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. Heffelfinger

    To "Lee"...

    How sorry I am for you because you are filled with such hatred!


    January 4, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  2. vernah petersen

    Mr.Obama the president -elect since the day you were pronounce the "new " president for the next 4 years my prayers has been heard and submitted to the holy spirit to guide you and your family always. Because, if there is a way and there will be a light to the nation of so many pain, frustratious, division and treatment to all races. It is about time you are send as the guiding "light " to light up every people life without worried. May the "holy spirit " bless your works to coming years until the next term. May God speed your team's in good time nor hard times.

    V. Petersen

    January 4, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. Georgia Gal

    Did he sell his house in this horrible housing crisis?

    January 4, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. rachel

    good luck

    January 4, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    God bless the Obama family and God bless America!

    I can barely wait until Inauguration Day – January 20, 2009

    January 4, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. Adreanna

    @Helen, VT: Why don't you keep your negative comments to yourself?
    Time is out for negativity. It's a new year, we are about to embark on a new era.

    I am praying for the best for the United States and for President-Elect Obama and Vice-President Elect Biden as our new Leaders.
    May God continue to keep them safe and full of wisdom and courage.

    January 4, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. Tracy-Oakley

    Lee, I am so sorry that you are so cynical, hope you learn to love the USA and its history so that you can see how far this young country has come.

    Good Luck PE Obama...We are FIRED UP and READY TO WORK and push the USA FORWARD cynics and ALL!!

    January 4, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Greg

    Thank you anon for noting the COMPLETELY unacceptable use of "thru" instead of "through." CNN.com should be ashamed.

    January 4, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. Bill A

    Lee.You're what's wrong with America..You,Hannity,Rush,Beck ,Laura and Fox News just get on the same plane with Bush and fly doewn to Crawford,never to be heard from again.

    January 4, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. John

    Godspeed, Mr. Obama, Godspeed.

    January 4, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  11. Wisconsin

    YES WE CAN ......... and we can hardly wait. God bless the Obamas and God Bless American.

    January 4, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. tkelson

    President Obama,

    You thougth you got choked up when you left the windy city, just wait till you get to Washington and see the mess that G. Bush left you. LOL


    January 4, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. Adam

    Don't let us down Obama.

    January 4, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. David

    Relief....that is the feeling slowly filling me with hope. Relief.

    January 4, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. aware

    I would choke up too at the thought of working with inept, arrogant old cronies like Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd…! 🙁

    But then PEBO used Chicago smack down, palm-greasing, manipulation, obfuscation, prevarication…to get elected so-on with the one act drama!

    January 4, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. Dixie

    We love you and your family, Mr. President. It was awesome being a part of your campaign since the very beginning. Our country is truly blessed to have you. May God continue to shed blessings on all of you.

    January 4, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Revright

    He's choked up alright because his Chicago-style politics are already unraveling; Blago and Richardson are only the tip of the iceberg. The Rahm-bomb will drop next, and then all of the others will drop like dominoes. His first task will be to grant pardons to his cabinet, himself and all his crooked friends and partners...

    January 4, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. Peter from Chicago

    Mr. President-elect,

    Good luck to you, we love you and may God be with you!

    January 4, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    Lee and Helen in Vt.: you both need to lighten up. A majority of the people of this nation elected P.E. Obama. Live with it and work to make your lives and your communities better.

    January 4, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  20. Ken

    To bad he is not going to Kenya, take Chicago trash with you!!!!! He has 75% approvel and he isn't in office yet???? Who did they poll morons!!!!!!

    January 4, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. alex

    you did this for good .we know living your home will shock you up and we believe that you will sheck all this mess and back the country where it gatta be. you rock obama.
    Believe in you

    January 4, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. Ernie in LA

    Don't worry. You can take the boy out of Chicago politics but you can't take the Chicago politics out of the boy. Put on your seat belts folks.

    January 4, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Don't tread on me

    give the man some love; he's sacrificing his family and himself to better this country

    OK, "smoke 'em if you got,'em, Barack."

    Remember the VETO pen with your "Cooperative congress"

    January 4, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. Independant from NY

    Thank God it's not McCain, that's all I gotta say.

    January 4, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Anon

    "Thru"? Oh no, even on CNN there is no escape from it.

    January 4, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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