January 4th, 2009
07:42 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: 'I choked up'

President-elect Obama told reporters he got a little emotion Sunday as he left Chicago to move to Washington.

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. Sheryl in Virginia

    My spirits soar as we count down to January 20. The last 8 years have been a horror show, and I am relieved all that is behind us, although President-elect Obama has many messes to clean up.

    Very best wishes to our new President Barack Obama, his delightful wife and children. We the people need you and I believe you were put here at this time to make a difference for our country and each of us individually.

    God bless.

    January 4, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. spungrouvrious

    It is sad that you did not puke and then choke which would mean one less ignoramus to deal with!

    January 4, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Leah

    God Bless you and your wonderful family, Mr. President. We are fortunate to have you as our leader.

    January 4, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. Jenn

    May God give you all the wisdom, knowledge and understanding so that you may lead this country into greatness once again.

    January 4, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Carl Justus

    If feels good to have a president that has lived in the trenches and knows what it is to have scratch for a living, but has friends that will help even when it is hard on them.
    A man that knows what it is like to be poor, to try to bring a community to together. To help those who are afraid to walk the streets. To work in an neighborhood that has drug dealers and poverty.
    I look forward to the future and hope Obama can bring the people together and stop the practice of divide and conquer. To bring hope, giving, helping one anotther, a sense of doing what John Kennedy said to ask what we can do for America, instead of asking what America can do for me.

    January 4, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Former Republican

    MR. PRESIDENT,

    OUR HEARTS & MINDS WILL BE WALKING THROUGH

    THE FRONT DOORS OF THE WHITE HOUSE WITH YOU.

    January 4, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Sue

    Obama, – I choked up and feel bad knowing you will be the president of USA.

    January 4, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. Mary Rose

    Best Wishes to the Obama Family from a proud Delawarean. May all things good come your way.

    January 4, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. John

    "Helen, VT January 4th, 2009 7:38 pm ET

    Chicago politics comes to Washington now. We can expect more scandals. I wonder if Jeremiah Wright will be invited to Washignton"

    Helen, keep grabbing at straws...meanwhile, Obama is on a plane, heading to the White House, where he will now be the most powerful man in the country.

    Your small thinking yielding small results in the election...

    January 4, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. kevin

    May God bless the work of your hands Mr Presedent. Please stay prayerful and listen to the still small voice inside. You shall be a blessing to our country and to the world.

    January 4, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. diane

    Obama may be a little chocked up now, but how is he going to feel when he falls off the tall pedistal that cnn has put him on and will you report events any better than you've done in several years. I doubt it.
    But I'll not waste any of my time finding out how you'll cover his huge bad judgement calls. I agree with Lee that I want to puke any time I see him or listen to all his famous lies. Bet you will not post this. You're viewing and deciding whose comment will be posted is a form of Obama control of media WITH YOUR HELP!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. arc, Lugano CH

    Helen, VT January 4th, 2009 7:38 pm ET
    Chicago politics comes to Washington now. We can expect more scandals. I wonder if Jeremiah Wright will be invited to Washignton…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Reverend Wright really scared you didn't he? He didn't scare me and I own real estate in Vermont.

    Then again, I guess even the Green Mountain State is home to 'Country First' Poor White Trash who can't see a world beyond their own driveway.

    January 4, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  13. jwrig22

    Why was his house empty? Did he sell it?

    January 4, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. Why Not

    Hey Lee – Didn't you puke at any time during the last 8 years? I did, repeatedly. This country has no where to go up but up. Why not stand behind our President elect and do our part to heal this nation? Why not stand up and be a resonsible citizen and something of worth to our society?

    January 4, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. jwrig22

    ...or was it b/c they were just leaving it? I don't know. Oh well, YES WE DID!

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Buckeye

    Gaza lies in ruins and her people are being slaughtered by the hundreds. Where is your protest, Mr. Obama? Silence is the voice of complicity.

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. Sean

    Too bad for you, Lee..

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. dine

    Obama may be a little chocked up now, but how is he going to feel when he falls off the tall pedistal that cnn has put him on and will you report events any better than you've done in several years. I doubt it.
    But I'll not waste any of my time finding out how you'll cover his huge bad judgement calls. I agree with Lee that I want to puke any time I see him or listen to all his famous lies. Bet you will not post this. You're viewing and deciding whose comment will be posted is a form of Obama control of media WITH YOUR HELP!!!!!!!!!

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. Gary

    I wonder if he attended a memorial for his grandmother.

    I really hope the media were able to leave him alone for that.

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. Proud American

    Lee = Your Mom felt the sameway the moment your were born. Idiot.

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Jacqueline

    Anon,

    Great get! If only these stupid media people would understand that the public is not a bunch of morons (like they are).

    As for Obama, God bless him, he's going to need. Let's all pray for him (I'm serious!).

    January 4, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Bohicaed

    Lee just go ahead and puke you idiot. Yep Obama is going to be your president keep a barf bag by you. I for one am rooting for him and thanking God Bush is almost out of office

    January 4, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Eugene

    The scary thing about all of this is that I actually think Obama and his cabinet understand what is ahead of them than the Bush crew could even explain. Bush is a good guy but was horrible in some key areas of his Presidency. One major area was giving the American people hope in hard times. I believe Americans do best when they are given hope, no matter how hard times get, hope strengthens who we are. Obama knows how to embrace American hopes and articulate them in a way Bush could not. Fear is not the way. So I support you 100% Mr. Pres.

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

    Too bad for you,Lee...

    January 4, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  25. nclaw441

    I wish Obama and all of us luck. I agree with a prior poster that he has no idea of what he is in for, and I fear that he is greatly out of his league. His promise of change is vanishing before our eyes as he brings back Clinton hacks, one of whom has already had to back out (Richardson). Simply using the word "change" will have to stop and Obama is going to have to say, at least, what he really means by "change." I am hopeful, but not optimistic.

    I wonder if the press will be as "kind" to him as they were (not) to President Bush. I fear that this "historic" president will be given the benefit of every doubt by the press and the people will never know what he is REALLY up to.

    January 4, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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