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. Jo

    Why should the Obama's get more special treatment than previous President Elects? They will move in Jan. 15 like every other incoming President.

    December 12, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    President-elect and Mrs. Obama's request for early access to the use of Blair House seems reasonable. They are responsible parents, who wanted to make this major transition as easy as possible on their children. Moving schools in the middle of a school year can be traumatic for both the children and the parents even under normal conditions. I am sure that the Obama's will come up with some alternative plan to ensure that their daughters' needs are met. Speculating on anything else (presumptions, entitlements, hard feelings, etc.) just reflects the narrow-mindedness of the individual making the comment.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. chuck

    Personally I think Bush should leave the Whitehouse now just abdicate his little throne and let the Obama's get to work salvaging our country's problems. Obama’s children could do no worse helping run our country than Bush and his cronies.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Beth

    Do you people only read the headline...or the whole article?

    The Obama's will be able to use the Blair House from the 15th on...however, it's being used prior to then by the Bush's. Obama asked if there would be a chance to use it earlier than the 15th so the girls could start school and was told that it was already being used.

    No slight to the Obamas...just a fact. The Bush's have every right to use that house until their term is done...1/20/09. It cracks me up how some of you get all in a tiff over news that's not really news.

    And, just so you know...I'm a proud Democrat and voted for Obama and can't wait until 1/20/09. However, I'm also smart enough to READ an article before making a snap judgement. Sheesh...

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. A in Minnesota

    The story is a little hard to understand, but the President- Elect wanted to move in prior to January 15th and they told him it is not available until then, because of prior arrangements. He will still be able to move in 5 day prior but not before. So in that case the Blair House did nothing wrong.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Jennifer

    It is the same treatment they all get! Get over it. They said it's typical for 5 days before inauguration day....not 10-15. He asked for an acception, he was told no. Big deal.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Jim

    You people are ridiculous, and I'm talking to both sides of the isle. It's night a right wing conspiracy that "planned" this to happen. And Obama requesting to see if this is possible is not him trying to go "against protocol". Things were planned for them to be in there 5 days before. They tried to alter things to get in early. It didn't work out because of prior schedules. End of story.

    You people need to get a life.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. bertha doucet

    obama have been acting like he is president already, this shows how presumptous and arrogant he is.I guess this is the changes we can believed in!!!!! Houston Tex.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. JM

    They can always book a hotel room like the rest of us do when we want to go somewhere.

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Mary

    People, read this again the Blair House will be available on Jan 15
    2008 but not before. This is the customary date for Pres. elect to come to Blair House. But then we have never had a Messiah for Pres. before, so how dare Blair House prepare for a mere human .

    December 12, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Cruzan Obama Mama

    To Gerda Edwards, Rebekah, & Cindy....reading is fundamental. The PE is being denied the priviledge of moving into the Blair House that has been traditionally used by the incoming President. He is not asking to be treated differently...he is asking for what is traditionally done and to provide a smooth transition for his kids. It should not matter who is visiting, unlike some of the past presidents Obama has small kids that need a smooth transition to DC. This just screams HATERISM to me. Would Bush of done this to McCain? Think about it.

    I find it appalling how the Repubs are finding everyway to connect "Chicagogate" to Obama. Was Bush connected to every Repub that went down during his term? It has been made clear by the FBI that Obama had nothing to do with what is going on, but I guess it makes you feel better about your loss in this election and the disarray that your party is now in. Sulk on then....if it makes you feel better.

    December 12, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Andrew

    Don't you think some of you are overreacting just a bit? The article clear states that the Obama family was looking into moving in "early." Have you ever made a reservation and then tried to moving in earlier then the reservation? They will still be able to move in at the same time previous presidents have been allowed to. There was no mismanagement from the White House in this case. Stop making mountains out of mole hills. There are enough actual mountains to worry about.

    December 12, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Get a grip people. The Blair House IS available starting Jan. 15th which is historically when it has always been made available to the incoming President. (READ the article, maybe twice, before engaging your mouth!) Obama & his team don't seem to be all that upset about it not being available before then. So why should YOU be so incensed? Get a grip!

    December 12, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Biob Semler

    I presume Obama is hoping the country ignores the Constitutional requirements for President so he can go to work. Remember, his sister and grandmother both have stated he was born in Kenya; and he has not refuted their statements nor provided proof that they are mistaken. Based on the evidence presented so far he would be convicted of fraud in a court of law.

    New flash: This will not be swept under the rug and you will have to present the required documentation – and not the fraudulent ones your party have been printing.

    I hope the Electoral College withholds the electoral votes until proof is provided.

    December 12, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |

    Here's an open invitation to the Obama family to stay @ my place! I'll be honored to have you.

    December 12, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Baker

    Can you people not read? It clearly states, "The Blaire available to President-elect Obama and his family starting on January 15, as is historically the case." Why should President-elect Obama be treated any differently than any other incoming President-elect? Ohhhhh, that's right, because we're all racists. Get a life, people.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. Spider


    Either learn the rules of your country, actually read the article or quit posting on the blogs.

    The President is inaugurated on January 20th. It is historical custom to allow the incoming President to move into the Blair House 5 days prior to inauguration. That would be January 15th.

    Barack Obama wants to move in early and the White House cannot accomodate him due to prior committments for the space. There's somebody out there with plans to stay there. If you had an invitation from the present President to stay at his place in early January, would you want to be ousted early from your plans?

    What's truly sad is the ignorant comments posted here. But thing again, intelligence is not paramount here. Most probably voted for Obama.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Concerned Citizen

    LOL. It's not a big deal. But I like the comment about the "ChicagoGate". It's hillarious that some crazies are still holding their breadth that SOMEHOW President-Elect Obama will not become President Obama. Let it go already. In 4 years, you get another chance. For now, YOU LOOSE! hehe.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  19. Amber

    Good grief. You are all ridiculous. ALL this article says is that the Obama's requested to stay in the guest house earlier than usual and it was denied because other guests would be there. It doesn't say that the Obama's are upset about it. It doesn't say anyone feels slighted. Just because the Obama's requested it doesn't make them "elitist". You all need to get a grip and focus on what's important.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Vickie

    Hey Rebekah – protocol is exactly the point! Protocol says Obama SHOULD have access to the house 5 days before the election.

    Obama is a U.S. citizen - let it go
    Acorn - is a dead horse, stop beating it.

    And oh yeah.................You forgot to mention William Ayers (Yawn)....................................... ENOUGH ALREADY!

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Gisele from NY

    Well, I guess some good ole boys from Texas or some rich oil CEOs must be more important that P.E. Obama and family. Just change the 12th ammendment, and we'll be rid of Bush forever.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Elenanatx

    Rebekah, grow up, face facts and stop lying. And to the rest of you negative posting haters, they will find an alternative place to stay until Jan 15th. End of story.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. kelly WI

    It is availabale to them the 15th as usual. Obama wanted to move in sooner. He is special you know. So he thinks. They can stay someplace else if the kids have to start school sooner. Maybe camp out in Hillarys mansion in DC. ha.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Patty

    How RUDE that "The One" isn't granted every wish! How RUDE that the Bush family isn't moving out of the white house this very instant - to let "The One" occupy it NOW !!!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Joe Fattal

    That shouldn" be an issue for Obama to worry about, he hasn't been sworn in yet as the president. It's traditional yes, but it's not necessary.

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50