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

Obama: 'I choked up'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/04/art.bodepart0104.gi.jpg caption="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. Joanna

    We all support you Barack! Thank you for doing this. Thank you to your family for sharing you with us. Its a challenging road ahead, but we trust you will make a positive impact on our world. Let us know how we can help!!!

    January 4, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. Greg Hodges

    There is no longer any reason to even respond to the Obama haters. They will eventually be consumed with their own poison. That is what happens to those consumed with hate. All I can say to Barack Obama is I know how tough it is to leave a place where you have put down roots. It is truely gut wrenching to leave behind friends and family; but sometimes you are called to a date with destiny. Lord knows difficult days lie ahead; given the giant mess you are about to inherit; but if the American people give you the time and space needed, I believe you can and will get the U.S. back on course. God Speed!!!

    January 4, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    To President Elect And The Obama Family:

    It is a priveledge to be a part of History with the seat that u now possess. God had truly allowed a Great Man, to run this troubled country. Most of us can agree that we have a long haul ahead of us, but with the Grace, Wisdom, Faith and Honor that the Good Lord has Blessed you with....WE CAN and WE WILL....

    Continued Love, and most of all Blessings,

    Best Regards,


    January 4, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. maf

    Mr. President-Elect Obama, You and your family make us proud Americans. Go with God's Blessing and the world can't do you any harm.

    GO, Mr. President Obama and God Bless America

    January 4, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. Pat

    You people there in the US of A are hard to please.
    You voted for change and now it's time to give Barack Obama a chance to prove he can change this mess Geo. Bush and company left you.

    January 4, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Proud American

    Can someone tell me why Republicans are so hatefull? Dumb and stupid I understand.

    January 4, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  7. billy-bayou

    This freak is all choked up leaving That filthy scum region called Chcago. Fear not O great one, Your brand of poloticians, the ones you have not appointed to your cabnet will be right there with you to advise you and keep you straight and you will be president in just 16 days and you can return to the church of your mentor, the preacher you listened to for 20 years and never heard. Bill Ayers is there for you, Rashied Kalahidi is there for you.Just be as careful in the future as you have been in the past. Do not leave a paper trail, no recordings, no phone conversations that could eb tape. You are well schooled in hiding who and what you are, you will do fine, for a little while, then the crap will hit the fan and you can run but you will get splattered.

    January 4, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  8. Who was Michael Connell?

    Obama, hope you can catch Ben Bernachi and Henry Paulson before they make their getaway with 350 billion dollars of our money.They will head to Chile more than likely and will hide the cash in off shore accounts somewhere.

    January 4, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Proud American

    Griff = YOur mom must have been a stone crack head during pregency.

    January 4, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Skeptic

    Did anybody actually review Obama's voting record before casting their ballot or did they collect their info from the New York Times? I don't know who is more committed to the left....Karl Marxx or Barack Obama

    January 4, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. missywissy

    I think Richardson made a smart move. I was shocked to see he was nominated for this postition anyway and not Secretary of State. His foreign relations outweigh his "commerce experience' in every way, shape and form. Not to mention, I live in New Mexico where only the strong survive and graduate to modern living. Everyone else is still left in their mobile homes that cost the price of most houses everywhere else in the US. The little money people have is spent on alcohol, drugs, or gambling... Or it's spent bailing out family members who have gotten into trouble with alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Richardson needs to focus on making New Mexico a great place to live for EVERYONE and not just the rich who turn their heads away from the reality of their surroundings.

    January 4, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  12. Proud American

    Ken H.= I support abortion rights because of Idiots like you. Your mother could have did the world a lot of good if she wasn't so selfish.

    January 4, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. Joseph

    The man was elected for a reason, that was no illusion.

    I say we give the man a chance to make a change in this country.
    What else do we have? What else did we have going for us?

    There will be haters, there will be true opposition, but I don't think any of that is really going to deter Obama. He has the character our country has LONG been in need of.

    He is a focused person and in my opinion the best one for the job.
    I can't wait to see what changes he will make for us, because right now we are a bus going downhill, full of people, without a working set of brakes.................what other option do we have??

    We can support him, or we can continue to be part of the problem. I would rather we fix this mess so my little daughter doesn't grow up to inherit a world not worth living in.

    January 4, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. Bud

    We're ALL choked up.

    Now, go change the course of human history. We need you.

    January 4, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  15. Dr. Marty

    Hey Rev.Wright..Last time I checked Bill Richardson was a Hispanic governor from the state of New Mexico and has NOTHING WHATSOEVER with your so called "Chicago (style)" politics. Please quit digesting the Limb-nity HATERADE and take your meds like a good little boy.

    January 4, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. rise

    poor, poor, Lee and Ken your souls are lost, all we can do is pray for you and be glad no one like you will be our 44th president

    January 4, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Proud American

    Ernie in LA = Boy? your a idiot.

    January 4, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. indy 08

    Gob bless you, and good luck with the washington press. Remember we have your back, just keep you promises.

    January 4, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  19. Jim Bob

    The trip we all must be looking forward to is when "Dubya" loads up to go to Texas. Now that will be exciting for the world and a strong fresh breeze should be felt by most of us.

    I was thinking, will ShotGun Dick will be staying on to help run the Texas ranch.

    January 4, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  20. Proud American

    Ken January 4th, 2009 8:46 pm ET

    To bad he is not going to Kenya, take Chicago trash with you!!!!! He has 75% approvel and he isn't in office yet???? Who did they poll morons!!!!!!
    Yes your mom was the supervisor.

    January 4, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  21. CH in Maine

    Welcome to Washington Mr President. Best of luck I hope you will stay for 8 years.

    January 4, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. strong

    Sidenote– to those criticizing the spelling of "thru" in this article .... is this really important? Stop being so picky and critical. The article has a relaxed tone to it, and colloquialisms are okay, or should I say acceptable?

    January 4, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse NY

    @GRITS, Actually a majority of the people in this country did not elect Obama. If you count all those eligable to vote, almost 2/3rds of them either didn't vote, or voted for someone else. Obama was elected with 1/3rd of the eligable voters' votes. But what's 100 million people give or take who didn't vote for him?

    @A True Christian, If Obama is part of God's plan and is annoited by God, that must mean so was Bush too, right?

    January 4, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. One

    To President Elect and Family,

    It is a priviledge to be a part of this wonderful History, with the seat you now possess. I have belief and trust that you will without a doubt do your best to honestly, diligently and productively run this Country and get us back together as ONE!

    With the Grace, Wisdom, Faith, and Honor, the Good Lord has given you......TRUST, you will be fine.

    WE WILL AND WE CAN.......



    January 4, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. Juan Grain

    Just don't forget where you came from, and everthing will be fine!

    January 4, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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