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. LadyJ in MS

    God's richest blessings for President Obama, Michelle and the girls. We love you. We are proud of you. May God bless the United States of America.

    January 4, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. E.C.Coleman

    Yeah, Lee, you and I agree. Surely didn't take the guy long to slide
    into all those comfort zones and perks. Matches his arrogant, elitest, style these days. Kind of made me puke, too, to think that he's actually going to be President. Sickening and disgusting, it is.

    January 4, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  3. Carolina Girl

    Burger and fries?

    January 4, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. Nothing ever Changes

    Ken H

    First let me say, you have no basis in fact for your accusations that President-Elect Obama is not a Christian. He and everyone who knows him, to include Clinton and McCain has said he is a Christian. Secondly how can you hope the President of the United States would fail, this would also lead to the failure of this great country.

    I suggest you step back and reevaluate your intentions for this country, I would find it hard to believe that any American would want a new President to fail leading to the failure of this country. This vitriolic rhetoric serves no purpose but to divide this country, in this time it is imperative that we stand as one. Are you one of these people who actually agree with the Russian Professor who suggest the United States will break up, judging by your rhetoric it does raise some concern.

    January 4, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. StandupAmerica

    Did you all see MY PRESIDENT on Air Force Craft today? Isn't he wonderful!?


    January 4, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. yellow dog democrat

    I see the typical "whiney naysayers and I'm so good goody two shoes" are still at their Obama bashing best!

    I for one and about 75% of folks polled are happy and glad to see someone with heart and soul coming into the White House. I am sad that he and his family are leaving behind many good friends - but they will be there for them when the "mission is accomplished"....

    It will be fascinating to see such a fresh and new view coming into the American Political Scene and at such a critical time in our nations history....Folks this is history and we are witnessing it....there are so many loved ones that are gone and didn't get to see this day come...I feel especially blessed.

    January 4, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. The Real GOP

    Wow...how touching. I think I will need an exrtra box of Kleenex to get over this one. Hey Barack, you can always stay in Chicago. I actually have been choking up as well as I slowly come to the realization that you are going to be president of the United States. Not even a person who was elected on his own credentials. You, Barack Obama, are an engineered president. You were created by the media. You are a puppet. You are the answer to decades old "white guilt." How does that make you feel to be president? How do you feel knowing that every spin the media put out about you cast you only in a positive light? Where was the critical analysis? Good luck Obama and let me remind you of something. Please don't try and take my guns...I promise you it will not be a wise thing to do.

    January 4, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  8. don

    What a sight !!

    Got me all Ferklempt .

    I love this man...my president

    January 4, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  9. Alexis

    To the black person on the other post regarding Michelle and the girls moving to DC, the girls hair is just fine. There is nothing wrong with Malia wearing braids/cornrows and Sasha having a nappy ponytail how dare you. As a black person you know the deal with our hair and water. They were on vac. for crying out loud. If a white person called them nappy headed we would have a Don Imus situation all over again.

    January 4, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. RMGofCO

    Thank you for your sacrifice PE Obama. Like all Presidents before you, we recognize what a sacrifice (chosen though it may be) it is to lead the nation. The nation is in trouble and we look for your leadership to guide us. We offer our suupport and wish you and your family the very best in the coming years. Change won't be easy or immediate, but we are behind you.

    You will be in my prayers, Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha, also known as the future First Family. Your safety and well being are most important in mind. Read any of the CNN blogs related to you and you will understand why I am concerned. Some people of our United States of America(ns) are filled with hate and racism like your former oppopnent. But I have hope because of the others who post here and voted for you. We the People ~ have spoken.

    January 4, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. reland

    I never thought I'd see this happen in my lifetime. I'm wishing health, strength and safety for him and his family.

    January 4, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Greg Hodges, hah, you're full of it, I mean you're still around 8 years later...were you consumed by your own poison.

