want Blair House on the dates the Obamas wanted it. So they jsut ACCIDENTALLY booked it for friends. The usual Bush manners.

    December 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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