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. carrol

    To all the haters,
    Whatever. Go ahead and stamp your feet in the corner. Seriously, there is a limit to how much grumbling one can do. You are grumbling and nitpicking on every little thing Obama does, not even his POLICIES but his person, about his being the "Messiah". Well, like the Messiah, we see him as an inspirational figure (even if you don't), get it?

    garand911, Um, in case you haven't noticed what the state of the country is? You know, your GOP Senators just crashed the auto bailout bill, so Obama has an even bigger mess to clean up, so he's got to prepare the transition so it's smooth and quick.

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    Ron T is right. 5 days is the protocol, and why should this President be any different. After all, with everything the Bush's have taken from the country to date, the movers needed someplace to stay before the "Final Haul" from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There is a lot of nice stuff that the Obama's will never miss. Duh Huh!

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Bruce Parsons

    One thing I have learned from this string of comments is, if this is a scientific sampling, the US has a 33% illiteracy rate. It appears that at least a third of those who are trying to comment did not read the article, just the "big letters" in the headline.

    It says a lot about the mess our country is in. People make emotional outbursts without first analyzing the facts.

    I'm sure that over a third of the people did not bother to read the end of the article, where Obama's own people state that the current First Family has been very courteous in the transition process.

    Of course, it's a lot more fun to just blow up and look for a fight.

    Thirty-three percent at least. How appalling

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Learn to Read

    To Mack and all the others that can't read:

    The article states that the incoming president will stay at the Blair House 5 days before inauguration day. This would mean that the incoming President will move in on the 10th of January. It also states that the Blair House has been booked for the earlier part of the month. This means...for you that are reading impaired...Obama wants to move in EARLIER than 5 days before inauguration. GEEZ!

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Rodrick Edwards

    America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: America is always on the move. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn't standing still! GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Mcsynth

    It seems that many misunderstood this article and are using it as another excuse to vent (left or right).

    The article states that the Blair house is available to him for the traditional period starting on Jan. 15. It's just not available BEFORE Jan. 15 due to booking conflicts. It's seems like no insult or mismanagement has occurred on either side. It's a non-issue.

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Jeremy in Wi

    as usual, commentors only read what they wanted to. Read this slowly.

    "The Blair available to President-elect Obama and his family starting January 15"

    So, let's recap. The Blair House. Is available. Jan 15th.

    Bush does not have it booked up the week prior to inauguration in order to slight Obama, like you all apparently believe.

    And as the leader of the free world exits his office, maybe he'd would like to enjoy the company of his favorite foreign dignitaries for a few days before giving up the keys. I hate Bush as much as the next dem, but you people need to read the lines more often, not between them.

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. ufleirx

    I don't get the imprtance of this story or the vemon on all sides.

    One side made a request. The other seemingly politely refused. Both sides said the transfer has been reasonable.

    It actually seems like democracy and protocol is working - and everyone is upset. Again, I don't get it.

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. taylor-Ohio

    It seems that people are forgeting that the Bushes and Cheneys and Mccains and Palins ALL have more money than the much would it have cost to situate the Palin's large family they spend 150000 in two months imagine 4 years of that type of spending.

    December 12, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. RetiredJSO

    In 1937, the day of inauguration was changed by the Twentieth Amendment from March 4 to noon on January 20, So by allowing the PE to occupy Blair House 5 days before inauguration day on January 15, they are in compliance with the Tradition accorded all incoming Presidents.

    December 12, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Simmons

    Isn't it amazing that the republicans want President-elect O-Bama to step up and make decisions for this lame duck bunch in Washington but deprive him of the rights to live in the Blair House so that his children can start school there. Get ready for a big battle, the republicans are going to make everything a battle, so much for doing what is better for the country! Disgusting!

    December 12, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Susan

    Aren't there enough rooms in the White House for these guests that they've planned for?

    Is it safe to put our president-elect in an hotel? Could said guests possibly be moved to a hotel? I thought we were broke as a country. How do we have money to be footing the bill for these said guests?

    How come we American people haven't marched the White House and said, "enough is enough, George". Just go away, please. The quicker the better.

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. jimmy

    The Obama's are not the first to have school age children that have had to wait. While most of us are anxious to have Bush move out, he still has commitments, especially during the holiday season, that he must meet and his guest need a place to stay. I'm sure Barack and family can afford to make other accomodations. Most will give for free just for the publicity .

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Bob - RFO

    No big deal, Barack has plenty of other options and I am sure Blair house was one of many.

