Obamas Denied Public Housing

A view of Blair House, which is situated across the street from the White House. The yellow facade marks the main entrance. (Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

A view of Blair House, which is situated across the street from the White House. The yellow facade marks the main entrance. (Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

Helene Cooper of NYT is trying to make a big deal out of something that rather clearly isn’t. In a story entitled, “Sorry, We’re Booked, White House Tells Obamas,” we’re told “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.”

Bush is president through noon on January 20. Between now and then, Barack Obama, who resigned his Senate seat, is a private citizen. As the story notes, it’s customary for the incoming president and his family to stay at Blair House “the five days before Inauguration Day.” As it turns out, Blair House will in fact be made available to the Obama’s by January 15.

The place has been booked for various receptions which make it unsuitable for use as private living quarters. Presumably, given the way things work in Washington, they were booked way in advance. Given that the Obamas just found out that they had a new gig on November 4 — and decided to put the girls in Sidwell Friends well after that — they probably only inquired about Blair House’s early availability in the last few days.

I’m guessing that the Obamas, who are quite well off financially, can stay in a nice hotel for ten days. Or stay with friends in the District. Hell, there might well be some other swanky government accommodations (say, VIP quarters at Fort McNair or the Navy Yard?) that could be freed up for them.

Indeed, it’s noteworthy that the Obamas aren’t whining about this. “The White House has been extremely accommodating to the Obama family needs — and the entire process has been smooth and friendly,” the transition official said.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I was denied public housing once, and that was after I had an HUD certificate.
    But the word was what the word was.
    So who’s word is right or wrong in my opinion know longer matters.
    Why? because if it doesn’t matter to the White House then why would it matter to anybody else anyway.
    So where’s the word there?
    Someone’s word isn’t good. The reason being that there wasn’t even a kind word.
    No other offers of assistance were made or offered yet.
    How about, moving into the basement?
    Or the private quarters?
    Aren’t good neighbors a good idea.
    If not then I guess the Olde Amerian Adage “good fences make good neighbors” still holds true.
    But who wants that kind of neighborhood.
    I hope this isn’t as bad as Jimmy Carter.
    What if there is no Jimmy Carter’s revenge.
    Could it be worse then Montezuma’s?
    I’ve never been to Mexico but I’m feeling more then a little sick.
    How are the Obama’s going to feel.
    And is this just another “only in America”?
    A friend from Africa once made a comment that
    “I never knew what it was like being black until I came to America.?

    Regards
    dePaul Consiglio
    Who’s doing a C on whom.

  2. Anon says:

    The NYT is becoming People magazine.

  3. Drew says:

    They pay this woman to write this stuff?

  4. Bill H says:

    David Schuster on Countdown made a big deal about this issue last night and, like you, I disagree. This seems to me to be a total non-issue and you confirmed what I thought at the time, that affairs are booked at Blair House very far in advance. There is plenty to bash the Bush Administration over without manufacturing trivia.

  5. Triumph says:

    Obama has been measuring the drapes for months–unfortunately a stolen election has gotten him in the White House.

    If I were Bush, I would protect all of the nation’s treasures in Blair House from Obama’s thievery as long as possible.

  6. Franklin says:

    Sorry, I missed the explanation how an electoral landslide could be a “stolen election.” Please do tell.

  7. caj says:

    Posted by Triumph | December 13, 2008 | 06:43 pm

    Typical response from an ignorant jerk!!!

  8. Triumph says:

    Please do tell.

    Obama’s connections with ACORN are well-known. They were engaged in wholesale electoral fraud throughout the country.

    Just like Obama’s political patron, Blagojevich, sells political favors, Hussein bought votes. He’s a Chicago-style politician, for god’s sake.

    Obama also won the hispanic vote by historical margins. Since most of them are illegals, their votes shouldn’t count. But because they control county politics in key regions of Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and California millions of illegals were allowed to vote for the beloved Great Leader B. Hussein.

  9. Franklin says:

    Triumph, not one of your sentences is factually true, except for Obama winning the Hispanic vote by historic margins. If you cite any (unbiased) evidence to the contrary, please share it.

    You might start by looking into the difference between registration fraud and actual vote fraud.

    I’m curious what the point of people like you and Bithead posting is. You folks add nothing substantive to the conversation, and convince no one of your opinion. Contrast that with Joyner’s approach where he carefully and thoughtfully lays out his thinking, backs it up with evidence, all without committing ad hominem attacks. What I am saying is that you two could learn a few things from the adults around here.

  10. HiItsNino says:

    The Obama’s are welcome to stay at my house. It has a great view of the Old Soldiers Home, and is walking distance to many national monuments.

  11. Triumph says:

    Triumph, not one of your sentences is factually true, except for Obama winning the Hispanic vote by historic margins. If you cite any (unbiased) evidence to the contrary, please share it.

    Our nation’s best Defense Department Secretary once said that the “absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.”

    With voter fraud, its hard to tell because the paper trail is shaky. It is a fact that ACORN is corrupt and it is a fact the Hussien worked for them. He also had a bunch of liberals working on his campaign, so he is–by definition–suspect.

    Contrast that with Joyner’s approach where he carefully and thoughtfully lays out his thinking, backs it up with evidence, all without committing ad hominem attacks

    J-Dawg is a liberal’s liberal. That type of approach won’t get us anywhere. As Bush said, we create the facts on the ground–otherwise the axis of evil will get you.

  12. sam says:

    Triumphalism: Fish meet barrel.

  13. caj says:

    As Bush said, we create the facts on the ground–otherwise the axis of evil will get you.

    Posted by Triumph | December 14, 2008.

    Yet another wonderful line from the Bush hand book.
    Axis of evil my eye, the only axis of evil around here is Bush himself, this man has such a lot to answer for.
    You are apparently one of those who has Obama involved in everything under the sun and can’t accept the fact that he is the President Elect!!
    After 8 years of incompetence by Bush the right seem to have a problem with someone of intelligence actually running this country.
    Time to realize that Bush has squandered those 8 years through total incompetence and left this country in one hell of a mess…and now it’s time for highly intelligent man to take charge and clean up the mess Bush has created!!

  14. sam says:

    Triumphalism: Chain meet jerked.

  15. qtip says:

    I’ve always assumed the Triumph persona is parody.

  16. tom p says:

    Triumph, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! All the more because neither the left nor the right can tell when they are being jerked. GIVE US MORE!