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. Crystal

    Its always hard leaving home, but America needs you now more then ever!!

    January 4, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Amanda/PA


    Let it go.

    January 4, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. empty heads voted for an empty vessel

    I got choked up early on when I realized the media was so far in the tank for this empty suit.

    He got choked up as he had to leave the people that the same media ignored that "you know" gave him his start in politics, Rezco, Ayers, Daly, Wright etc, etc.

    January 4, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. casper

    it's always hard to move, but especially hard when you love where you live, this will be the biggest change in your families life, good luck and Gods speed.

    January 4, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. uppityleft

    Awww Lee, thats awful!
    I hope you were able to put your face in a large paper bag.
    God Bless our new President!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Steph I.

    I hope this goes to show us all;
    You never forget where You have been
    It helps you to get where you are going
    We always watch our steps
    and mack sure they are not on anyONE
    I wish the Obama family the Best
    it is the least I can do
    Bless Us all
    and Bless America

    January 4, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Jarod

    Hey Lee, cowards like you need to puke more often. SWish YOUR new president luck and quit being a whining baby. We will need EVERY American to clos eranks with our President to get ahead of the mess GeeDub left behind.

    January 4, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Don't worry Barry, there's plenty of corruption where you're going. Harry, Nancy and the rest of their DC gang will make you feel right at home. Say hi to Teddy. Just don't go on any car rides with him though.

    Jon January 4th, 2009 7:32 pm ET:
    Thank heavens he's willing to leave his Chicago home and try to clean up the big mess created by the previous administration. We need him.

    You mean just like he cleaned up Chicago while he was there?

    January 4, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Trysh in Los Angeles

    Big baby!! lol

    January 4, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Michael J,

    Is that the Presidential seal on his plane?

    January 4, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Chicago Red

    To–Lee January 4th, 2009 7:26 pm ET
    Yeah, I kind of choked up too when he left Chicago because it means he's actually going to be President. Kind of made me puke.****you should've Joked!!!!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Wow Lee your a butt head

    sling that gargage, just as the repubs have for the last 20 years, it has resulted in what you read on these CNN blogs

    you need to get outside get some sun and air, you spend too much time on your computer

    January 4, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. oldsoldierboy

    Oh what a feeling when your dancing on the ceiling. Glory days are here again. Thank you President Obama.

    January 4, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Sally in Oregon

    Take some Pepto and chill out Lee.

    January 4, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. Donna

    Lee–what did you hope to accomplish by your post? Now, the ticker has been an interesting experience for me because it has shown me how incredibly immature and nasty some people can be when they hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

    The man was elected–and by a very large margin. He did so in the face of nastiness and ugly rumors. I started as a McCain supporter and, after he picked Sarah Palin as his VP candidate, could not continue to support him. I am saddened by the way someone I believed was honorable turned out to be willing to throw integrity out the window for the sake of political expediency.

    But Barack Obama won. He's the president. And posting juvenile and nasty emails won't change that. Actually, if you need to resort to that sort of thing to make yourself feel better, there's something quite sad about you.

    January 4, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Jan in NC

    I pray for you, Mr. PE Obama, and your precious family. God bless you and may our States become United again!

    January 4, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Valerie F. Leonard

    Sue, I agree with you in your prayers.

    January 4, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Zion

    Brian, that is the most thoughtful post I have ever read from someone who did not support Obama. Boy, I wish there were more like you out there.

    January 4, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. SAGG

    It's really hitting home when I'm now seeing President-Elect Obama boarding a plane with the OFFICIAL Presidential seal! Yeah! Did anyone see that cool limo he got in when he landed at Andrews? I'm not sure, but I'm wondering if it's the new one he'll have.

    January 4, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Obama 2012

    Best Wishes and Good Luck to you!! We are praying for you and your family!! I'm sure you will do well!!

    January 4, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. Judy

    Godspeed, Mr. President.

    January 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Shane

    Washington DC Awaits you Mr r President Elect, this whole world is all the way with you, all of our hard work has finally paid off, Good luck and God Bless Mr President elect

    January 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Miro, MI

    Good luck, Mr. President (not PE)! You are already President for millions of hard working Americans (without any regards at race, skin collor, etc.)!
    American people need you, Mr. President!!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Susie

    The hate on this board is nothing compared to what the wonderful lefties have said about Bush, I will not lower myself and say the things the lefties say, but I will say that to all who voted for Obama and To President Elect Obama "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR",

    January 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. Obama 2012

    To "Lee" nobody cares about you and the others' negative remarks. Reality is...he is the next president– like it or not.

    That was my reality while Bush was in the President's seat.

    GET OVER IT!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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