    If not book yourself a Flag Officer room with the Pentagon staff.

    Fired Up, Ready to Lead!

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Miss Mare 57

    What most of you seem to be missing is that this was not some random request. This request was made in order for the President-elect's children to start school on schedule, which in my mind is responsible parenting. It didn't hurt to ask and those of you who have children would definitely ask for things in order to make their transition smooth whether it was from kindergarten to first grade etc. Let's please keep things in perspective here. This country is at an all time low and all we can talk about is this!!! JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. CL

    I don't think asking if they can move in earlier is being pompus or arrogant. Anyone with school age children should understand that it is important that they start school on time when beginning at a new school. The children already are being uprooted twice by moving into the Blair house and then into the White House so if they have to live in another residence in Washington DC prior to living in the Blair house it will be three transitions. I see the request as being very reasonable. Once again the press has found something else to make into a big deal that should not be.....I am a Republican but I did vote for Obama because quite frankly....I am a little ashamed how some of my party has acted over the course of this election and how some have responded to this issue.

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. vicki

    It is the GOP, you republicans, who have turned a blind eye to every illegal and horrible thing Bush and republicans have done these last eight years. Yes, I have said hateful and mean things about Bush and Cheney. Those are the only thoughts I will ever have for these corrupt, incompetent, and corporate run thugs who are running America into this depression and recession

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Dave M

    To Peggy from IA – Courageous First Family? What a joke! Just as others have stated here, he's not the President yet. I'm guessing that he's not all that upset but, you stupid Obamabots are trying to make this look like the real President personally said NO to him. Get real, I'm sure that that these arrangements are not handled by Bush personally. DUH!


    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Ed Word

    The Blair House is being used to store loot that Bush has already stripped from the White House.

    Coloring books and crayons tend to take up a lot of space.

    December 12, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Anita

    Guess this is what our soon-to-be President & his wife consider a priority ~~~ 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. How selfish of them to put their children first!!!!!!!! What kind of a politician would ever consider doing that!!!!!!!!!!! Putting their children's education as their #1 priority!!!!! How rude & selfish is that!!!!!
    Or is this just a part of the magnificent "change" we need and have been waiting for? Real-live human beings in office. How quaint!!!!!
    May the Good Lord bless them, richly!

    December 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Are any of you reading the article or just blindling arguing for the sake of it. President Elect Obama asked to move in earlier than the 15th-the date that is scheduled for them and all previous presidents to occupy the blair house.
    They wanted to move in earlier than that so their daughters could adjust and start school. Unfortunately the present administration are not mind readers regarding the Obamas wishes. The Blair house is the Bush's to book until the 15th, they did nothing wrong in doing so. They could not predict that Obama would ask to move in early..other President Elects have not done so. Why doesn't everyone get a grip and relax.
    Stop making this an us versus them and grow up.

    December 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Da Professor

    Darn! I thought that the Bush Family had already left Washington.

    Maybe the Vice Pres lodgings are available? We haven't seen Cheney since the GOP told him to crawl into a hole and hide during the Presidential campaign.

    What a pleasure it will be to rid Washington of these right-wing extremists in the White House. There must be a Nazi Party or Skin Head parade they can go march in? Who is going to carry that "Mission Accomplished" banner if they don't march?

    December 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Veronica

    Um, the Obama's wanted to move in earlier than January 15th, the day the PE typically moves into the Blair House ... and they can't be accommodated ... it's not the Obama's are screaming, "FOUL!".

    And this is news ... because ...??

    December 12, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. jp--NY

    Yet another pitiful demonstration of spite and arrogance by a cabal that has sullied, beyond belief, the Presidency and the White House.

    I'm sure there are a few million folks in the vicinity that would find it an honor to open their homes to the man and his family that truly will restore "dignity" to the White House.

    The posts in this thread are merely indicative of the obvious, severe depression that the troglodytes that remain are feeling when they look at the current polling and see how the vast majority (OVER SEVENTY PERCENT) regard the failure of DimSon and the respect, at the same proportion, with which they hold the incoming President-Elect, Barack Hussein Obama II .

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Your morons

    To all of you who are saying the house wont be availbale to the President Elect and his family, your morons! It will be available "as is historically the case" on the 15th. Why should this incoming president be any different then all of the previous ones? Why is it such an outrage that he is following protocol and not getting special treatment? All you Bush haters who are ignorant of the real facts, and the history of the transition of power, should read a book or two and stop being so emotional and more anylitycal!

    December 12, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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