- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Obama family will keep their home in Chicago’s Hyde Park when they move to Washington in January, the president-elect told someone in a local deli.

A news camera caught Barack Obama saying in Manny’s Deli on Friday afternoon the real estate market makes it a bad idea to sell the $1.6 million home where he lives with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia.

“We’re keeping our house,” Mr. Obama told a woman in the deli in a comment caught by the CBS-2 camera and posted online in a “Web extra.”

He grinned, adding, “We’re staying in there for awhile. Now’s not the time to sell.”

The Obama home in the South Side neighborhood has been protected by round-the-clock Secret Service for months. His patient neighbors have gotten used to having to show ID when approaching their homes.

Tourists wandering around to catch a glimpse of his home have been turned away by agents with weapons guarding each end of the street.

After he won the election, the street next to his own also was closed off for one block on either side.

The comments Friday in Manny’s were the Democrat’s first about the potential Western White House, a presidential vacation site that many reporters had hoped would be in his native Hawaii.

President Bush goes to his ranch in Crawford, Texas when on vacation.

The Obama family has gone to Honolulu, where his recently deceased grandmother lived, over many winter holidays. He made his decision to run for president while vacationing in December 2006.

He also took a few days off in early 2008 in the Virgin Islands.

In the video from Manny’s Deli, which can be found at WashingtonTimes.com/weblogs/bellantoni, the woman he’s speaking to hints that Mr. Obama had White House ambitions more than a decade ago, telling the president-elect, “‘Well you asked for it. I remember 12 years ago …”

A protective pool reporter and scribes from wire services were with Mr. Obama Friday as he ordered corned beef sandwiches from the deli, but were not within earshot of the comment about his home.

Mr. Obama also dodged a question from a Reuters reporter about the plight of the auto industry.

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