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. mary the clerk


    January 4, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. Who was Michael Connell?

    Obama,the Leo,leader of the free world.Good luck sir.@LEE,keep puking and then choke,it sounds great.

    January 4, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. Old White Virginia Female

    Amen, Mizzy, and even if I just get to see you on the TV screens along the way!

    January 4, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. bud

    What kind of American would hope that President Obama would fail to help this country? His success is our success. And his failure would would hurt us all. Get the malice out of your hearts and hope for a better America.

    January 4, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. Uncle Fester

    Ken H- that is might Christian of you. Hypocrite

    January 4, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Bill A

    KEN...Poor lad! I have a feeling you have a lot of self imposed
    self identity problems....Maybe there not just self imposed but how you are viewed by those around you...Good night...

    January 4, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Griff

    So do I.... The World deserve's Better...,.. All my Toto's.... My stories are now obsoleten because of you.... The World is still young.... How do they catch up now????

    January 4, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. BKMC

    May God bless you and your family Mr President Barak Obama and may God bless America

    January 4, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. Dorothy In NC

    Everytime there is an article about Obama, there are so many sarcastic things people say. This man hasn't even been inauguarated and people are criticizing and judging him already. He is a brilliant and educated, works hard, cares about people, and is a devoted husband and family man.....my goodness we can't have a man with those virtues in the White House.
    Mr President-elect, I was origionally a Hillary supporter but it is my pleasure to wish you the very best of luck and I pray that between the miserable mess George W. has left you and the cynnacism of some of our people, you don't get discouraged.
    People just make me sick.

    January 4, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    NON-NEWS! Who cares.

    January 4, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. rodger lawson

    MK. President we all that have much Love for this Country, must have and shall have Great Love for you and the First Family. I as an Afdrican American Male can feel the pounding of anticipated Greatness coursing through the veins of History. I pray for your mental, emotional, physical and traveling safetyas you and God undertake this daunting task. Be brave, strong, and true too yourself, family and Country Mr. President.

    January 4, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  12. Kim

    What is WRONG with you people??

    Wish the man the best and give him a chance, for the love of Christ. All you so-called Christians with so much hate in your hearts, you should be ashamed.

    Godspeed, Mr. Obama. May you and your family be blessed and kept safe.

    January 4, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  13. Al

    Good luck to our new president and to all of us, to recover after 8 years. Never thought that so good, intelligent and capable person can be elected as a president.

    January 4, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Mary

    How very lucky we are to have some intelligent people back in the White House. When I saw the column of "Bushisms," it made me laugh at Bush's stupidity. How on earth did we survive these eight years?! God Bless the United States of America.

    January 4, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. Saddened by all the hatred

    It is truly disgusting what so many people chose to write in response to this article. You sound so bitter and angry because an incredibly intelligent man who loves his country has been elected president. What on earth is wrong with you? Just because all of his beliefs aren't in line with 100% of yours doesn't make him a poor choice for president. Come on, the choice has been made, the country has spoken and he is our next president. Let go of all the hatred, resentment and anger and lets come together as a country and support him! Remember – we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

    January 4, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. CAMI

    Wow, only one or two negative comments for a change.

    I'm joining the rest of you here to wish our PE Obama only the best. It will feel good to put the last horrible 8 years behind us, even though I know that patience will be necessary. That being said, just knowing that someone who has the country's best interests at heart will be in the White House in 16 days, is encouraging.

    On another note, I cannot, for the life of me, understand those who post such negative things here, wishing for PE Obama to fail, just so they can say they were right. Don't they realize that if he fails, we all (the entire country) fail, themselves included. Is that what they really want? Why would anyone wish for more bad times after what we've been through. Reading their posts, I know exactly what "cutting off your nose to spite your face" means.

    To whoever asked about the Obamas house in Chicago – I read somewhere that they are keeping it.

    Godd luck and God bless you and your family PE Obama. I am so looking forward to Jan. 20th and beyond.

    CNN: Please don't put this into moderation like you usually do, although I have no idea why it always happens.

    January 4, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. Sam

    Many of us (Despite a few ugly comments here) are very happy to have you in DC and in charge on January 20th, President Elect Obama! We support you and wish you every success in getting this country back to greatness. And can't wait to have you as President.

    January 4, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    LOL thru

    January 4, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. nana

    God bless u Mr.P.E.u make many of us proud.May God protect you

    January 4, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  20. Kel

    Thank you Mr. President-elect. The world needs you. 🙂

    January 4, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    I am so delighted that this country can move on and we have elected a bright individual who can talk intelligently and bring the USA back to the level of respect that we have had in the past. God Speed Barack and I will keep you in my prayers...lets get this country right again!

    January 4, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  22. steve

    wow, christians are so full of HATE! and as to the abortion and gay marraige stuff, just because your not against something doesn't mean you are for it, pull the log out of your own eyes. the man shows his humanity today, some of you republican/chrsitians need to find yours!

    January 4, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. Troy Miller

    Those that have Christ as the center of their lives do not speak, write, or blog evil statements about dignitaries. Perhaps you should consult the book of Jude. President -elect Obama has treated all of his former political adversaries with dignity and respect. Try it; it will make you feel better

    January 4, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. Carole

    Dear President-Elect Obama,
    We saw you in Jacksonville the day before the election and my 14 yr sold son said, "Mom we just saw the next POTUS speak." I told him I hoped so. Everyone should give you the benefit of the doubt and pray as a nation that you are able to turn this country around. Please bring back the line item veto and make the next stimulus package count. There must be oversight and restrictions. No blank checks FOR ANYONE.

    May God bless you and your family. May he keep you safe and give you strength to make the tough decisions (even if they aren't the popular choice). We wish the girls good luck in their new school.


    January 4, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  25. Bob

    Hey, @anon, since when have all articles on any news site been perfectly written? They are routinely full of typos and even gross grammatical errors. Writing of nit-picking, why does your question begin with a lower case letter? Perhaps you might review your own writing before critiquing others'. Oh, that's right; you're not a pro. Get it? Not a pro? Hahahaha!

    January 4, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
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