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

    Wait... Wait... Ahhh, there it is. My fix of a news story on a slow day. Were it not for this article, I might have had to read about something important.

    December 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Proud Republican

    President Bush has the house untill January! Until then, stay out.

    December 12, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. sembo

    Hey, Obama is a part of the Chicago machine. Let's see if Bush reconsiders the request or if for some strange reason there is a shift in plans for the previously-scheduled events and guests .

    December 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Arthur

    Laverne– the POTUS happens to be President Bush, not Obama

    Ernie– The current administration has every right to deny Obama the Blaire house. Until 20 Jan, Obama is NOT in charge

    December 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Simmy

    How dare they not have that house available! I'll get back to you on this one.

    December 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon


    I hope the people who will be staying at Blair House are PAYING for the privilege of using this tax payer-owned residence for personal reasons.

    They are probably here to attend the inauguration!!!!!!! Maybe Obama should move the inauguration to a new venue, like CHICAGO!

    December 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Linda32

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

    December 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Peggy

    As a foreigner living outside of the USA, I seriously believe that this is shallow. Why don't Americans worry about teenagers around the world who are getting more violent every day, ex: what happened in Greece, what happened in France in 2006. Amanda Fox the 20year old American student who killed her roomate in Perugia Italy. We should worry about the use of illegal drugs(nobody cares because it brings billions to the world's economy), yesterday they caught a small boat in Puerto Rico with cocaine for $22 millions. STDs are high among teenagers in the USA. Why type of society are we going to have in 10-20 years?

    December 12, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Mary from Sarasota FL

    This is absolutely ridiculous ... to deny the PE Obama family access early. What VIP needs to stay there during early January can be put up in the White House Lincoln bedroom. Thank you Very Much..
    This attitude shows attitude.

    December 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Bubba

    Isn't Blair House where Karl Rove's office is now? Probably a mess, with liquor bottles and tighty-whiteys all over the place.

    December 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Ervin

    If you were one of the people that had already been promised that you could stay at Blair House, you would not want to then be told that because the Obama's want their daughters to start school on-time, that you will have to stay somewhere else.

    Get real peope. Just because oRama won the election, does not mean that everything has to be handed to him on a silver platter. He is not a king.

    December 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. stephen Webb

    Apparently Bush thinks someone else is MORE important than the President-Elect and the incoming 1st family! UNBELIEVABLE!

    December 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Crinklytoes

    The Obama family, according to news reports, has plenty of opportunity to spend time in the house in which the girl's grandmother will be moving ... Bush is still president, so let's not push him out before his time is up. You voted for Bush, so deal with the consequences. Luv ya Obama, and family! Welcome!!!

    December 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Shirley

    Dear Laverne and Ernie,

    He should have just bought it at a discount with one of Rezko's family friendly mortgages.

    Or he could have bought it with his Senate seat.....which was probably the case until........

    December 12, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Karen S Crow

    The Blair House is the guest house of the CURRENT POTUS. It is well within protocol for the current POTUS to have scheduled its use up to the traditional date (Jan 15th) that the President-Elect is scheduled to move in. It may appear to be a snub ... but in fact, it is nothing more than a scheduling conflict. Please do not make it more than it actually is.

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Scott NYC Independent

    I'm sure an accomodation could be made for the President Elect of these United States of America and leader of the free world; but the fact is if the Obama's moved across the street the reporters would relocate there and send the third string to cover Bush. Not to mention the windfall profits that Blair would get for the new short occupant. The tourist would be off the wall. We wouldn't want that would we!

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Gloria

    If you know anything about the Blair House, you will know that it hosts foreign dignitaries and the like, all of which have had to have their schedules arranged so far in advance it would make you crazy. Obama's are jumping the gun and are arrogant to expect to be in the Blair House or even ask for it (pretty bold move). They're not in the White House yet. Calm down, O's. You'll be in soon enough.

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Really are you two kidding?! Incoming Presidents usually don't move in there until the 14th or 15th of Jan. Come one really get a grip

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    That's okay and I hope the Obama's have that place as well as the White House completely aired out before they take any residence. I wish I could be part of the cleaning crew to overlook and make sure everything is up to all standards for the Obama's and their precious children.

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Patrick

    Laverne, you typify the image of the mindless Obama supporter incapeable of orginal thought. You are the reason this country is in the state that it is in. You probably got yourself an adjustable rate mortgate that you couldn't afford, didn't you?

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Matt

    That is really stupid. The man, Barack Obama, who we have elected to fix this country can not be accommodated? Who or what event could possibly be more important? Please, support the man and his family – he has plenty of very important things to worry about.

    December 12, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Pearl

    Protocol is protocol.

    December 12, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Gerda Edwards

    Laverne @ 10:28 - News flash! He's NOT the POTUS. He's the President -elect and until he becomes POTUS, the Blair House is for use by the actual President, for HIS guests.

    It's stated at least twice that he's getting the same accomodations as all previous Presidents-elect, and it was Obama who is asking for special consideration. That's on par with his repeated actions as an elitist, despite his attempts to make people think he's one of us. Don't worry though, I'm sure his mother-in-law will be moving into the Blair House on Jan 21st.

    December 12, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Isaac

    Well I would guess that Blair House is going to be packed with people volunteering to help the Bushes move out...

    December 12, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Peggy from IA

    Unbelievable, Rude & Outrageous. I agree w/Ernie. Who do they think they are to tell this courageous first family that?

    December 12, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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