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Obama Says Family Will Stay in DC After Leaving White House

Photograph of Obama Family by White House/Alamy; photo-illustration by Paul Spella.

President Obama on Thursday all but confirmed his long-running hints that he and his family will remain in Washington for some time after they leave the White House so that his youngest daughter, Sasha, can finish high school.

“We’re going to have to stay a couple of years so Sasha can finish” at Sidwell Friends School, the president said at a restaurant in Milwaukee, according to pool reports. “Transferring someone in the middle of high school—tough.”

Obama, visiting Wisconsin to meet with beneficiaries of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, was asked by a supporter of his signature healthcare law where he would move after he leaves office next January.

“Hawaii is home for me,” he said, though he also added that “I spent almost 30 years in Chicago,” Michelle Obama‘s hometown and the future location of his presidential library.

But the Obamas have suggested for several years that—unlike most first families—they won’t skip town once the next president is inaugurated.  “Sasha will have a big say in where we are,” the president told ABC News in November 2013.

The Obamas’ older daughter, Malia, will be college-bound after graduating from Sidwell this spring.

The last president to remain in DC after leaving office was Woodrow Wilson, who spent the last four years of his life at a house in Kalorama. In November, Washingtonian recommended that and six other neighborhoods where the Obamas might want to consider settling.

Obama’s statement today also appears to wrinkle a prediction laid out Tuesday by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who said after winning his home state’s Republican presidential primary that next January “Marine One will depart Washington, DC” with then-former President Obama on board. If the Obamas are instead bound for a house in DC, that seems like a terribly inefficient use of government helicopters.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.