5 Jan 2009

US president-elect moves to Washington

6:38 pm on 5 January 2009

US President-elect Barack Obama and his family have officially arrived in Washington DC, in preparation for taking up residence at the White House after Mr Obama's inauguration as president on 20 January.

Mr Obama's wife and their two daughters arrived first at the Hay-Adams Hotel, which overlooks the White House. Mr Obama later flew in from Chicago.

Malia, 10, and seven-year-old Sasha were due to start classes at the exclusive Sidwell Friends School on Monday.

The Obamas will move to the official presidential guest home on 15 January. Bush administration officials said Blair House, which is located opposite the White House and has previously housed presidents-elect before their inauguration, is booked solidly until then.

The Obamas arrived back at their home in Chicago early on Friday, following a 12-day family holiday in Hawaii, and began the move to Washington less than 48 hours later.

Security has been tightened around the Hay-Adams Hotel, with parking restricted in nearby streets until 15 January.

In the coming days, Mr Obama is expected to spend time with Congressional leaders, as they work on a multi-million dollar stimulus plan intended to aid the country's embattled economy.

The president-elect has also been invited to lunch at the White House on Wednesday, along with former Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George Bush Senior.