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. Embrace the Dream

    To our new First Family...

    I pray the the transition to Washington will be a smooth one ~ and may the Lord grant you the peace, wisdom, and protection that can only come from above...

    Change has indeed come to America.

    January 4, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  2. Bell

    One would have to admit that the country is not at all the same now as it was when the campaign started. It's almost a though Obama will be President to a different kind country.

    January 4, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. bhkcpa

    Be prepared to see the most corrupt administration ever to set foot in DC.

    January 4, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. Stan

    To Ken H – I'm unable to recognize anything in your comment as something coming from a Christian. As the man said (paraphrasing) beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. Suggest you see a better tailor.

    Paul – Let each one grow according to their own understanding.

    January 4, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. BkNyUSA

    to lee from wherever you are from and to the rest who still insist on bashing obama.......

    you want to puke at the thought??? you wince at chicago politics coming to the white house??

    i guess you got spoiled with all the dignity and integrity of the current administration, huh.

    isn't it ironic that this crooked inexperienced man (that you all loathe) won by the margin that he did because the majority of people were fed up with YOUR guy and now all you have left to do is to attack the man your fellow americans democratically elected. real patriots you are- exercising your right to dissent. that's what's great about the web– the uneducated and ignorant are now permanently connected to the rest of us and can dumb down and infect the dialogue from this day on. congrats! three cheers for the idiots

    January 4, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    Christians who are against abortion because they believe all life begins at conception therefore an unborn life is just as valuable as a born life, are believing in something that is contrary to GOD's law! In the Bible, God's law states that the value of an unborn is worth much less than the value of a born life. Believing anything other than that is saying you do not believe in God's law and you should not call yourself a Christian. But most so-called christians are astonished to find that is what the bible says. They probably also believe that there were 3 wise man which isn't any the bible either.

    January 4, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. lc

    Ken H:

    Save your christian views for your church. You act as if abortions and gay marriage weren't going on the last 8 years. You're obviously a one-dimentional voter = bad for America.

    January 4, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Fitz

    Helen, VT.
    You have been around a long time, I've seen your posts for many months now and to that I say I certainly hope he invites Rev Wright to Washington. People like you need to get a grip. As said so may times in the past, while you may not like Rev Wright, what he spoke was nothing but the absolute truth. Check the scholars or any school kid better yet anyone who actually cares to learn history will tell you nothing Rev Wright said was new info. Keep riding the racist boat Helen. Oh yeah the Black Man that hates America, makes a good story.

    January 4, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. CLINTON

    WELL YOU STILL HAVE TIME BEFORE THE INAGURATION SO YOU CAN STILL CHOKE UP A BIT MORE BUT AFTER THE INAGURATION THAT'S IT OK OBAMA? YOU'RE NOW THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT WHO WILL TRY TO FIX THE MESS BUSH DID, SO YOU NEED TO RELAX & FOCUS ON WHAT'S IMPORTANT, MAY GOD HELP YOU MR. PRESIDENT.

    January 4, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. Bob Smith

    I not only choked up when I read this article, I literally puked my guts out. God, this country has gone straight down the crapper...

    This crook should feel really comfortable in DC with the rest of the crooks in Congress.

    God help us all.

    January 4, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Seth

    The point here should be whether or not you are a proponent of Obama, which i am not, one still needs to support our PEO because for a while, he is our president. If anyone can change that now contact me. Him choking up at least shows he has a nostalgic side and i hope he remembers the great america not the controversial riddn one of todays world.

    January 4, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. ken

    Someone tell me how Obama was tainted by chicago politics.......
    Do we hear much about George Bush and his cowboy rule? just like we dont hear much about Gaza but Israel right to kill palestinians!!

    January 4, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. Ernie in LA

    Griff, you gotta be smokin some good weed, man.

    January 4, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. Cliff

    I'm looking forward to Obama doing good things for the Economy and finally getting America on the right track. Coming soon, insidethecapital.com

    January 4, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. Claudette Siar

    Welcome to your new home town. We need you in Washington. Thank you for answering your call to serve and may wisdom prevail in all the decisions you must make.

    Just in case you need us, we have your back, just email. I think you can call on about 15 million of Americans in minutes! I have never been so proud of America's choice for President of the States.

    January 4, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. pglover

    President Elect Obama:

    Remember, with God, all things are possible. I want you to know that it's going to take time. Don't let anyone rush you into anything. Always consult in the Lord and seek his guidance. Next, hear all sides of the problem and think about what's best for the country and all its people. It's time out for partisian politics. You campaigned on that theme so keep that in mind as the democrats, republicans, and independents try to persuade you one way or the other. Remember too, that you have a family and keep them close. When others put you out to dry, your family will always have your back. Stay too to yourself.

    God bless you and I know you will do a great job. I know its going to take time, not 1, 2, 3, or even four years with the mess we have now but take small bites at a time and you will bet it done.

    We love you.

    January 4, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  17. Sandy

    As the saying goes, "if it were easy, anyone could do it". It won't be easy, but I believe in President-Elect Obama. He's the right person for this enormous challenge.

    January 4, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Loki

    In reality he's just "choked up" about having to leave his good buddy Tony Rezko back in Chicago. So many well meaning hopeful gullible people believe all the hype and propaganda, hook line and sinker, but some of us were never, and will never, be fooled....mark my words.

    January 4, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. JACQUIE

    We need you badly to get back to where we were before that last horror of a president. The best to you Mr. Obama and your family. May God bless you all and give you the wisdom to deal with the mess you have been left. YES, YOU CAN. It has been eight long years since I have felt any hope. I sure feel it now and am behind you all the way. I pray for your success every night.

    January 4, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. Benton Indianapolis, In

    One step closer to getting Bush out of office

    January 4, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  21. Brenda

    President-Elect Obama,

    I can imagine … but the White House needs you now more than ever! I pray for you and your family and am confident that with the Lord's guidance you will steer this country in the right direction as we have really been out of touch for the last eight years of the Bush administration. We also pray for world peace and the safety of all of us!

    God Bless and save move and smooth transition!

    January 4, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  22. brenda

    Welcome to washington Mr. Obama!

    January 4, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. CLINTON

    Ernie in LA January 4th, 2009 8:47 pm ET

    Don't worry. You can take the boy out of Chicago politics but you can't take the Chicago politics out of the boy. Put on your seat belts folks.

    ERNIE, I HAVE HAD MY SEAT BELT ON SINCE THE END OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES, AND EVEN THOUGH OBAMA CHOSED CLINTON FOR SECRETARY OF STATE, I DON'T BELIEVE I'LL TAKE IT OFF FOR NOW ...

    January 4, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. jj

    The election is over so get a life. Why don't you start a support group for Bush and Cheney who members of congress are looking to charge with war

    January 4, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  25. sarah

    I am hopeful...and looking forward to a new administration.

    January 4, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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