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. Rosemary Ricker

    The Puke!!! If this country does not go bankrupt with him behind
    the wheel....to bad him and his lieing butt did not stay in Chicago!!

    January 4, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. MK

    I am choking up just thinking about how awesome he will be for our Country! 16 more days!

    January 4, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Cindy

    Yes..16 more days and no more Bush.

    January 4, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. c

    We'll miss you and your family, as well, here in Chi-town Mr. President-elect. However we know that this is what you were called to do and will do us and the country PROUD. So we wish all the best to you and your family!!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. SAGG

    BluesBrother January 4th, 2009 7:26 pm ET

    I am so happy this man was elected. If the hate on this board is any indication, there is a lot of work to do to heal this nation.

    TELL me about it. I wonder if some of them would cheer (privately) should anything bad happen to Obama (God forbid). I wouldn't put it past them. Plus, anyone that WANTS Obama's policies to fail isn't a true American, it seems to me. Does THAT sound familiar, Obama-haters? Everyone loses.

    January 4, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Hope

    We are waiting to choke up on 20th Mr President, it will be an emotional day.

    January 4, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Muffet

    I am so proud, happy and relieved that the Obama Administration is well on the way to fixing the national and worldwide mess. Bet Bush can't wait to leave his and Cheney's mess.

    January 4, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Sherrol in Canada

    It isn't hard to believe that Pres-elect Obama choked up, he was always real and true to himself. That's why he's so well rounded and is such a great human being.

    Good luck to you PE Obama and God bless.

    January 4, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. ME IN FL

    Good Luck PE Obama,

    You have inherited a mess from the last 8 yrs of bad administration and corruption. I do not expect for the " change" to take place right away since there is so much that you have to clean up it is impossible to believe that this can be accomplished in a couple of months, but I know that under you and your administration, it will get done!!!

    God bless you and God bless the USA!!!

    January 4, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Perusing-through

    I know the feeling . . .

    January 4, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Lou in Indian Springs, Al.

    If Obama is only able to CHANGE the lies, deceit and corruption that permeates the White House, that will be enough for me. That should handle 95% of the problems we face.

    January 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  12. ZOOBOU

    mr president the time is come, onething i want to say things not gonna be easy for Obama, because too much mess allready pile for you i believe GOD will be with you and give you courage in the moment ahead and i believe GOD will continue bless AMERICA , after GOD that's where our hope is. MAY GOD BLESS YOU MR PRESIDENT AND MAY GOD REMEMBER YOU AND THE MOMENT AHEAD. HAVE A GOOD JOB.

    January 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. carol

    Get over yourselves all you nasty people on here....sorry you lost but that's the way it is and we will have a great President in Barack Obama.
    I just wish him and his family well and so looking forward to Jan 20th to see him sworn in.....it's going to be a great day for those of us who voted for him and yes,even you who didn't.
    What a way to start the New Year!!

    January 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Max

    I understand that this is a blog, but seriously... you're supposed to be working as a professional. Don't abbreviate your articles with pseudo-English like "thru".

    January 4, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |

    Yes, Lee, it is people LIKE YOU that make ALL OF US "REAL AMERICANS" PUKE !!

    We have ALL been VICTIMS of the Bush presidency and now it is time to SUPPORT our new President!!
    If you don't like it MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY ,YOU JERK!!

    January 4, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. Perusing-through

    The answer to your q

    January 4, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. Ivan Sanchez

    Be sure you puke on yourself! I'll enjoy that!

    President-elect Barack Obama will be walking into a sea of problems this nation hasn’t faced in decades; I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes! Most of the problems bush created could have been prevent if the idiot would have listen to the voice of America and the world rather than his own egotistical self! As far as I’m concern there never was a 43th president of the United States; we had a dictator instead!

    January 4, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. Rick

    You will be back, trying to clear your other crooks who you have stuck in charge. Seems your vetting process is not that good, so whos next to fall from the Obama group..... Seem slike Obama is not even in yet and the distractions are all coming out, hmmmm looks like history repeats itself every time a Democrate gets in office...

    January 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. Concerned GA voter

    It was a surreal moment to see him get off an official plane. I hope and pray that God will be with him and his family during their time in office and I pray that God will continue to provide him with strenght and wisdom. (Richie....they will keep their home in Chicago and will use it when he goes on vacation...you know, like W's ranch in Crawford, TX....this will continue to be the family home).

    January 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Bill

    – Lee, that kind of proves you are a sicko. Puke away, sicko!!!!

    January 4, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Rmyk

    God help us and this nation with this inexperienced loser as our leader. I'm not a GW supporter, but this guy's ideas will make this country even weaker. His picks for his cabinet and staff have proven what a train wreck his is ALREADY! Life IS NOT what you see on TV people!

    January 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Becky, Midwest

    Oh, who cares?

    What I want to know, is why the hell didn't Obama move to DC when he first became Senator from Illinois? It's very strange for him not to have moved there several years ago. Why didn't he? It's not like Chicago is a short train ride away. Very odd. This is one reason he has zero connections in Washington. If Washington wasn't good enough for him then, why now?

    January 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Curious dude

    Is this the house that Obama and Rezko bought? Anyway, I hope he doesn't forget where he came from.

    January 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Mark

    I did not vote for Mr. Obama but I wish him the best. We must stand behind our leaders whoever is voted in. If we do not believe in them how can we expect any different from the rest of the world. Good Luck Mr.Obama I will be rooting for you.

    January 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. JIM

    Mr. POTUS-elect:

    Blessings to you and your family. I know God will keep you & my prayers are with you as you transition from Pres-elect to the 44th POTUS. In addition, my prayers are with Pres & Mrs. Bush as they prepare to leave the White House and go back to Texas. May God keep you as you prepare for a new life.

    January 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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