January 22nd, 2009
03:15 PM ET
4 years ago

Gibbs: Obama enjoys 'living above the company store'

A senior aide to the president credited the family routine set up by the first lady for easing the Obamas' transition into White House life.

A senior aide to the president credited the family routine set up by the first lady for easing the Obamas' transition into White House life.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Obamas are settling into the new home just fine, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday.

The new president “enjoys – to use a phrase - living above the company store,” said Gibbs. Yesterday, between two events, Obama went upstairs to have dinner with the first lady and the couple’s two daughters. “That obviously means a lot to him as a father,” said Gibbs.

The Obamas’ ability to adjust to all of the changes in their lives, including three moves in the past few weeks, “is a monumental testament to Michelle,” Gibbs told reporters.

“The girls have always had a very strong routine that’s kept them away from all of this,” Gibbs said as he gestured toward the White House press corps that was overcrowding the briefing room.

“They’re very much the same four people that I met five years ago when I went to work for him,” said Gibbs.

But the adjustment to life in the White House has not been completely flawless; the 44th president has had to learn his way around the historic residence.

“It’s a pretty big house,” Gibbs also said Thursday. “At the end of the first night, he had to ask somebody where he was supposed to go next.”

Filed under: Obama family
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Barack loves his wife, and she loves him.

    That is a great start for this wonderful couple, and I do want to see them be role models to young Americans who think living together is a great way to be "married" without responsibilities.

    Unfortunately, these young people are breeding, and their kids ultimately lose.

    I am a far-left liberal, but I believe it is essential that we have traditional families.

    The Obamas are a good example.

    January 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. TJD

    CNN is so in love with this guy.

    January 22, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Steele Curtain

    Guess Rezko didn't have the layout of the Whitehouse.

    January 22, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. CR

    I'm still in awh!!!!! Wow.....President OBAMA and his beautiful family.

    God Bless You All!!!!

    January 22, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Shag

    What a beautiful family. May God bless them.

    January 22, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Scott Tucson

    Beats government housing in Chicago, at least the next four years anyways.

    January 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Sonny

    Bring back BUSH

    January 22, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. wanda

    I think he could have helped many people with that 150,000,000 he spent for a one day event........Don't expect much from him except a lot of promises that will be spread out for 4 years, and than they will not matter.....He will retire with his retirement for life and his speeches around the world and books ,he will write, and you who voted for him will not see a penny....He needed your support to get where he did.......He never helps his brother in Kenya who lives on $20.00 a year....Why would he help you?

    January 22, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Cleo C. Corsi~Zarr

    I am sick and tired of divisive journalism – My husband and I watch CNN every week day as we are getting ready for work and then again as we unwind after the end of our work day – last night as we were watching, comments were made inferring lack of transparency with the Obama White House team – since video cameras were not allowed into the 2nd swearing in of President Obama –

    We unplugged! I refuse to watch this type of news reporting

    OMG – there were cameras and voice recorders in the room – are cameras and recorders devoid of transparency

    When is enough – enough!

    Why can’t we just agree that we may not always agree – that an elephant looks like and ‘elephant’ and simply embrace the creature for agreeing to work with us mere mortals


    January 22, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Veronica

    To jon in ca..I trully feel sorry for you

    January 22, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Rick

    And the ridiculous American media continues the lovefest but, they might as well continue since they lost their last remaining shred of credibility during the election.

    January 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. irakwarno4americans

    what a wonderful family, president Obama will bring great change to America and the world. President Obama makes me proud to be an American! GOD BLESS AMERICA , PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS FAMILY!

    January 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Jan

    The new president “enjoys – to use a phrase — living above the company store,”
    What a tacky thing to say! It's not "the company store." It's "The People's House" !!!!!!!

    "Obama & Co." has a LOT to learn about style and decorum!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Elizabeth

    I am so happy that we have such a wonderful role model to look up to... not Just President Obama but Michelle Obama as well. I want to be a great wife and someday mother just as she is.

    As for the comment above about the suits and ties... I don't agree, President Obama always looks Professional but we have to remember in our own offices we do not always wear suits and we also have to remember this is his HOUSE where I know everyone doesn't wear suits/ties all the time. Iwould rather have the "role up the sleeves" attitude

    January 22, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. GiGi

    I love the phrase "above the company store". Regardless if Obama has the intelligence and the staff (and I believe he does) to turn around this mess of a world, he has the temperment and character traits to lead us.

    It is such a breath of fresh air to see a real family inhabit the WH. And also to see that things like torture and lobbyist won't be tolerated. He's off to a great start!

    January 22, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Kathy from Seattle

    Jon in CA – Where is your proof that Obama smokes in front of his children? How can you make such a stupid statement!! You sound like you are grasping at straws for something on which to berate him. Do you realize how lame you sound?

    January 22, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Ernest Tolinski

    Hello-What I want to know is why is Obama an African American when he is a Mullato–Half White & Half Black–He could be White as well as Black-Whats the bottle?–Half full or Half empty? The term Mullato was not used in any form at all–Then he is not the first African American to serve as President–I would like to know what the criteria is–Now his wife is African America–ET

    January 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Carmelita

    It was really quite a sight! On Tuesday I took the day off from work to watch Mr. Obama become the president of the United States of America. It is indeed a defining moment in history. (great coverage CNN)

    I was totally hooked on CNN during the election and thought that once Mr. Obama was sworn in that would be that, but I must say I am still on CNN high. I cant wait to get home to see what they have to say about the family.

    I must confess I have'nt seen much of the Canadian news for the past two years. CNN keep it coming.

    God bless president Obama and his family. I hope that he will seek wisdom and understanding and become as wise as King Solomon.

    I also wish that those in his cabinet will have his and the country's best interest at heart and that America can regain it's staus as a worl leader uder Obama's leadership with Gods help.


    January 22, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Blue is my favourite colour

    @ Change–yeah, and we were doing so much better under Bush–right? You must be an injured neocon–not able to deal with the news that your kind have been reduced to relics of old.

    Obama has been in office for 2 days–even the democrats gave your idiot more time than that to prove that he could do the job–except he really couldn't...........

    January 22, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Are you serious?

    Obama has said repeatedly that he is trying to quit and that he NEVER smokes around his kids. It's not like he's endorsing it! I suppose you are perfect and have no bad habits at all. Speaking of which, April: if perfection is the key to anything, then all of us humans are doomed. Look, the guy isn't perfect (who is... Bush?) Let's just hope he keeps on working hard and trying his best, setting a good example and continuing to be the very smart, decent, capable man he is.

    January 22, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. itbeme

    It is so nice to see a 'young' family in the White House for once...instead of the old farts that are ready for SS. Maybe he'll bring the White House into the 21 century.......he already has the BlackBerry he's gonna keep....maybe get a computer in the Oval Office next......Nice to have a young Baby Boomer in there for a change...

    January 22, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Blue is my favourite colour

    Are Wednesdays really "meat loaf" nights at the White House?

    January 22, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. Pat J

    The new president “enjoys – to use a phrase — living above the company store
    What a tacky thing to say. It's NOT the "Obama & Co " company store" –it's "The People's House"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Denise from Baltimore

    The First Lady will continue to be President Obama's rock, and his children his greatest joy. He's no different from any of us. At the end of a hard day he needs a soft place to land!
    God bless and keep you Mr. President.

    January 22, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. kat

    Let's see how Michelle re-decorates. I hope they make it beautiful and comfortable. Put some of those antiques back in storage.

    January 22, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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