January 4th, 2009
07:42 PM ET
12 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. A TRUE CHRISTIAN

    To Mizzy 7:40 thank you Mizzy i could not have sayed it better myself for i to belive thatn PEO was appointed by the most high God for such a time as this and it also makes my belive that Gods plan for our country is for good and not evil plans to give us hope. God said let those that have eyes see and those that have ears hear and i can see that PEO has an anointing on him to lead our country into Gods plans so let us that pray and belive in prayer, pray for our President as if he was part of our own family. And i to will see you in D.C. ticket or no ticket, all the way from california!

    January 4, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Dumb De Dum-Dum

    @Lee

    I have hope too, hope you choke on it.

    January 4, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. John

    Barack Obama's not the savior many seem to want him to be but I still think he represents the best possible chance for real change in the USA.

    Good luck and Godspeed to you, President Obama.

    January 4, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Darren D. Johnson

    I vote as man, Blk, USAF (Ret). Pres Obama and family, God and my 4 Grands bless U for ever!

    January 4, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Alfred

    Don't get too choked up, you'll be back in four years...along with all of your other crooked Chicago politician friends.

    January 4, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. Larry

    Dear President-Elect Obama,

    I wish you and your entire family the very, very best as you embark on your Presidency. What you will need to do is jump on an Engine going the wrong way at full speed. You will need to stop the engine, turn it around, and head back in the right direction. It will take several years to see major results, but I have full confidence in your abilities, which come from G-d.

    Most Respectfully Yours,

    Larry LIbater

    January 4, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Ken H.

    I hoe this man falls flat on his lying, deceiving face. He will do nothing but tear this great nation down with his scandelous past. He is NOT a Christian because those that truly have Christ as the center of their lives does not support abortion or gay rights.

    January 4, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Harry

    What a great feeling to see an article about Obama and the comments section is not riddled with racist remarks by necocons and bigots.

    They're all hiding and licking their wounds. What a relief. Our country is on its way to becoming the greatest in the world again!

    January 4, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. kathy

    Good Luck Mr. President, what a mess at least you have
    Hillary to help you. I did not vote for you, i was a Hillary voter
    and still am but i know the Clintons (Hillary) will help you to
    get our country back and keep it strong.

    God Bless

    January 4, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. John Eichen

    It's scary to see the blind adoration of Obama on every political forum. I grew up in Germany in the 1940s and this reminds me far to much of the HJ (Hitlerjugend – Hitler Youth) for my taste.

    January 4, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. Rhonda from SC

    I am so happy for president elect Obama! I choke up everytime I think of the progress and history that was made when WE put him into the White House!

    January 4, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. A prisoner of hope

    I pray – every day – that this country can let go of hate. We need more than ever to work together. Come on. If you think this is the 'greatest country on earth', let's prove it – we are all human/one.

    January 4, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  13. A Canuck

    I have complete faith in Barack Obama ....He will be an amazing President..... because he is an amazing human being..... God be with him.

    January 4, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. Sharon, Tampa

    LOL@Lee...don't worry about it...you'll have 8 MORE YEARS to gag!!!

    January 4, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  15. Jonathan Wuerth

    President Elect Obama, we have your hope and will have your back. Be true to your inner self. Go to bed each night knowing you have made the most humane decisions. Make sure to read the important book I gave you by Richard Louv, "Last Child in the Woods" It will reinforce the need to conserve and protect our natural spaces for future generations to experience.

    January 4, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Hey, if he's so upset about leaving Chicago, he can resign and pull a few strings to have Ron Paul appointed to fill out his term.

    January 4, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. JOSE ALCANTARA

    MR. PRESIDENT OBAMA:

    IT IS AGREAT HONOR TO BE ABLE TO CONGRATULATE YOU ONCE
    MORE, AND WISH YOU THE VERY BEST SUCCESS THROUGHOUT
    THE EIGHT YEARS AND MANY MORE YEARS TO COME. –AND KEEP
    YOUR FAITH AS USUAL, REMEMBERING : *GOOD BLESS YOU AND
    GODBLESS AMERICA ! *

    WITH DUE RESPECT,

    JOSE ALCANTARA AND EVERY MEMBER OF
    MY FAMILY.

    /ja/

    January 4, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. 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 family and God bless.

    January 4, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. PA Dem

    Wow, Ken. I suppose you do claim to be a Christian. Aren't we supposed to be living gospels? I don't recall any scripture where Christ wished somone to "fall flat on his lying deceiving face". Looks like you have elected yourself fortune teller, judge, jury and executioner.

    January 4, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. muffy

    I am sure they will leave the house in Chicago intact for vacations. That is what I read.
    How wonderful that most of the bloggers on here were nice, warm Americans, even one who did not vote for him.

    He is a wonderful, bright, kind man who always thinks the best of things and people. Those who do not appreciate that are the losers. God bless the Obamas and Bidens. They are all great Americans and deserve the best.

    January 4, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Marta

    Our hopes, dreams and prayers will always accompany you and your family. Our lives have changed because of your coourage and trust/ See you in Wasington, Mr. President.

    January 4, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Hot Mama

    Barack Obama we LOVE you!! You are the greatest man to ever walk the earth. GWB is a crazy redneck who doesn't know how to talk.

    January 4, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Ken

    Thank you, President Obama, for being willing to serve and able to lead. The hopes and well wishes of people throughtout the United States and around the world are with you.

    January 4, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Emma

    I know it's been said, but "thru"? ... really?

    January 4, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. BUDDY IN PA

    GOD BLESS BARACK OBAMA AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY..

    MAY GOD GIVE HIM THE WISDOM TO LEAD OUR TROUBLED NATION NOW !!!

    January 4, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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