The Obama family arrived in Washington, DC this weekend on separate planes from Chicago. They checked into the Hay-Adams hotel, near Lafayette Squre, after being snubbed by the Bush administration, which refused the future first family quarters at the Blair House until January 15. Blair House, across the street from the White House, is the traditional residence of presidents-elect while they await inauguration.
Obama told reporters that he was displeased with the prospect of a further two weeks living in a hotel, saying, “we kind of did that for two years.” Secret Service has transformed the Hay-Adams into a fortress, closing adjacent streets and setting up barricades to prevent suicide car bombings. The president-elect’s daughters Malia and Sasha start school today at Sidwell Friends with fellow classmates returning from winter break.
President-elect Obama flies to Philadelphia on January 17 to begin a ceremonial train journey to Washington, DC. Official inaugural events begin January 18 with an appearance by Obama at the Lincoln Memorial.