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. Marco

    Reading is Clearly Fundamental everyone. Obama requested that he and his family move into the Blair house a little earlier "so that daughters Sasha and Malia could start school on schedule. "

    That's not being arrogant, or presumptuous. He just wanted his daughters to start school on time. lol. You people kill me............

    People complain about not wanting to be spoonfed by the media, yet they run to O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Hannity to get "balanced" news. LOL!

    December 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Robert

    whats all the hula balu for? Am sure none of these guys are complaining. Nothing wrong in asking for a good purpose as stated and nothing wrong with protocol being followed if its for a good reason. One person reason is not bigger than the others. Soften your thoughts.

    December 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Joseph

    This is a bad article just trying to make Bush you bad again. This isn't news unless Obama is making a stink about it and it would just be bad press for him. The place is booked for him for the 15th of Jan like it is supposed to be. If he wants to be a jerk and try and kick out the current people than it will just show how bad a President he will be.

    December 12, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Jerry Vinter

    These comments show how wierd our country has become. To send his kids to school on time, and to be close to the WH in case the multiple unfolding economic crises need his urgent presence (he is going to inherit this recession in a little over a month no matter what). He requests the Blair House. Its booked, as Bush administration is following the protocol of making it available to the next President no sooner than 5 days before inaugration. Obama transition then stresses that Bush administration has been extremely cordial and helpful in this period. Both sides appear to be satisfied with this.

    I personally think that Bush is the second worst President in our history (the prize, I am afraid, must go to James Buchannan). However, his conduct since the election has been exemplary and he has seemingly done everything you would wish an outgoing President to do during the transition.

    Can you folks put your silly personalized hatreds aside for the moment, take off that tinfoil hat, and stop reading an insult or arrogance into everything that these two individuals do ?

    Go get a life.

    December 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. susanct

    To Bertha,

    News Flash Bertha–PE Obama is ACTING like a president, cause there's no one else ACTING like a president. There's a power vacuum, and an economic crisis due to his policies. But, no one is listening to Bush anymore, no one is running the country. After 8 years of disastrous policy, Bush is the lamest of lame presidents. Last two articles on him talked about his struggle with alcohol and his purchase of a house in an affluent part of Texas. He's all yours, Bertha!

    December 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Sally

    Obama made a REQUEST which was turned down in keeping with protocol. It doesn't appear that he or his staff is angry over that.

    Bush's staff was following protocol. It doesn't appear that he or his staff acted mean spiritedly or inappropriately.

    Lighten up people, there lots of real problems to be concerned about.

    Go be nice to someone, it will make you feel better.

    December 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. chad

    Traditionally the house is available and used for the President-elect starting Jan15,. Not sure what the fuss is all about. It is being used till then. Have past President-elects been up in a stink about it? (I doubt it)

    December 12, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Shari, NY

    The Obamas and family are aware that protocol has to be followed. They were only asking for the sake of their children and that's about it. Since there is "no room in the inn" I am sure they will make alternate arrangements without making a mountain out of a molehill.

    December 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Liz

    Honestly people, if it was YOUR FAMILY that had the reservations at this place and someone called you and said that "sorry" need to cancel because the INCOMING president wants it early – how would you be acting?

    To put the Bush's down over something like this is just silly. He's not doing anything that is wrong. Obama understood the terms for staying in that place, I'm sure and to ask early shows poor taste, IMO.

    December 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Jan

    Wake up, this is only the beginning.

    According to Obama's rules, he should get special treatment. That's what he is looking for.

    Like his election process, according to media Obama is an ANGLE, treat him special. ha ha ha

    He is brining the Illinois corruption to Washington, close your eyes, and don’t say anything.

    December 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Carra

    *******GOOD GRIEF !*********
    Sometimes, a request is ACTUALLY as simple as it appears to be... Take a deep breath, oh, you insulted Bush supporters and consider this:
    Perhaps you might like to consult a TEACHER.....first.
    ***Lillte people should begin in their NEW SCHOOL on time, with the rest of the students.Starting10 days late isn't a good idea for ANY child, especially the young children of a President Elect, who , despite all the excellent intentions of those who love them so, are probably slightly more apprehensive than most children beginning school in a new city, a new home, and with Daddy and Mommy taking high profile, new jobs. *****
    GET over yourselves ~ and BE NICE ! Those little girls are delightful and untarnished. .......Shame on anyone who blames their family from acting in THEIR best interest! Oh, and if Grammy moves in across the street at Blair House ~ GREAT! Grammy's make life normal.Washington could use a little normal, huh?
    Mr. President- Elect and Mrs. Obama :
    Stay at the Hotel Monaco. Very small, delightful and animal friendly, very close to the Smithsonian Art museums! Get the pup first, and the sgirls won't MIND the move! The hotel supplies in -suite pet goldfish, pup comfort and long pup walks....Oh, and excellent kid snacks,meals,and a family centered, attentive staff. Whatever you can do to transition those wee folks easily is GOOD.Don't let them whiners deter you from ever putting the girls FIRST. Keep inspiring us!

