Obama Says He Plans to Stay in Washington Area After Leaving Office

March 4, 2016 Updated: March 8, 2016
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WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama said he’ll stick around the Washington area for a couple of years after he leaves office in January so daughter Sasha can finish high school.

Sasha, 14, is a freshman at Sidwell Friends, an exclusive school in the nation’s capital that for years has educated the children of Washington’s elites. Her sister, Malia, 17, is a senior at Sidwell. She is expected to be settling in at college when her father’s term ends.

Obama is also expected to spend time in Chicago after leaving the White House.

Obama’s revelation came in response to a question during a luncheon in Milwaukee, where a woman asked him where he will live after he’s done being president.

“We’re going to have to stay a couple of years so Sasha can finish [school],” Obama said. 

 He added: “Transferring someone in the middle of high school. Tough.”

President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha walk from the White House to board Marine One on the South Lawn on Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha walk from the White House to board Marine One on the South Lawn on Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama previously hinted at the possibility of staying in Washington during a television interview with Barbara Walters in late 2013 when he said Sasha “will have a big say” in where the family ends up. But the president sounded more definitive on Thursday.

The president had lunch with five people who had sent him letters describing how they benefited from the Affordable Care Act, the health care law he signed nearly six years ago. His comments came during a portion of the meeting that was open to the news media and were picked up by microphones.

Obama is also expected to spend time in Chicago after leaving the White House. He and his wife, Michelle, have kept their home in the city. Obama also plans to build his presidential library in Chicago.

President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine, March 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine, March 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Woodrow Wilson, who held the Oval Office from 1913-1921, is the most recent president to live in Washington after leaving office, according to the White House Historical Association. Wilson was ill and died three years later, in 1924.