December 12th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Early Blair House check-in for Obamas unavailable

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Zee

    You guys are hilarious! Hahaha... No You Can't in this case I guess. And Jeez Loius lighten up on those girls Obama.

    December 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Roseisrose

    Well, it's not like the Obama family is royalty. Tradition is tradition, and no one should be treated exceptionally because of who they are. They shouldn't complain.

    December 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Mary from Sarasota FL

    Sally McDonough sounds like she didn't give much thought to any alternative before making her statement. It makes her sound, well; kinda rude. I doubt if she really is though. Working for Laura Bush has to have been a pretty "cushy" job and now its a bit complicated.
    She needs to get with the program and find an acceptable alternative for the Obama Family asap. I am sure Michelle is not as upset as all the rest of us. in the meantime She will find a "better" place . Pick your battles folks.

    December 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Ken in NC

    @Rebekah, on Obama "NOT BEING A CITIZEN"

    You need to get a life. It has been shown many times and in different manners that he is a US citizen.
    (1) Born to an American citizen
    (2) Born on US Soil

    Remember the law says that when a pregnant woman crosses the border from Mexico and she gives birth to the baby, that baby is a Naturalize American citizen even though the mother and father are not. By law, the parents can be returned to Mexico but the child cannot be deported because the child is a US citizen. LIVE WITH IT REBEKAH

    December 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Laine

    It clearly stays that they wanted to move into the Blair House in the EARLY part of January. The 15th isn't the early part of January. The article mentions nothing about them being denied to move in on the 15th. The Obama family was clearly asking for special privileges.

    December 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. joe momma

    OMG...Heaven forbid we deny the messiah. Sheep! All I see is sheep!

    December 12, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. citizen

    It is ridiculous,they are treating the president-elect second to other guests.With all the problems the country faces,would not be a good idea for the PE to be in washington.My guess is bush would not like to be further more shadowed by obama.

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me

    It seems the only ones making a big deal out of this are the posters on this thread.

    Barack asked the WH said they couldn't. The PE didn't think anything of it and they mentioned how Bush and the WH have been very accomodating.

    No Barack wasn't being arrogant to ask so that his daughters could start school on time after the holiday break and no the WH and Bush didn't snub Barack for having it already booked.

    Stop creating controversy where there isn't any.

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. Alex

    This has nothing to do with the Obamas trying to get what they want. They are trying to do what they think is best for their daughters. It was a request, not a demand, and they will accept the refusal far more gracefully than anyone posting here would.

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. nisha

    And how many rooms and bathrooms does the WHITE HOUSE have??

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. Mike

    For crying out loud people! It's not like he's demanding that they get to move in there because he is Obama. Did you not bother to read the part where it says he wants his daughter's to start school in DC on schedule?? I'm not even a parent, but I know I would do the same thing.

    And Rebekah, perhaps you have been out of the loop, but Hawaii has been a US state for a while. Anyone who is still repeating the citizenship thing at this point is honestly a few short of a dozen.

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Jo

    Why change a tradition just for this President-Elect? Are all our traditions at stake?

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. AOA

    Rebekah... BITTER are you?????????????

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Alex in MA

    Another Non-Story story!

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Sherri

    This is not a big deal and not even news worthy. Can we focus on real issues for a while? The Obama family is gracious and they would be the first to say that this is not important whatsoever.

    December 12, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Georgia Gal

    Couldn't they stay at the White House? Heavens knows they have plenty of bedrooms. Or what about a hotel (provided that they could handle the security)?

    December 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. MRT

    Why would this house have been booked when the President and staff knew that the new incoming President regardless of who it was would require it ... There was no surprise as to the dates that the incoming President wouldbe taking office and would have needed this..... I think some explaining should be done.

    December 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. FK

    "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." -just grow up. How long are u gonna pull that he is not an US citizen? America elected him to be the next president and if it is the tradition that the new first family moves into the Blair house, there should have been a better plan to accomodate them. Or maybe, Bush was wishing that for by some "miracle", he will still be the president beyond Jan 20, 2009???

    December 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. JM

    You people need to learn how to read. The article says the house will be available to Obama and his family on the 15th and after as is customary. It was the EARLY REQUEST that was denied.

    December 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Kyle W.

    Do you people not read before you say something stupid? Why are you blaming Bush again? He wanted to "move in early". Did you not read that part? As in he isn't even suppose to be there yet. Rescheduling events that were planend out before Obama was even elected would be stupid. Why should someone else lose out because he wants to move in early?

    December 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Michelle

    Really, this is news? Obama doesn't get what Obama wants, boohoo.

    December 12, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Josh

    I'm sure it would be available if McCain WON!!! Hidden or more like open rascism...They can't ruffle Obama's feathers

    December 12, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Gordon

    People read the story. The 15th of Jan, 5 days prior, is the standard availability. Obama, the king, is asking for extra time...poor baby, go to a hotel like the rest of us if he needs extra time...

    December 12, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Jack

    Please people... if u were running the country u would create unecessary conflict... it ssems like both sides are handling the transtion well and even when there are issues they are workin them out... Lets give both sides a break.

    December 12, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Shucks

    They asked if it was available. They didn't insist. The posters who are condemning the Obamas are very bitter angry little people. "christians" one and all I'm sure.

    December 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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