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. Omar Bailey

    are these guest that cannot be displaced from the SKULL and BONES SOCIETY!!!?...... I WONDER

    December 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. James

    Would you Democrats PLEASE LEARN TO READ!!!!!!!!!!! You are so blinded by your hatred of Bush that you completely misread the article. Protocol and tradition hold that the president elect moves into Blair House ON THE 15TH and that is EXACTLY when he will be allowed to do so. Obama wanted to move in BEFORE the 15th and it is booked. There is nothing out of the ordinary here. Obama is not being denied anything. He is being forced to follow the rules which is something he isn't used to doing.

    December 12, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Matt B

    "Idiots on here…does this article say ANYWHERE that the Obamas were offended that they could not move in early? No. I repeat since your intelligence is so limited…NO! "

    Wow, someone really brought the crazies out today. To all of you people like Meg, as little as I like the Bush administration, all news from the Obama camp and press corps say that they have bent over backward to provide everything they can to the Obama transition team before they leave. It is a lot more that can be said of the Clinton administration when the Bush team took over (as you'll recall, they left pictures of porn and other garbage everywhere). I'm glad Obama wants to get settled in, he has a lot on his plate and we are all depending on him but he is getting the house when every other President-Elect got the house.

    December 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Republican smasher!

    I hate all Republicans! you guys voted for bush! and my life is ruined now! I have to use the freaken public library cause i had to sell my computer cause of you! Get over that Obama! and re-read the article. and they are people in my town, who if fell of a cliff, i would laugh! cause they riducule me every day for being for Obama!

    December 12, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Bush puts Obama in his place......

    Guess Bush doesn't want Obama getting too uppity.

    December 12, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Ralph Dupree

    Some of you folks really, really need to learn how to read. It WILL be available to them on the 15th as is tradition. BHO wanted special consideration, that NO other President-Elect has been afforded, typical!

    December 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Diana from Washington State

    That's too bad for the little kids. Moving to a new school is tough. It would have been nice if they could have started at the end of winter break instead of 2 to 3 weeks into the new semester.

    (And yes, I am straining NOT to make a no child left behind joke.)

    December 12, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Meh

    smart black lady> He was being sarcastic. It was a joke.

    ralph> Please. Clinton had an affair...that is hardly the same as misleading an entire country into a war that's killed 1000's. Not even CLOSE.

    December 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Debbie

    For all on this board – READ the story! Geesh. The Blair House IS available 15 Jan, just as it is for ALL incoming POTUS. It is NOT available before that because of a planned (well in advance) visit of a HEAD OF STATE. There is still a country to run before 20 Jan people. Lets not forget that. How would it look if we booted a foreign dignitary out of the house that is set aside for them just to appease the Obamas? If they want the girls to go to school early, so be it. I am sure Oprah can let them stay with her since she will be taking over DC as well or one of his other high level friends. Where does he stay in DC when he is here as a Senator?

    Leave President Bush alone. He IS still the president and I think he has bent over backwards to appease the incoming First Family. He was not given the same respect.

    December 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. BBidaho

    this would not be an issue if junkies like us did not clamor for more and more information.. who really cares is right.

    on an important note, we really should pray for our beautiful America. we are so lucky- it is snowing in N Idaho. most beautiful place on the planet.

    December 12, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. dbad12008

    I wouldn't move in the Blair or the White house until ALL the toilet seats are changed!

    December 12, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Task

    Get over it guys. The place was booked. It's used to house foreign dignitaries and leaders of other nations. If Hamid Karzai is scheduled to be there, should Bush say "Sorry Hamid, Obama wanted to get in early so we're moving you to the Motel 6 down the road"? Seriously guys, Obama is being understanding. He knows how these things work and he's made it VERY clear that Bush has been accommodating so get off the "Bash Bush Bus" for one minute and use common sense. Clearly Obama has more sense than his minions here.

    December 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. nate

    youre making something out of nothing, but then thats what you all get paid for.

    December 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Lois

    It is elitist to want your kids to start school on shedule? I wouldn't want to move 3 times in one month – hotel, Blair House then the White House. It seems like a reasonable request to me. These are parents who actually care about thier kids. Knock off the hate folks. Time to work on our problems in this country. This is not one of them.

    December 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Macie


    December 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Brian

    Clarla4Obama, really. "That is something else The President of the United States of America can not get a room??????" Last I checked, The President of the United States lived in an entire house simply named the White House. President Elect Obama (who I voted for) could not move into a previously booked guest residence until the usual time. By the way, read your bible–the son of God was born in a manger becuase there was no room at the inn.

    December 12, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Chili T

    Seriously people get a life and quit being so mean spirited. From reading these comments it sounds like if you voted for Obama you are a mean jerk and if you are a republican you are a facist. This isn't sports people this is our country stop being so petty. CNN this is a waste of time...30 secs of reading I'll never get back.

    December 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Ralph – Bill Clinton was NEVER Impeached and he was never judged in a court or convicted of anything. Educate yourself before you make false claims. Being involved with an Intern is NOTHING to Bush's Unjust wars, the economy imploding, betraying CIA agent Valerie Plame, Guantanamo Base and Abu Ghraib prison torture and executions, Ignoring alot of intelligence prior to 9/11, not help the volunteers of Ground Zero with medical services after he promised to, selling out to oil, construction and weapon corporations, want me to continue? Because I Can!

    56% of Americans polled that Bill Clinton is Better than Most Presidents in US history 78% of Americans polled that George W. Bush is Worse than Most Presidents in US history. Jimmy Carter was NEVER a criminal or never did anything illegal. If you want a president that was truly corrupt, bigot and got so close to being impeached that he resigned, then go back to Republican President Richard Nixon. You can watch Frost/Nixon when it comes out to educate yourself because you are obviously confused.

    December 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Anne


    December 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Nancy from FL

    Good! Keep the socialists out of the White House for as long as possible!

    December 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Roland

    Shame on you cnn. you are just trying to make news out of nothing because this is a non-story. You are pathetic.

    December 12, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Elizabeth in Seattle

    Yes, Blair House is available on the 15th of January – 5 days before the inauguration as is tradition, but do not fault the Obamas for putting their children first in requesting to move in sooner so that their children can start at the semester and not have to move them an additional time. They are putting their children first. I'm sure they can make some kind of arrangement somewhere, but think of the children.


    December 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. Sheila

    Gee. For a non-news story there are sure a lot of opinions! I think the Obamas were only concerned for their little one's well being. They have a big adjustment to make and I think they are trying to keep their lives as normal as possible. After all he only asked if Blair house was available.

    December 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Shannon

    I find Obama supporters to be unbelievable. He is being treated like every other president, yet you whine, crime racism and complain. Should we treat him special, should he get extra privileges that other Presidents haven't received. God, just get over it.

    December 12, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. Bruce


    December 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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