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. Dave MD

    Rebekah, Do you really think that he would have became president and go through background checks if he wasn't a CITIZEN! Smart up and get over it and get used to it.

    December 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Andrew

    You folks crack me up. Nothing better to do I guess. The country is in the tank and all he is asking for is getting a place to stay to get his kids in school on time. I did not read where he was uspset with the fact he can't get in until January 15. He just asked which is what any of us would I hope would do for our children....but maybe another reason the country is in the tank!

    December 12, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Deb

    The Obamas would like their girls to start at their new schools right after the holidays, what is so weird about that? It has been thirty years since a president had school-age children–can't we make some accommodation for that? Bush is a cretin as usual, no surprises there.

    December 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. mike in ohio

    Rebekah December 12th, 2008 11:03 am ET

    did you get cable yet or are you still running you floor model Tv with rabbit ears.. P.E. Obama is a US citz. .. local news would have told you this .. and what does Acorn have to do with a person stepping into a voter booth with a valid ID to vote ? .. how can that be voter fraud?... would be nice if you can go over some1 else's trailer and see if they have more than 3 channels so you can get up on ur current events so next time you won't leave Dumb A comments.. but thank you for ur time.. sending you a very BIG internet HUG ...

    December 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Zontar, King of the Macaroni People

    Oh, the poor Messiah. Maybe there's a manger in Anacostia that has room. If nothing else, there's a nice Best Western on South Capitol St that might have room for His Holiness.

    December 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Beah

    To all Americans who haven't travel outside the USA do not have a clue how much foreign countries respect OBAMA. Little countries do matter because all along they've been working with the US side by side fighting terorism. If traditionally, the Blair House is available 5 days prior to the 20th of Jan. why then that they booked it. Maybe the QUEEN OF ENGLAND IS COMING to see a BIRACIAL President? AFTER ALL THE UNITED STATES GOT THEIR INDEPENDENCE FROM ENGLAND. AND IT IS A HISTORIC EVENT! MORE POWER TO OBAMA!

    December 12, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    Michelle looks like the devil in that photo. Probably not too far from reality.

    December 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. dw

    most of you didn't even take the time to read the full article...the Blair House IS available starting on the 15th of January for Obama as is the tradition. Obama was asking for special consideration to move in EARLY. His own transition office has stressed how accomodating Bush and his staff have been towards Obama. This is not some kind of power move by Bush. Get a grip.

    December 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Sharon

    Obama has to act like the president because the Lame Duck Quack Bush doesn't know how to be an effective president...only a very bad president.......that's why his popularity is at's just sour grapes on Bush's part...For all intents and purposes Obama is already president...just need January 20th to make it official!! Never thought I'd wish so hard for January to be here NOW!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. CA

    This isn't newsworthy. Please people...let's reconcile. We had a POTUS who held less than 50% of the people's confidence for 8 years and we were still a unified we have one who won by a's time for you all naysayers and skeptics to eat humble pie and savour.

    December 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Keisha

    Rebekah, You sound a little bitter towards our next POTUS!!! If I were you and felt that way about our FUTURE LEADER I would just pack my bags and leave!!!! Well wishes I promise you that you will not be missed!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Andrea Norman, VA

    bertha doucet,

    This shows how uneducated you are. Get familiar with the protocol and then talk.

    If that was Palin-the-bimbo you wouldn't mind, would you? Why don't you go back to high school and get that diploma or that GED before you say a word.

    Obama is your President. If you don't like it move to Mexico or Canada or whatever else you like. Should you decide to stay in my country, then you should respect my President-Elect. Period.

    Have a Marry Christmas!

    December 12, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. MN observer

    Rebekah, it is people like you that constantly bring up and state as fact flat out lies. There is NO QUESTION about Obama being a citizen of the USA just like you are. People like you start these stupid rumors and then people like you perpetuate them by continually and falsely restating them. Give it up already!!!!!!!

    That being said, it is not presumptous of the Obama's to ask for accomodtion. How do they know what's possible if they don't ask. Isn't there enough for the media to write about with the economy in the toilet without hanging on every little detail of our new presidents life.

    December 12, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Barack Supporter

    Sourest grapes in the history of sour grapes. Why else would anyone make the transition more difficult for Sasha and Malia ?

    December 12, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. kathy

    The Obamas need to move in earlier to accomodate their childrens' school schedules. How long has it been since we've had a president -elect with children? The Obamas know the value of education and as parents of these children are concerned about them starting school on time. Oh the horror of it all! They asked for special consideration, were turned down, and pleasantly and politely withdrew the request. There is no story here except for that of concerned parents. And by the way, since when is being concerned about your childrens' education elitist?

    December 12, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. CONNIE


    December 12, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Leah from FL

    of all the negative posts about who does obama think he is, and the birth certificate issue, etc – which are so childish – I for one would like to see an exception made to accommodate the children. what's the big deal? bush had a flight suit made up for him, and then commandeered an expensive jet trip to fly on to the aircraft flight deck just so he could parade up there and state "Mission Accomplished" to the tax payers dime. I have no problem with the good will this would brought. come on – we are the us -we are charitable and caring. we can't even do this for one of our own? i'll be SO glad to see the current "Christian" prez gone. Remember Bush: actions speak louder than words, and we're hearing your actions loud and clear.

    December 12, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Bill

    Bertha –

    SOMEBODY has to act like he's the president! As for the Blair House; it wasn't an unreasonable request to want to get there a bit early so that the girls can start school on schedule. Nothing wrong with that – I don't see that it's arrogant at all. Let me guess – you're upset that your guy didn't win, right?

    December 12, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Beah

    To Bertha,

    If I am the President-elect I would be doing the same thing because we are in RECESSION! I would ACT FAST to help the ECONOMY and think about Americans who do not have JOBS AND MEDICAL INSURANCE. OBAMA might be acting ARROGANT BUT I would rather see him work fast so he can act quickly on his FIRST DAY AT WORK!

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Sheryl

    Some of you really need to get a life!!! FGS this is for the kids trust me the Obama's will work it out!!! No need for any of you to be so dam stupid!!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Tolu

    Some of the comments here are pathetic. It was neither presumptuous of the Obama's to ask (they had a legitimate reason; I doubt that they are so eager to be in such close vicinity to the Bushes otherwise), nor was it rude of the White House to decline (THEY had a legitimate reason as well!). It was a polite request and a polite response; simple and short. Get a grip people, this cyber 'Left v. Right' war must stop!

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Michael

    bertha doucet is being a d o u c h e bag.

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Jason

    Obama wanted to move in January 5th. The sun times article said it also was to send a signal starting the new year in washington. Obama will get to move in on January 15th as is the tradition. Obama moving in early would be breaking precedent and force other presidents to give up the blair house early too.

    George W Bush is still president and he is still holding functions there until January 15th. Lets focus on the present of George Bush as president.

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Annoyed

    Here is one of the things that is wrong with the Internet. Senseless people who comment on a whopping 5 paragraph article and yet they apparently take the time to read it. Let me summarize. Obama wants to move in earlier than Jan 15. The customary date for a President Elect to move in is Jan 15. The White House said no, they can't move in until the customary date of Jan 15. The Obama campaign said that the White House has been extremely accommodating. Also, Obama is not the POTUS, and technically isn't even President Elect – not until the Electoral College chimes in.

    If you can' bother to read before opining, please do me two favors – don't comment and don't vote.

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. BJ

    Can't you people read??? The Blair House WILL be available on January 15th...5 days before the inaugural. This is STANDARD procedure. Obama is not being treated any different than any other President-Elect. He is the one asking for special consideration.

    Get over it already...

    December 12, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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