January 4th, 2009
07:42 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: 'I choked up'

President-elect Obama told reporters he got a little emotion Sunday as he left Chicago to move to Washington.

President-elect Obama told reporters he got a little emotion Sunday as he left Chicago to move to Washington.

(CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama showed a little of his softer side as he said his goodbyes to Chicago, the city that launched his political career, and headed to Washington to join his wife and two daughters.

“I choked up a little bit leaving my house today,” Obama told reporters as his flight prepared to depart.

The moment was brought on by a reminder of the years Obama and his family spent in the Windy City.

The president-elect told his traveling press corps that he got emotional because a friend of his oldest daughter, Malia, had dropped off a scrapbook of pictures to the Obama’s Chicago home.

“They had been friends since preschool and I just looked through the pages and the house was empty and it was a little tough,” Obama said. “It got me.”

The president-elect did not linger long enough to take any questions from reporters. Instead, he returned to his cabin in the aircraft where he ordered a cheeseburger and fries, according to Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Before leaving Chicago, Obama also met Air Force Col. Scott Turner, who will pilot Air Force One once Obama is inaugurated.

“I am looking forward to seeing you guys in Washington,” Obama also told reporters before they boarded the plane.

WATCH: Obama lands in Washington

soundoff (471 Responses)
  1. Lee

    Yeah, I kind of choked up too when he left Chicago because it means he's actually going to be President. Kind of made me puke.

    January 4, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. BluesBrother

    I am so happy this man was elected. If the hate on this board is any indication, there is a lot of work to do to heal this nation.

    January 4, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. anon

    since when is it okay to use "thru" as an abbreviation for through in a professional article?

    January 4, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. better to go and fix the country

    let chicago and Ill. get their own house in order, we need you now, the country needs you

    Bush did a lot of damage, good luck, we are pulling for you

    January 4, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. leathers

    I wish the President-elect the best.

    January 4, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Jon

    Thank heavens he's willing to leave his Chicago home and try to clean up the big mess created by the previous administration. We need him.

    January 4, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. tishoogle

    Continue being who you are and make us all PROUD President Elect OBAMA!

    January 4, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. OHIO here

    CHANGE is the name of the game for you and us Obama. I wish you the best. You have all my support

    January 4, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. SMR

    You are a GREAT MAN PE OBAMA, full of love and hope for our GREAT COUNTRY. We as people need to join hands to bring this Country back to greatness. LIke PE OBAMA SAID " WE ARE NOT A COLLECTION OF RED STATES OR BLUE STATES, WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" PLEASE LETS GET ALONG FOR THE BETTER OF OUR COUNTRY . GOD BLESS YOU ALL. 🙂

    January 4, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. Richie

    Along with every gory detail... what is happening with their Chicago house? Will it be empty or rented or sold?

    January 4, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. Sue

    I am praying for wise leadership, a cooperative Congress, and patience from Americans as we head into the Obama Presidency. He cannot undo all the wrongs of the past 8 years overnight, nor in four years. But he has already brought hope and inclusion to this country, and as a Constitutional scholar, I know the rule of law will be followed once more. No more torture, wiretapping of innocent people, Gitmo and its horrors, and a reliance on "might" over intelligence when dealing with other countries. Finally, a man who understands that you must respect other leaders, even if they are at odds with us. We are not God on Earth. We are just people, as are Hamas, Iranians, Israelis, and Iraqis. People who deserve to live in peace.

    January 4, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Lori

    Barack hurry up and take office. Show the Republicans how to run this country. Advice to our next President: Don't be distracted by silly scandals that have NOTHING to do with you. Remember Bush and Cheney got away with atrocities that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands here and abroad so don't be distracted by Republican tactics to divert attention away from progress.

    Hurry up and get to Washington. We need you.

    January 4, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. Greta

    I choked up as well. To see him get off an official "presidential" plane with the seal was Nov 4 all over again.

    January 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Helen, VT

    Chicago politics comes to Washington now. We can expect more scandals. I wonder if Jeremiah Wright will be invited to Washignton...

    January 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. MARIA MIOLAN

    MR. PRESIDENT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE LOVE YOU.
    THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

    January 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  16. Becky

    Blessings to the entire Obama family as they move to their new home.

    January 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Brian

    As somebody who didn't vote for Mr. Obama I wish him luck and hope the critics don't get after him if "change" isn't seen immediatey. It will take at least a year for any major shift in the way things were previously run.

    January 4, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. C Anderson, AZ

    Mr. Obama goes to Washington.

    And we're going with you sir.

    January 4, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Keith Bonney

    Good luck, and may you stay step ahead of those who would do us harm.

    January 4, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Jan Illinois

    Good Luck Mr. President, I feel sorry for him, he can't possibly know what is ahead of him, he sure knows what has been inherited and it will not be easy. Makes you wonder if he regrets this whole thing. I hope not.

    January 4, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Denise

    Sixteen more days and the Bush mess becomes yours. I do not envy you not one bit.

    January 4, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Mizzy

    Our time has finally come!
    God speed to you, Mr. President-Elect!
    Many of us will continue to pray for you, your family, VP-elect Biden, and his family.
    We know that you were appointed by the most High, for such a time as this. Our days ahead will be difficult, but at least we have a competent, thoughtful, true American leader in the White House.

    I will see you in D. C., ticket or no ticket!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Choked Up

    What he's "choking up" on is the smog of corruption which he gleefully swam in for a decade in Illinois politics.

    January 4, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Mindy

    Lee, c'mon, President Elect Obama will do a good job.

    January 4, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. no way

    I am really confused, Obama say some of these people have been friends of his since grade school. I thought he grew up in Hawaii with his Grandparents, then move to Thailand? He said his theme was change, did that mean he is gong to keep changing his facts about his past. He is already changing things that he promised. Now our military is not coming home, they are just moving the to Afganistan. What next

    January 4, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19