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WEEKLY ADDRESS FROM PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA.
Obamas Denied Early Stay at Presidential Guesthouse

Obamas denied presidential guesthouse. Barack Obama may be the most popular incoming president in recent memory, but it won’t help him get a bed at Blair House before mid-January. Blair House is where newly elected commanders-in-chief traditionally move in five days before inauguration to the White House. The Obama clan initially “explored the idea” of an early check-in so daughters Sasha and Malia could start school in D.C. immediately after the Christmas break, a spokesperson says. But they were told that pre-scheduled events and guests at Blair House, which also lodges visiting dignitaries, prevents a move before Jan. 15. “The Blair House, the president’s guest house for visiting dignitaries, is available to President-elect Obama and his family starting Jan. 15, as is historically the case,” says Sally McDonough, a D.C. spokesperson. “As for any conversation, I don’t comment on specific conversations about transition details.” Obama’s transition team spokesperson says the White House has been “extremely accommodating” to the Obamas, and that process has been “smooth and friendly.”


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Obama tells daughters he ran for president for them, all children

WASHINGTON (AFP) – In an open letter to his young daughters, US president-elect Barack Obama said Thursday that he entered the race for the White House "because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation."

"When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me -- about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world," Obama said in the letter published in Parade magazine, a weekend newspaper color supplement.

"I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfilment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation," wrote the soon-to-be Dad-in-chief.

Obama's wish-list for children includes challenging and inspirational schools; equal opportunity to go to university, regardless of their family's financial standing; and well-paid jobs with benefits such as health care and a pension plan that will allow them to "retire with dignity."

The 47-year-old father of Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, said he wants to "push the boundaries" of discovery to encourage the development of new technology and inventions that improve lives and protect the environment.

And he spoke of his vision of a United States that has reached "beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other."

He would strive to send young Americans to war "only for a very good reason", trying first to settle differences with other nations peacefully.

"These are the things I want for you -- to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world," wrote Obama.

"And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure," wrote Obama, who on Tuesday will move into the White House with his two daughters and wife, Michelle.

President Obama-Baltimore, 1-17-09, on the Historic Ride to Washington, DC
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