Page last updated at 00:25 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Obama family moves to Washington

Barack Obama boards an Air Force 757 in Chicago on 4 January for his official flight to Washington DC
Mr Obama arrived from Chicago aboard an Air Force 757 jet

US President-elect Barack Obama and his family have officially arrived in Washington DC in preparation for taking up residence at the White House.

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 are 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.

Blair House, which is located opposite the White House and has previously housed presidents-elect before their inauguration, is booked solidly until then, Bush administration officials said.

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.

The Hay-Adams Hotel, built in 1928, stands across Lafayette Square from the White House, where the Obama family will take up residence following the inauguration ceremony on 20 January.

Hay-Adams Hotel, Washington DC
Security has been tightened around the historic Hay-Adams Hotel
Security has been tightened around the hotel, with parking restricted in nearby streets until 15 January, according to city officials.

The Obamas are expected to stay in one of the historic hotel's luxury suites, which cost several thousand dollars a night, as their daughters start school.

Other children of prominent politicians to have attended the private Sidwell Friends School include Chelsea Clinton and the daughters of President Richard Nixon.

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.

Blagojevich row

Meanwhile, a row continues over the appointment of Roland Burris to fill Mr Obama's now-vacant Illinois Senate seat.

Mr Burris was picked by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is the subject of a criminal inquiry and has been charged with attempting to "sell" Mr Obama's seat to the highest bidder.

The governor - who denies any wrongdoing - has defied pressure from party leaders to step down and last week chose Mr Burris, the state's former attorney general, to fill the position.

Senate Democrats have said that while there are no questions about Mr Burris's personal integrity, they will reject anyone appointed by Mr Blagojevich.

The president-elect has said he agrees the Senate "cannot accept" a new senator chosen by Mr Blagojevich, adding that Mr Blagojevich himself should resign.

New Senate members will be sworn in on Tuesday, as the new session of Congress opens.

Mr Burris said on Saturday he still planned to go to Washington on Monday to take up the Senate seat, the Associated Press news agency reported.

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