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. Mack

    If incoming presidents traditionally occupy Blair House 5 days before inauguration day on January 15, why then would it be booked for other guests and not be available for the President-Elect and his family? And why couldn't the "previously-scheduled events and guests be displaced"? This is very poor planning on Bush's office's part, or was it intentional?

    December 12, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Rebekah

    oh horrors, poor Obama actually has to follow protocol about something!!!!!! and Laverne, he ain't POTUS yet!
    Since he didn't have to follow other rules such as being a citizen of the US to run for pres and promoting and accepting voter fraud (ACORN), it is shocking that someone would actually enforce any rules on him.

    December 12, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Joe The Plumber

    Let's see anyone would know that during this time a new incoming president would most likely stay there so why you would book it up is beyond me. Wondering if Bush and company can manage anything correctly? Apparently not!

    December 12, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Citizen from NY

    Isn't that being presumptious and an impropriety?

    December 12, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. cindy

    They shouldn't be allowed to, and in fact everyone should be waiting to see what else comes out of this BlagoGate scandal in Chicago.

    ChicagoGate is probably a better word for it. Don't be too surprised if many people find out they've been duped by appearances and mainstream media...In fact, brace yourselves, would be my advice.

    December 12, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Dr.T

    So this is the worst of Bush we could see before he leaves office, treat the next President of the country with such humiliation.
    Good lord! This is ridiculous.

    December 12, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Jay

    Yes, that is not very nice. The WH could've at least offered an alternative. Maybe they are still hiding the yellowcake in the fridge.

    December 12, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. F/Jacksonville

    Are you joking/LOL. President-elect has request to move in the President's guest house, so that the girls would be able to start school on schedule and he's being denied. What I do not understand is who are these people (guest) and what previously-scheduled events that can't be arranged to be held somewhere else. This is about the girls being able to stay on schedule with their schooling as well as their education. What's up with that "Sally". Would there had been any other exceptions; if it had not been this family? Make changes and/or exceptions for some but not for others. Have a wonderful holiday and may your future is good. Your days are counting down as well as the BUSH.....

    December 12, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Karen Gold

    The appropriate thing to do would be to offer the Obamas the Lincoln bedroom until Palmer House becomes available. BETTER YET- why don't they offer one of the Palmer house registered dignitaries the Lincoln bedroom to accommodate the Obamas. This is JUST disgusting that they are not finding a way to accommodate the president elect!

    December 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Brandon

    I bet if Brad and Angelina asked to stay there they would given whatever dignitary the boot to accomadate them.

    December 12, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Extremely Moderate, NJ

    I guess you missed the quote from the OBAMA spokesperson that the current administration has been extremely accomodating and that the transition is going smoothly and friendly.

    I agree that the incoming president should have almost #1 priority in his request, but YOU don't know all the story do YOU? Maybe a visiting head of state is occupying those quarters during that time, and they can't say that because of security concerns...did you ever think there may be more to the story? Obama is important, but he's not a head of state until he's sworn in.

    This won't be like the infants in 2001 who took the "W" keys from all the WH computers with them and vandalized the EOB when they left Washington. Despite what you think of Bush and his cronies, they seem to at least be mature about all this.

    December 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. DEan

    What guest is occupying the Blair House that cannot either be moved into the Whitehouse or a local Holiday Inn?

    December 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. jfffnn

    I have a better idea,the Bushes should move to their new home in Dallas and the Obamas move into the White House since Bush is doing nothing.

    December 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. obama-mama

    I'm still scratching my head. Which dignitaries are staying at the Blair House that is more important than our President-Elect....

    I'm surprised they didn't offer the family the maid quarters. Unbelievable.

    December 12, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Deidre

    Who could those other guests be? perhaps Bush supporters? I'm stunned! Turning down the new Pres of theU S A!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Zeek

    hahah..that is hysterical..WOW..just WOW!!

    December 12, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Mark

    I have an idea. Have them move into a hotel and spend more money for security due to the fact that Blair house is occupied.

    December 12, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Kaye Martin

    I'm sure the Obama family will make other arrangements, eventhough, at first blush, this does seem odd.

    The nation is under so much pressure economically these days that most of us are much more concerned about those issues.

    I pray for this nation each and every day. I hope we can restore civility and a sense of economic well-being to this great nation soon.

    December 12, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Spider

    Wait!!!

    Once again, there is no room at the Inn for the Second Coming?

    I hear there's a manger available down the street Barack.

    December 12, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Matthew

    This is a non-story - why bother reporting it? The piece is cynically written as it seems to allege that the current administration is intentionally slighting Mr Obama, when in fact the situation is completely customary. I'm not a supporter of the current administration, but let's be fair.

    December 12, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. johnny

    Once again Obama is so arrogant that he wants to break tradition because he believes he is entitled to do whatever he wants.

    December 12, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. kathi

    What? Someone denied Obama??? Sen. Schumer better get a committee on this right away...........Please........I am sure someone can loan them a plane so they get there on time. Perhaps they should have thought about their daughters' schooling/future before they thought about running for the office of president.

    December 12, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. obama-mama

    Gerda Edwards you sound like a fat angry person.

    December 12, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Sheila43302

    This is ridiculous! It seems to me that the scheduled "guests" could simply be moved to a hotel. After all, the Obama's reason for the request is certainly legitimate.

    December 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. matt

    let's make exceptions for the messiah!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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