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. melony

    Yes, every single year of the disgraceful Bush Administration beginning December 12, 2000 with Bush V. Gore.

    January 4, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  2. indiana voter

    @Proud American

    You seem to know a lot about incest. Are you that experienced in it or are you still trying to hurl insults, because you have no real argument. Oh, and maybe the reason why so many Republicans are so hateful to you is because you show them no respect. Hence, you are treated as you treat others.

    January 4, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  3. 30m-PA-voted Clinton then McCain


    Why don't you keep your positive comments to yourself? That's right, not everyone likes Obama.

    January 4, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. yoyolite

    To all these people who want to puke, Go ahead and puke up the last eight years of GWB. Take the Obama medication and geel better on January 20. Now you know how sick the resat of us who didn't vote for GWB felt. Justt looking at him as president for the next 15 or so days makes me sick. Come on January 20th so I can feel better.

    January 4, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  5. Colorado Mountain Man

    Since I cant comment on anything without getting censored here...I'll just say this – Thank G_d it's not Kerry, Gore or Clinton moving in to the White House.

    at least...

    January 4, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  6. Bill

    That must be difficult to see your daughter leave friends behind. However, I'm sure that she'll have a very exciting experience being part of the First Family and seeing her daddy making history.

    The President-elect and Michelle Obama are protective of their children's privacy - they learned to be so the hard way after that one interview of the children that they allowed. I expect that the daughters will have healthy childhoods.

    January 4, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  7. petena

    My hats off to you Obama. Our President Elect is taking on the most important job on this planet at a time when everything is falling apart. We need to lend him the support for the good of our nation and the world. It is sad of those showing hate on these blogs when we are in such a big mess and our current president has been the major culprit and is doing nothing to fix this. The rest of the world is hopeful we can once again lead. YES WE CAN.

    January 4, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  8. PA

    I believe those who are tearing down Obama before he's even had a chance to lead must be still in the same gears as they've been for the past eight years.

    It's amusing to say the least, to hear them talk about Obama's lack of experience, his waffling, and inablilities when in hind sight, most, if not all of them, elected George Dubyah, "I'm the Decider without a clue or map to help me find one," once or maybe even twice!! And I bet my bent and badly tortured pay cheque not one of them got to have a Beer with Georgie the "I'm just a regular guy like you," except my Paw is Rich cause his Friends are all CEOs with the Big Oil Guys!

    Thankfully the majority of Americans had the brains to close the book and start anew !

    January 4, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. Burro

    @Mike, Syracuse NY: Learn to spell. It is eligible, not "eligable". It is a good thing that basic 4th grade English is not a requirement for voting,

    January 4, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  10. Auriex

    Somehow, having Obama make his first official command upon entering Air Force One the ordering of a cheeseburger and fries further cements my faith in him being an awesome person.

    January 4, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. mari



    January 4, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. warner



    January 4, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. 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 his 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 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. Who was Michael Connell?

    We just got robbed of 350 billion dollars by Paulson and his gang and we sit here bickering like chickens.Guess they knew what they were doing.

    January 4, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  15. soldier girl

    I want to first pray for those Christians who know that they are really going to hell instead of heaven because of their sinful ideals. Second, I want to ask God through Jesus Christ to protect this leader from these false prophets (Self-rightious, hate-mongers) preach God and hate at the same time. WHAT A SHAME TO TRUE CHRISTIANS. Hate, hate, hate =Hell.

    January 4, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. Jason

    God bless you, President Obama!

    January 4, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  17. MaryKay

    You will be a fantastic President! The world and nation are behind you! I am proud to have been part of your campaign.

    January 4, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  18. Matthew

    Obama chokes up and he's sensitive and to be commended. Hillary chokes up and she's hysterical and unfit to be commander-in-chief.

    January 4, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. vah

    lets make a history Obama.... dont worry you are a great person....

    January 4, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  20. tk in IL

    Who cares what he eats? In case you haven't noticed, the job is a "Temp" job. 4 years, 8 tops if you do a good job. Then it's out of the house please. And of course in Obama's case back to Hyde Park.

    January 4, 2009 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. stephen Webb

    Someone wrote...

    "That nauseated feeling will be upon you when you realize that you've elected someone who's way in over their head…

    We are about to get rid of a President that has been in over his head for 8+ years!

    This person went on to say...

    "the stupidity still amazes me; how so many voters (can't really call them Americans for supporting this charade) are totally fooled…and don't question anything about this guy….

    What comes around, goes around! The stupidity has been amazing to most of us for the last 2 Bush terms in office!

    We've all heard Bush and his cabinet say...

    "There was nothing inappropriate" about this or that! And you conservative/confederate Lemmings believe it…

    Our country is (and has been for the last 8 years) in sad shape when there's this many people who, agreeably want change, as I do, but will go the extreme of electing someone who's totally inexperienced i.e. George Bush...especially during these treacherous times.

    His policies won't only ruin our economy further (than Bush has done), he'll endanger our very lives with his waffling and resistance to closing the borders.

    How many illegals entered this country in the last 8 years???

    The radical muslims welcome him; because he's weak…..and that's what they want. That's why they waited for Bush to take office, because he's a weak alcoholic moron!

    How can anybody hate Obama after Bush the destroyer ruined America and the world! Just goes to show the confederates still wave the rebel flag!

    January 4, 2009 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. Lauren

    >>>>This man hasn't even been inauguarated and people are >>>>>criticizing and judging him already

    Your 100% correct Dorothy in NC,,,, BUT,,, lets be honest.
    Many have put this man on a pedistal so high it is silly.

    Your right, he is being judged already, but he has also been made out to be the next coming of the lord.
    Both are wrong, I say give the man two years, maybe three, THEN lets talk. But again, for every person slamming Obama there are one or two praising this man as the next greatest thing since god said Let there be light..........

    January 4, 2009 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. marie


    January 5, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. ProudKenyan

    I am so happy America choose the person who was right and right for the moment. I hope now America will set an example to the world where there is so much ills to resolve.

    Congratulations America. Yes you did it!

    January 5, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  25. NJVote08

    To all of you nay-sayer:

    You create your own experience in life. If you focus on the negative, more negative is what you will perceive. Focus on the positive, and you might be surprised at what comes your way.

    January 5, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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