    January 4, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    @KEN H.
    Ken you do not have to be a supporter of PE Obama but give him the respect that goes with the position he has been granted by the majority of the people of this nation. Also remember that your success or failure depends on his success or failure. If wish failure upone him you wish it for yourself also. It is time for us to come together as ONE nation and turn ourselves around. That means we must all work thgether and make sacrifices together and help others that are less fortunate than we are together.

    Not to make this effort would be unAmerican for anyone among us. I did not vote for PE Obama but he is my President Elect now and while I do not agree with all of his ideas, I know the ideas of the failed Bush administration are not working so I will support him. If his attempts do not work then I will work to vote in another President when his term is over but for now he is our PE. Please try to work with him. Give him a chance before declaring him an outright failure before he ever takes office.

    January 4, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  14. mike

    OMG I just started crying all over again seeing that plane lift off. Help is on its way, people, help is on its way.

    January 4, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  15. jack

    What is wrong with me? I just keep looking at Obama's pictures....I don't get tired of them...Just looking at him lightens up my heart....weird! to feel that way about you President? But then again, after eight years of not wanting to look at your President.......

    15 more days.

    January 4, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  16. Gloria

    May God continue to keep you and your family in his care President elect Obama.
    As residents of this great country, let us all continue to work together to make the "United States of America" a better place to continue to live in.

    January 4, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. Anon

    You have my sympathy, Mr. President-Elect–it would be really hard for me to move. I hope you'll enjoy the White House, though.

    January 4, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  18. lenegal Fl.

    I remember the day Bush was sworn in in 2001. After a stolen election, there were dark clouds overhead in Washington DC that day.

    I am a left leaning Independent. I am of a certain age. I have never ever seen such utter destruction of our Constitution and economy as I have in the last eight years.

    Dear PE Obama, I cried when you were announced the winner of the the election and were to become the 44th President, along with so many others in this country.

    May God be with you, we have a disastrous mess to clean up after eight years of corruption. May the sun shine on your Inaguration Day. May the wind be always at your back. Most Americans, the ones who voted for you, and many others who did not, are praying for you.

    I am so proud to call you my President.

    January 4, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  19. Peter TX

    for all those so called christians hating on obama, i am sure Jesus Christ is very much ashamed of u guys. If God can use a donkey to correct an erring prophet then God can use Obama to correct our failing country. God bless the Obamas, give the PE wisdom, God bless America

    January 4, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  20. Nothing ever Changes

    Some of the people on this blog need to set down and figure out exactly what they want for this country. It is surprising that some would still spew the vitriolic hatred for one person. You would think that people would be willing to give Obama a chance, I would be they would want the same for themselves. Of course this shows the hypocrisy of this nations, what is fair and right for you and me does not apply to all. It is a sad testament to how our society has evolved and we wonder why we are hated around the world. Look at the way we treat each other, it is never like you would want to be treated, it is always how you think someone should be treated.

    January 4, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  21. Don

    We will soon see if the media darling is actually able to govern. A scary thought is that we are about to hand the country over to someone who has not even had corporate executive experience, much less the experience of running a state. Since the media has been so biased, and refuses to paint an accurate picture of this man, we will not know for certain what will happen. This man has not proven himself to be an FDR or other capable governing entity. Based on media coverage, we are all supposed to believe that all will be well on Jan 21st. As a skeptic, I'll wait and see, but prepare for the worst.

    January 4, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. Ann

    I wish him well, If he does well, so do we. God be with him and the rest of us.

    January 4, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    Well Bush has been the BEST WORST President we have ever had. I know of no President that has done a better job of being bad that Bush. Now we will soon be rid of him and hopefully he will be replaced with the BEST GOOD President we will ever have.

    January 4, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. Mike, Windsor, Canada

    "I almost feel sorry for people like you. I guess if you don't like America you could always move to Mexico or Canada. Maybe their leader won't make you puke"

    Easy on a trigger finger. We may be the only country that likes you.

    January 4, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  25. George Washingont

    Welcome to D.C.

    January 4, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
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