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. T in NC

    DUH! Did anyone see where the Blair House WILL be available, as customary, on Jan. 15th? I'm an Obama supporter...but come on, this just isn't a big deal...

    December 12, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Doctor's daughter

    Gerda Edwards: Asking for something is not being elistist (BTW, look up the word in the dictionary: it means exemplary or the best, something I like in a President). President Elect Obama has a family to consider and like all adults, he knows that it never hurts to ask. And like an adult, when his request was denied he was gracious and made a point of saying that the Bush Administration has been very accommodating.

    Get over it, Gerda!

    December 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. T the B

    Having the Obamas across the street would only be a daily reminder of GW's failure. To look across the street every day and see the home of the person who's already begun to clean up your failures.

    December 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Stella

    Good grief! Read the article people. Obama WILL have access to the Blair House on the 15th. He wanted it earlier than what is 'normal.' So Bush should just tell the guests "sorry, you can't stay here because Obama wants to move in extra-early" ? Give it a rest. We will all bow down to the savior.

    December 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Jenny

    I've read all the comments and must simply point out that the traditional Jan. 15 (5 days before Jan. 20) is what is being offered. It's the earlier part of January, prior to the standard Jan. 15 available date, that is already booked and not available. It was asked if the move in date could be moved up for school issues.

    December 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Danny, OH

    REBEKAH I am surprised you are still crying about loosing the election. Get over it

    December 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Kim

    Hey Rebekah – Why don't you get your facts straight before shooting your mouth off. Please – show me proof of all your accusations. I would love to see where you get your info.

    December 12, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Kim

    The Obamas asked because their daughters would like to start school on time. Simple request to a problem many parents with young children face. Here's hoping somebody helps them find someplace else to live so those beautiful children can start a new school. Big move for two young children and now they have the added stress of politics.

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Senior Chief

    Excuse me! Please read the article again and really pay attention.

    The Blair House is used for Presidential visitors/dignitaries. This is the case here and it WILL be available to President-elect Obama and his family on Jan 15th, as is the tradition.

    Obama, as usual, wants a SPECIAL FAVOR to put his children in school on schedule in EARLY January, right after the new year. Maybe he can check with the IL Governor to see if he can work another deal for him.

    What did our former presidents with children do? Geeze, I guess they just got by without special favors.

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Viejo Vizcacha

    It would not be a Bush's "whites only" thing, woody?

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Ms. B in California

    Boy, we sure are showing our true colors to the world. I have friends in other countries and they just can't believe how ridiculous and petty we Americans are. Unless the people staying in the Blair House are dignitaries or people of real importance, then the President Elect should be accommodated, period. Can we please use some common sense, PLEASE.

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Kyle

    I find it hard to believe that this place can't be made ready for the President elect early. And so what if they don't usually use it until the 15th. Is that a law they have to wait until then?
    And Rebekah and Cindy, just go back to your underground bunkers with your tv's on Fixed News, and live your paranoid lives away from the rest of us.

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Gloria - Minnesota

    Read the article again, People! It says that Blair House isn't available earlier than Jan. 15th–early in January it says. The article goes on to say that the Obamas will be able to move in on Jan. 15th. Pres. Elect Obama and his family wanted to move in earlier so the girls could start school on schedule (I imagine after holiday break). Don't get all bent out of shape; yes, it would have been nice and convenient to move in early in the month, but the current administration didn't screw up or do anything purposefully!

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Dave

    I blame Bush!

    December 12, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. AJ

    Linda32 said "If it is traditional used for the President-elect starting Jan15, why is it unavailable?"

    Linda, are you stupid? Is it January 15th yet? Why would it be available prior to January 15th? It was okay for the Obama's to ask, but it's also okay for the current President (sad though he is) to say no. What I want to know is why is Obama's Mother in Law moving in to the White House? Why are taxpayer dollars going to be used to support her? I think this is outrageous! I dont mind footing the bill for the Presaident and his wife and children, I do mind footing the bill for the entire family.

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Joyce

    Reading this blog only reenforces my view that the majority of Americans are racists and ignorant. You people's hatred of the President-Elect is almost tangible yet none of you know nothing about the man except what is printed in papers or reported on television. And that information is all tainted by the bias of the organization's owners and their view points. If you spent as much time taking care of your own lives as you do in smearing other people lives you wouldn't be so unhappy and miserable.

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Nichole

    I can understand their wanting to move in early in order to get the girls ready for school. It's too bad the current president didn't consider the school age girls before reserving the Blair House for guests in early January.

    Some of the anti-Obama posts sound very incoherent and delusional – kind of like that governor of Illinois. Maybe Roy is posting on here. Hmmm...

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. aja

    Isaac – thanks for the LOL. Clever comment – and possibly true!

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Robert

    Blair House is normally reserved for citizens.

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Ceil

    Dear President elect & Mrs. Obama,
    I am sorry that Blair House is booked for the dates you requested. May I suggest you go to There are hundreds of places to sub let for the dates you require ! Hahaha

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Uncle John in NC

    I'm not sure why this was newsworthy in the 1st place, with all that's going on in our country today. I'm more than sure, there will be accomodations offered the PE and his family to cover any gaps and support the transition.

    As for you Obama-Hater's who are crossing their fingers that he's involved in this Blago-Ignorance.... keep wishing. If he was, that would have been front page news immediately. I know you voted for Bush/McCain/Palin but does that mean you have to marinate in that ignorance forever ?? Really ?!

    December 12, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Read The Article

    Please, Obama-ites, read the article again. The house IS available on 15 Jan for Obama and his family, as has historically been the case for other presidents. Obama and co. asked for an exception to this to get in early for his daughters, understandably so. However, it's booked until the typical time period for them to move in. I'm sure they can figure out some other way to get their kids into the local schools without requiring the use of an otherwise unavailable residence.

    December 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. E.C.Coleman

    Good! Obama is not President YET and he has infringed GREATLY upon President Bush and First Lady. He has OVER-STEPPED in his ridiculous Transition.

    December 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Voice of Reason

    Why can't anyone see that neither Obama or Bush were at fault. Barack was not wrong to ASK to move in early, and Bush was not wrong to say the house had already been booked.

    Why does EVERYTHING have to be seen with partisan eyes in this country?

    It's time to grow up people!

    December 12, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Faith Restored

    Who cares about the Blair House? LOL The White House is the residence of importance for the next 4 years and come Jan 20th you can gurantee there won't be a concern about those who can't be "displaced" because there won't be anyone but President and Mrs. Obama and their beautiful family at the top of that occupancy list, the ONLY one that counts.

    December 12, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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