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. Politically Speaking

    It's really appalling to read the comments from the Republicans, racists, and Obama haters. Even if you do not like the guy, he is going to be YOUR president, the president of the country you CLAIM to love. Shouldn't you be wishing for his success since it would mean a better America? I guess some of you only love the U.S. as long as there's a white American as president?

    January 4, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. M. Torrescano

    President-elect Obama:

    "We the People" have spoken. Your election, Sir, as President of the United States of America has given renewed meaning to Abraham Lincoln's immortal words “...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth". And “We the People”, in our own modest way, have the responsibility to ensure that these words would have the same meaning for all future generations.

    M. Torrescano

    January 4, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. Luke

    Kind of wild to see him finally in an official plane. My hair stood on end!

    January 4, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Joe

    Best Wishes Mr. President and God Bless you and your Family!!!!

    January 4, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  5. Max Cleveland, Chicago

    Dear Mr President:

    As you move towards the white house, Israel is creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We hope you will stand up to AIPAC and tell them that stop this madness.

    May god bless you.

    January 4, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. Amy PA/CA

    God bless the Obamas! I'm a proud American and so hopeful for our new administration.

    January 4, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  7. vicki

    I am getting emotional....he was on a presidential plane, b/c he is your President and My President

    January 4, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. joan

    His Excellency President of the United States of America, Mr. Barack Obama.

    My that "style" looks great written and sounds so nice. Cannot wait to hear "Hail to the chief" played 20 January 2009.

    January 4, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  9. abigael

    godspeed, Mr. President (elect), godspeed

    January 4, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. ressan

    Great Expections await the President Elect from all over the world.without exception. The underpriviged of course need him most.

    But we would like to ask who owns the Federal Reserve Bank, and hence holds all the politions to ransome, as well as the country and almost stole it blind recently.

    January 4, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  11. gail

    15 days and counting!

    January 4, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. jean

    I cried, literally!

    January 4, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. armycentrist

    Hail to The Chief!

    January 4, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. rich

    The country is going to better off in Obama's hands. Relax haters.

    January 4, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. Ian

    There's something special about the first group of people you screw over.

    January 4, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  16. Tired in TN

    So many negative things....so many people without Christ in their lives. The Lord knows all, before it happens. The Lord will be here, whether Obama or Bush or whoever decides to run for office and be elected does so.
    You cannot put the BLAME of the sad shape of our nations on the hands of one person BUT you can put the TRUST of rebuilding and growing into a better place in the world in the ONE and ONLY, Lord Jesus Christ. Without HIM, nothing else matters.

    God Bless this Nation,
    God Bless YOU.

    Psalm 19:14

    January 4, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  17. John

    The national nightmare of the Bush Crime Family, Cheney, and the GOP majority is going to be over and not soon enough!

    January 4, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  18. harry

    GoodBye Mr. President, you done the south side PROUD. Hyde Park will miss u.

    January 4, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  19. Ray Fisher

    President Obama experienced today what many of us experience when leaving one life upon entering a new life. We can never return to the old life, yet will never forget the laughter, dreams, love and memories of a life ended and the uncertainty of the future. The final walk through is devestating yet necessary. Good luck Mr. President and may your new memories be sweeter than ever!!!

    January 4, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  20. gal

    Bush woudl've never stopped to take pictures with the "little people".

    January 4, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Virginia Born

    All the best to you, President Obama and family. Shine on!

    January 4, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. JSW

    My fellow Americans – on Jan 20, 2009 – America will be returned to THE PEOPLE. What a wonderful day this will be.

    January 4, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. carol

    He looks like the President already.

    January 4, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  24. leah

    8 years of the worst president ever are about to end.
    Welcome President Obama!

    January 4, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. fred

    Signed, Sealed and Delivered.....Yes We Can.....Have a President that we love...

    I can't wait...15 more days....but he is already President Obama to me ...Yea!!!!

    January 4, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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