Accessibility links

Barack Obama Spends First Full Day in DC as President-elect

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama arrived in Washington DC on Sunday. His first task on Monday was visiting Congressional leaders to talk about the financial crisis which he has called "an extraordinary economic challenge." But as a dad, his first task was getting his family settled.

It looks like a typical Monday morning, getting the children ready for school after Christmas break.

But nothing is typical anymore for the Obamas.

The future first family now lives in the Hay Adams Hotel, across from the White House.

Early Monday, curtains open to reveal a dark security van, whisking the Obama daughters to their private schools. Malia to second grade; Sasha to fifth.

Spectators, like bicycle courier Charles Little, watch and wait, hoping for a glimpse of the future president. "It would be somewhat more enhancing than to actually see him in person, than to just to see him on television," Little said.

The Kelly family is visiting from Rhode Island. Annika is 7, the same age as Malia. Annika points to a building and says "Barack Obama is staying there in that building."

Her brother Adam is amazed. "This is the closest we've ever been to a current U.S. president," he said.

Brian and Annela Kelly say they would like the chance to see Obama. "Knowing that he's in there, not really expecting to see him. But just getting that close is exciting," Kelly said. "Looks impressive, seeing the guy on the roof makes it very impressive for the kids," Annela added.

The "guy on the roof" is secret service - just one of dozens guarding the hotel.

Officers allow only a quick peek at President Elect Obama's van as he's hustled to Capitol Hill.

He met with first with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"We've got an extraordinary economic challenge ahead of us," Obama said. "We're expecting a sobering job report at the end of the week."

"We will hit the ground running on the initiatives," Pelosi states. "Some of which you described, to address some of the pain being felt by the American people."

The president-elect is asking Congress to spend about $750 billion to improve infrastructure and schools and create three million jobs.

Back at the hotel, spectators continue to file past. It's something the Obamas will need to get used to - even after they move right around the corner to Blair House on January 15 before officially moving to the White House on the 20th.