Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Michelle's mom, Marion Robinson, in D.C. now, not sure she will stay


WASHINGTON--Michelle Obama's mom, Marion Robinson is in Washington already, helping getting her granddaughters settled. But she is not sure she wants to move permanently from Chicago to Washington--and even if she does, if she wants to live in the White House.

Incoming First Lady spokesman Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said in an e-mailed statement, "Mrs. Robinson will be coming with the family to help the girls get acclimated, and she will determine in the coming months whether or not she wants to stay in DC permanently."

Michelle Obama often said during the campaign that she felt free to be on the trail because her daughters were in the care of her mother.


While I can certainly understand Mrs. Robinson's reluctance to go through the trauma of making the move to Washington, and the friends she will no doubt miss, I hope she will find her stay in the Big Beltway City in the most historic mansion therein a wonderful experience and stay.
She has performed such a remarkable service for her grandchildren, giving them stability and security while their parents were engaged in a monumental effort.
I hope many people will welcome her to Washington and that she will have some opportunities to enjoy her time there, on her own, as well as with her grandchildren.
I envy her that opportunity.

What a nice lady.

I think it's wonderful that Mrs. Robinson is in Washington with the grandchildren. She will provide that stability which will be needed as the parents embark on a great journey. Also, just to have an opportunity to live in the White House, what an experience and I dare say one she probably never imagined!

I am under the impression that it is only immediate family that lives in the white house

I think one other mother-in-law has resided in the W.H. in the past. Will she pay rent? Could they not rent a place nearby? It doesn't seem quite right that the public pay for her housing, no matter how nice and wonderful she is....

Ann, Give me a break. Would you make your mother-in-law "pay rent" if she were the caregiver to your children? You obviously do not have children or have never needed child care. Piece-of-mind will allow President Obama the opportunity to devote his full attention to running our wonderful country and give Michelle Obama the time she needs to perform her duties as First Lady. Having Marion Robinson live at the White House is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think the country should be picking up the tab for Ms. Robinson's care at the White House. She should be paying for her food, cleaning services, etc.

FYI, the Obamas will be paying her bills just like they pay their own. A little unknown secret is that the President and his family pay their own bills when it comes to food and other day to day living expenses. State dinners are paid for by the State Department, and while Congress appropriates a budget for decorating, anything over that limit is paid for by the family or any private fundraising. The taxpayer only covers the President's salary and the day to day maintnance of the White House which everyone will agree is a national treasure.


Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 9, 2009 2:41 PM.

Michelle Obama to retain Bush White House chef was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich impeachment is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.