The First Draft, Monday, Jan. 5
President-elect Barack Obama woke up today in the tony Hay-Adams Hotel, across Lafayette Park from the White House.
Soon after sunrise, a black SUV was spotted carrying Obama’s younger daughter Sasha to her first day at Sidwell Friends School elementary campus in suburban Bethesda, Maryland. Older daughter Malia will go to Sidwell Friends’ middle school campus in Washington DC.
The Obamas arrived in Washington late Sunday, an extra-early move so the girls could start school at the beginning of the semester. Most presidents-elect arrive on January 15. That’s when the Obama family will move into Blair House, directly across the street from the White House. The new first family moves into the executive mansion on Inauguration Day, January 20.
Top news on morning TV shows was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s withdrawal as Obama’s chosen commerce secretary in the face of a legal inquiry. Richardson, a former Democratic presidential candidate, has denied wrongdoing in connection with the investigation of a California-based financial company that had done business with the New Mexico state government.
U.S. TV news shows offered a bit of chatter about Obama’s plan for up to $310 billion in tax cuts for businesses and the middle class as part of an economic stimulus package.
Obama goes to Capitol Hill today for discussions with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. The new Congress will be sworn in on Tuesday, launching the political year.
For workaday Washingtonians, the advent of the Obamas is more than politics. It’s a traffic story. On the first working Monday of the new year, commuters are faced with street closings and restricted access around the Hay-Adams.
REUTERS/Jason Reed (Hay Adams Hotel in Washington)
REUTERS/Steve Marcus (Bill Richardson in Las Vegas)