    December 12, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Race to the Bottom

    The South will lose the second civil war too.

    December 12, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |

    People, please read the story.

    The reason the President-Elect asked to move in early is so that the First-Daughters-To-Be can start school on schedule.

    The First Lady's office gave reasons why the place is not available. Valid reasons.

    I do not see anything here that should be reason for some of the spiteful comments here about the incoming president and the outgoing president.

    We have a president right now – George Bush. We will have a new president on January 20 – Barack Obama.

    Give each due respect both as a person and their current offices.

    And if you disagree with either, It doesn't hurt to do so with humility and respect.

    December 12, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. jo

    Rebekah Rebekah Rebekah,

    First of all, President-elect Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen. If you had done your research rather than reading right-wing web sites for junkies, and listening to horrible, foul-mouthed, illegitimate, right-wing pundits, whose mindset was a great contributor to Republicans losing this election, you would realize that your facts are skewed (by definition, distorted or biased in meaning or effect).

    Don't just read, or learn; anyone can do that. Go for the whole Sha-Bang–get educated.

    December 12, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Ken

    I am starting to wonder who does Obama think he is? He is not GOD!

    Why in the world is everyone making such a big deal over Obama? So what that he is the first African/American? To tell the truth, he is only 1/2 of being the first African/American.

    It is time that someone should tell ALL of the Washington D.C. politicians that they are supposed to be working for us, the American people and it is not about them!

    December 12, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Steve

    The headline, "White House turns down Obama request," is clearly misleading.

    "White House unable to displace visiting foreign dignataries to accomodate Obama's unconventional request" could have been just as accurate. You could have also said, "Obama attempts to use privilege to move into Blair House ahead of schedule."

    This is not a story and merely another rather successful attempt by the left wing press to continue demonizing the Bush Presidency over nothing. You won the election for Obama now give it a rest and work for the good of the country.

    December 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Mike Dallas

    Yo' to all the morons calling the Obama's rude and arrogant. Why is it rude and arrogant to want the SCHOOL AGE children to start school on the 3rd after the holidays in the new school???

    So, much for all the bible thumpers supposed "christians" yellin' about "family values", the shrub seems to think the values ONLY apply to his family and his needs!

    December 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Katie

    Ernie, Laverne, Linda32, Sarasota Mary, IA Peggy, Mack, Plumber Joe, Dr. T, Jay, Ryan, Meg, Daniel & Free:

    Slow down, read the article & maybe even look up some information about incoming presidents & the Blair house BEFORE screaming poorly thought-out opinions. You're making the Obamination supporters look bad!

    Hussein & Co. were asking for more special priviledge they haven't earned & don't deserve.

    December 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Lee

    For all those questioning Bush's motives - let us remember the gracious example set for him by the ever popular Clintons. Destroying computers, Crazy Glue on drawers and phones, stealing everything on their final trip aboard Air Force One that wasn't bolted down.

    Bush has been nothing but accommodating to the Obama and his family. Left leaning loons will hold on to their Bush hatred no matter what he does. That hatred has become a life blood of sorts for them. On the bright side after Bush leaves office they'll be kept busy DEFENDING the "Chosen One".

    December 12, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. bush


    December 12, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Eileen

    I find it interesting that Bush, who is aware that Blair House has traditionally housed incoming presidents 5 days prior to inauguration day, would have scheduled engagements during that time period, effectively making it impossible for president-elect Obama to take advantage of what has always been available for previous incoming presidents.

    It really makes one ponder as to whether this was an intentional slight on behalf of the president.

    December 12, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Alice in Florida

    They need to burn every picture of Michelle in that hideously ugly dress! What in the world was she thinking when she bought that monstrosity? She's not very attractive to begin with, and that dress just makes her look worse!

    December 12, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Rob

    The Obamas have school-age children and don't want to move them every few days. The request was understandable. However, tradition has always allowed the residence to be available to the PE five days prior, and it is unfortunately occupied. Why is everyone trying so hard to cast blame here? The Obamas made a reasonable request that had to be denied for reasonable circumstances. Trying to make more of this is foolish and pointlessly divisive.

    December 12, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Peter (CA)

    H. Charles, you summarized it beautifully.

    Come on, folks, let's not get too excited about this. I don't think Obama is. If it is needed, I would be willing to bet that Bush will find them a place in the White House or something. He seems to be trying to at least make this smooth.

    Rebekah–Good for you! I am glad you do your own research but, can you do us all a favor, and not use right wing nut job websites? it really screws up your argument.

    December 12, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Erika, KS

    Who cares? If it's traditional for the pres-elect to move into the house five days before the inauguration, then why is Obama asking to move in early? Does he think he's so special that he can do whatever the hell he wants? Here's a newsflash for you: You are human, Obama, not a god. Get over yourself already. You're not even President yet and I'm sick of you already. Is this a peek at things to come? If so, he's already acting like the outgoing President. Good grief. Wait until the 15th, as others before you have done. Get off your ego trip.

    December 12, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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