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. Bill

    We have faith in you, Mr. Obama, not that you can or will be able to provide a solution for every problem on the spot. Rather, you were elected because we know you will think before acting, that you will act on behalf of ALL Americans, and that you will surround yourself with the best advice and counsel.

    I think even your worst oponents wish you and your family well as you adjust to a new city and a new lifestyle.

    God be with you.

    January 4, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. libs be dopes

    I did not vote for Obama but nevertheless I wish him the best in getting both Parties headed in the right direction. I do believe he will have more problems with Reid, Pelosi, Kennedy and the rest of the "old school" Dems that with the Repubs.

    They, like many more are in it for themselves, with the voter, the job they were sent to do, and the Country not even on their horizon.

    If Obama is going to "change" anything he better start with those folks.

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

    Hope it's a fast flight. Any chance we can buy out the final month of 'w's contract? Real shame for him to waste yet another month of tax payer money.

    There is no bigger slap in the face to the concept of welfare than the $400k/yr we've paid 'w' to ruin our country. What a waste.

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

    Thank You Mr. President for stepping up for the challange. I know the Idiot Republicans have left a mess for you, but I feel it's safe to say your the best man for the job. Thanks

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

    May God bless the work of your hands Mr President. 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 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. QnAtl

    Prepare yourself, you'll be choking for the next 8 years. he he!

    January 4, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Ed Lawler

    I am not a fan of Pres. Bush, but if the people that think Obama can clean up this mess they are badly mistaken. Congress is more to blame then Bush. And Obama will have to control congress. The American people have spoken and congress must listen to what the new Guy is attempting to do. I seriously, doubt as flawed and corrupt as our elected officals are, that he can do it.

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

    Godspeed Mr. President-Elect!

    January 4, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. laurie

    Good luck, Mr. Obama.
    May you and your lovely family be safe.
    May you and your lovely family continue to give hope to the world.
    May you and your lovely family enjoy your new adventure.

    January 4, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. Emily in California

    We love our handsome young President. 🙂 Give 'em heck Obama Family! Also to Anon above: I couldn't agree with you more. Through is spelled "through." It's not that dificult to type the extra three letters. Since when did illiteracy become cute?

    January 4, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. arc, Lugano CH

    Brian January 4th, 2009 7:39 pm ET
    As somebody who didn't vote for Mr. Obama I wish him luck and hope the critics don't get after him if "change" isn't seen immediatey.
    Brian, we didn't support the same candidate, but I respectfully applaud your posting.

    January 4, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Gail

    Great, our enemies are loving this right about now. January the 20th will be opening day on Americans around the world.

    January 4, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. earle,florida

    Man,does this guy know how to work a crowd,...

    January 4, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. eunice c -- trenton new jersey

    you go president obama i wish you and your family well GOOD LUCK FAN OF THE OBAMAS

    January 4, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  15. Shane


    January 4, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. Mary

    We Love You and are here to do as you ask and help clean up our country! There is a lot of work to do and we know that no President can do it alone, the current and soon to be last one didn't mess it up alone either.

    God Speed PE Obama ~ Thank You for rising to the challange!

    January 4, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. Wisest one of All

    hussein nobama is the ultimate phoney. The only people more stupid than that racist empty suit are his cult followers. Proven Fact!

    January 4, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. David

    We're with you Mr. President !!!! Let's get to work rebuilding these great United States of America, putting folks back to work, responsibly getting out of Iraq, moving quickly toward independence from foreign oil and all fossil fuels and leading the world again toward Peace and prosperity.

    January 4, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  19. Rainy


    Your comment is totally stupid...made me puke when I read it...

    January 4, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  20. arc, Lugano CH

    Sue January 4th, 2009 7:36 pm ET
    ...We are not God on Earth. We are just people, as are Hamas, Iranians, Israelis, and Iraqis. People who deserve to live in peace.
    Brilliant. You said it. A votre santé!!

    January 4, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. Brian

    History will remember 2009 as the year of change!

    Yes we can!!

    January 4, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  22. Proud American

    Hatefull Republicans please stop the hate.

    January 4, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. here get used to it

    finally...when is bush going to be out of here? i am still shocked that people like Lee or Helen exist. i mean, i guess it just goes to show that inbreeding and ignorance are still rampant in this country! what kind of fool would vote for someone like Palin has got to be brain-damaged or unpatriotic. we aren't democrats or republicans....we are Americans...country first, party second. mccain lost touch with that....

    January 4, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. bibi

    I wish he would choke a bit by the sight of babies and children being slaughtered in Gaza with US bombs. Perhaps US soldiers and pilots helping to wipe out the palestinian people. He knew about this invasion and supported it. Shame on you Obama. The Muslim nations have lost all respect for you. Do not try to come and speak in our countries,. You are not welcome. You have muslim blood on your hands. We will not forget.

    January 4, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. 30m-PA-voted Clinton then McCain

    What a liar.

    January 4, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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