ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports:
President-elect Barack Obama’s mother-in-law will be moving into the White House with the future first family when the Obamas move into their new digs later this month.
The move to “the people’s house” by Marian Robinson — the 71-year-old mother of Michelle Obama — will be temporary … at least for now.
“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 D.C. permanently,” said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for the future first lady.
Malia and Sasha Obama’s grandmother is in Washington already — primarily to help the kids get settled and provide support for the family during its transition. During Obama’s campaign, Robinson regularly took care of the Obama daughters while their parents were busy criss-crossing the country for campaign events.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” shortly after the election, President-elect Obama said that he’s all for his mother-in-law moving in permanently.
“She sure can if she wants,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say that Marian Robinson is one of the unsung heroes of this campaign. We couldn’t have done it without her. ‘Cause she retired, looked after the girls, gave Michelle confidence that somebody was gonna be there when Michelle was on the road.”
Aides said Robinson has not decided about living in the White House or in Washington in the long term just yet because it is such a big change for her. She has lived in the same house on the South Side of Chicago for 50 years — the same house that Michelle grew up in — and has a very solid group of girlfriends in Chicago that she would be leaving behind if she were to decide to make Washington her permanent home.
Her primary focus in Washington for the time being will be to continue to help with the girls and all of their activities — as it was in Chicago. In addition to spending time with her granddaughters, Robinson loves yoga and going on long walks.
President-elect Obama has called his mother-in-law a “no-fuss type of person” who values her own space.
“And, like it or not, there’s some fuss in the White House,” he said. “But we hope that she comes.”