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. spencer

    I totally agree with you, Lee. We'll have to work extra hard in 2012 to make sure the Republican nominee wins. I think it's going to be either Mike Huckabee or Jeb Bush.

    January 4, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Godluvr

    To Revright: You are sooooooo wrong.

    To the rest of the dissidents:

    I now realize that your constant disrespect of PE Obama is the only outlet you all have when it comes to releasing your thrills (if you know what I mean). Therefore, I will try to be understanding and tolerant. So there. Now go on and vent. I understand. But come 12009, President Barack Hussein Obama, will become the 44th president of these United States of America. Go on, get your thrill, no one's watching. Ha. Ha. I love this country and my new president and his family. God be with them!

    January 4, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Flash news

    The country of Chile was bought today for 350 billion dollars, by unknown investers wishing to hide there for war crimes, treason and theft of the US. Treasury.

    January 4, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |

    Lee keep on puking I just hope you don't choke and Ken yes he did get 75% vote so that 75% is telling you something stupid .You still don't get it do you? well let me tell you...all the bitter comments don't mean a thing HE'S WON! and that's all that matters to the millions of americans that put him come Jan.20th at 1600 Penn. Ave.So better luck in 2016 I can only pray it's another democrat that replace him in the White House not a republican...

    January 4, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  5. Sam

    With his beliefs I doubt very seriously if the Most High wanted him to get this job. I really don't think GOD cares much for abortion or other things amabo believes in.

    January 4, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  6. MB Cohen

    Tolu in Minneapolis
    Since you pretend to be a grammarian, brush up on your proofreading!
    That's your best comment?

    January 4, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. JO

    BooHoo ... crocodile tears ......

    January 4, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Brandon

    All these articles about Obama's chest and sweet marriage and cute little puppies and other nonsense... It's like an Oliver Stone movie played backwards. Good luck lemmings.

    January 4, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. Will

    This is good. It shows that President- Elect Obama has working emotions. I believe he will lead with strong conviction tied with even stronger moral beliefs.

    January 4, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. MaryInNC

    Looking so much forward to January 20th. I'm just sick about the problems being dumped into Obama's lap by Presdent Bush. Bush was given a balanced budget by Bill Clinton and now Bush has spent us so far in dept that our children's grandkids will still be paying this debt off. Bush is giving Obama an economy that is the worst since the Great Depression...people are losing jobs in a record manner, losing their homes, and losing their retirements. In fact, I can't think of a single thing that is better now than it was 8 years ago. Not a single thing! While I like George and Laura Bush as people, George Bush has been the worst President in my life thus far. Shame on those for putting him into office for a 2nd term. God Bless Obama and his family.

    January 4, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. DCAC

    Yes, let's all wait impatiently for that moment of rapture that will surely occur when our savior, Obama, is sworn in and everything will magically get better.

    January 4, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  12. South Carolina

    try running an administration void of dishonest scandals, rediculous goofballism, and powergrabbing competition, and see what happens

    January 4, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  13. bushisuseless

    There is no longer any reason to even respond to the Obama haters.

    It's true because they are becoming irrelevant. They are just baggages that this country doesn't need to focus on. There world are so small and insignificant. that the only entertainment they have is to hate. Someday it will consume them so we can lawfully put them where they belong; The Asylum. The new PE is not deterred by them why should we. It appears that the smaller we dignify their animosity the faster they're becoming obsolete.

    January 4, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. Maria

    May God bless and give you WISDOM in helping this country and it 's needs. May God bless and give you wisdom, in your family ,marriage and give your family understanding ( and you meet their needs).
    I pray that you recieve favor with this country and far away lands and that you be able to undo what the Bush regime and their selfishness, arrogants and destructive administration have done.
    God be with you and undo the status quo of this country.

    January 4, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. H.C AND O.B supporter for life...

    GO Obama!!!!!

    January 4, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  16. Obamasucks

    This is news worthy? Give me a break.

    January 4, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. michel mustapha

    lee, have you finishing puking ?
    Cos you will be for the next 4 years

    January 4, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. Pat Omaha, NE

    Thank you for being human! Leaving anyplace that has been home is hard and I am grateful that you are willing to allow this emotion to surface! I hope your time in Hawaii also gave you a chance to feel the loss of your grandmother. She is proud of you!
    You will experience many more emotions in the coming years!
    Thanks you! Peace and all good things, Mr. President!

    January 4, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Sarah

    I am in tears. I know how hard it is to move your children from their friends. I wish them all of God's Blessings and I am sure the girls will make new friends right away but won't forget the old ones.

    January 4, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  20. Georgia Peach

    God Speed Mr. President. It is encouraging that there are so many nice comments on this post today. I can't wait till January 20th and may we see the change we are all looking for as decency, kindness, humanity, ability, integrity, May God keep you and lead you to your best ability to
    lead this nation for us and may we turn aside all ugliness which has been the norm in the last few years and thrive to become a people who will lift up our leaders by example of dignity and perseverance and no longer be followers of a hoots, winks and finger pointing. May the God I serve bless you in abundance in the next eight years.

    January 4, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. hillare

    oh yes, cnn is great, they run the news like I tell them to. hurray

    January 4, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  22. Moderators

    we are deleting all sensible comments. so don't bother saying anything smart

    January 4, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  23. luvangelHussein - AZ


    January 4, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  24. Sylvia

    Good luck President Obama. I know you will do a great job. As a taxpayer, I would like to know the name of the guests staying at the Blair house. Which individuals are more important than the future President of the U.S. and his family???? Where are the investigate reporters?

    January 4, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. DC-4 - MO

    We were part of over a 100,00 that showed up for a rally in Saint Louis, and my son who is 11 kept up with this man from the time he was announced – even to the point that he asked his dad to purchased the books that was written by this man. Although we are driven republicans – which made much conversation @ home to have a driven 11 year asking and requesting that we chg our votes this year because this man was going to win. Even our circle of friends and family was amazed @ his predications down to the last minute of the election. My 11 year old kept track of all the states min by min and around 8:30pm central standard time he stated that PEBO was going to win before 12:00midnight/morning. We of course, still did not want to acknowledge this by an 11 year old – but by 9:30pm – we too realized that he was going to win. My 11 year old cried and cried and of course we cried too because it was unbelievable to see the under age youth so involved and for it to come out like he predicted long ago – left he two middle age parents in Awe. Not to mention we voted dem for the first time. We do wish you the best PEBO – greetings from a family of a 11-year old who admired you from the beginning! Still bring tears to my eyes thinking about what inspiration he has given to our young!

    January 4, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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