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. allison

    anon – I wondered the same thing...

    January 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Meh

    Lee and Helen> It's getting OLD.

    Good luck to you, Mr. President-Elect!

    January 4, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Francisco Cardenas

    Obama will truly be the President of the people. He wasn't voted in out of fear, but out of faith ... and that makes big difference for all of us.

    January 4, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Neal

    I'm glad he's our man, but would like a comment on the GAZA crimes of Israel!

    January 4, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. blair

    Oh he da man he da man so choked up he had to wolf down a cheeseburger and fries. oh poor boy oh poor boy.

    January 4, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. Bridget

    Lee, your writing makes all of us want to puke. Go Obama. We are all with you!!!!

    January 4, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. Dan

    Hey PE Barack, you choked up for what. You do not deserve to be our president. You know that. Now that you are in the white house, you have to wonder how to perform. You cannot depend on your advisers at 3:00AM in the morning. Do not pretend and show American people what you really are.

    January 4, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. dr.mimi de la cruz



    January 4, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. Perusing-through

    "since when is it okay to use "thru" as an abbreviation for through in a professional article?"

    Since the advent of computers and the Internet, when ‘memory’ at that time came at a premium. Learn your history before you critique.

    January 4, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  10. Howard

    It is sickening to see the kind of hatred and mean-spiritedness so frequently posted in The Ticker, Are these people incapable of appreciating just how perilous a situation our nation is in right now? That we all need to give our next President our support and encouragement, regardless of whether we voted for him, if for no other reason than that each of us will suffer if he fails?

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

    He left Chicago but brought all the Chicago corruption with me!!! You'll have the same support from me that you and the Dems gave Bush went he went to Washington. You will prove me right and be THE worst president in our history. Change we don't believe in.....

    January 4, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. ChicagoSuz

    Bon voyage, mon amie.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin the next leg of your journey...

    January 4, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. Godluvr

    God be with you and yours, Mr. President-Elect! Our prayers will go with you! CHANGE is on the way!

    January 4, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. sam

    To bad he didn't finish the job in IL. That state is a waste.

    January 4, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. Phil from Ashburn

    Lee.. make sure you puke your brains out.

    Welcome to DC Mr President.

    January 4, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Mwanakijiji

    He should watch at his eating habit. Cheeseburger and fries! If you youtube his eating habit you will be surprised that why he is still alive.

    January 4, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. David Murillo

    Mr President, G-d bless you and keep you and give you the wisdom to take the necessary decisions and actions that all situations which lie before us call for. May G-d give you the courage to do His will in decisions made regarding Israel. Regarding her, remember He says, "I will bless them that bless you and I will curse those that curse you". In G-ds name, let's move forward with purpose, determination and justice and let's make America great again. G-gspeed, sir.

    January 4, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. Elsa

    May God bless him and Grants the Obama' s family his peace

    January 4, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. Beverly Sims

    Lee, you are a PUKE

    January 4, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. Paul

    Helen from VT, you are truly an ignoramus.

    January 4, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. DRS - Washington, DC

    Mr. President,

    May be angels (including "Toot") continue to provide a wall of protection around you. People suck as Lee and Helen (above) wish you ill-will and harm. I rebuke people like that.

    Mr. President, I KNOW you will do great things because you actually "GET IT." You, unlike Bush, understand the plight of the ordinary American.

    January 4, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. Vanessa

    Moving onwards and upwards. There are some rough days ahead before things get better. May the Lord God continue to bless you and keep you. Keep your hand in His hand and He will see you through no matter what. You have all of America's support.

    January 4, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. John

    I'll pray for you Lee, Comments like yours make me ill.

    January 4, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |

    Maybe he should look at your website to to the dead child caused by the invasion of Gaza, that choked me up,

    January 4, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. david goldman



    January 4, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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