CHICAGO—The White House has turned down a request from the family of President-elect Barack Obama to move into Blair House in early January so that his daughters can start school on Jan. 5.
The Obamas were told that Blair House, where incoming presidents usually stay in the five days before Inauguration Day, is booked in early January, a spokesperson to the Obama transition said. “We explored the idea so that the girls could start school on schedule,’ the spokesperson said. “But, there were previously scheduled events and guests that couldn’t be displaced.”
It remained unclear who on Bushes guest list outranked the incoming President.
“It’s not a public schedule,” said Sally McDonough, spokeswoman for First Lady Laura Bush, in refusing to disclose who was staying at Blair House.
Maybe it’s all of Chimpy’s old drinkin’ buddies! Now that he is never seen in public, I bet he’s been sauced to the gills every day.
Ms. McDonough said “there’s nothing more to say other than that it’s not available and won’t be available until January 15.” She added that “you’re trying to make a story out of something that’s not a story.”
A State Department official said he didn’t know of any foreign dignitaries staying at Blair House in early January.
A White House official said that Mr. Bush does not have family or friends from Texas staying at Blair House during the period which the Obamas requested. But Blair House, the official said, has been booked for “receptions and gatherings” by members of the outgoing Bush administration. Those receptions, the official said, “don’t make it suitable for full-time occupancy by the Obamas yet.”
Hey! I know where there’s plenty of room!
Mr. Obama has been staying in Chicago with his family since the election; the Obamas have decided to send their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, to Sidwell Friends School in Washington.
Obama transition officials said that the family is considering other housing options and are hopeful the girls will not miss the start of school.