2 JANUARY 2009

After spending the holidays in Hawaii Barack Obama and his family have officially moved to Washington in time for the start of his daughters' school term.

The US president-elect's request to use Blair House, the guest wing of the White House, until his inauguration on January 20 couldn't be accommodated as it is booked solid with friends of the Bushes.

So instead the new first family will stay in the £13,000-a-day wing of the historic Hay-Adams hotel overlooking the presidential mansion. The bill will be split between taxpayers and supporters of his transition committee.

It's unusual for an incoming president to move his team to the seat of government so early, but Mr Obama and his wife Michelle are keen for ten-year-old Malia and seven-year-old Sasha not to miss their first day at the city's exclusive Sidwell Friends School.

Photo: Rex
Mr Obama, pictured earlier this week on holiday in Hawaii, is now settling into Washington with his family. The move, two weeks earlier than is usual for incoming presidents, will allow his daughters to start the new school term along with their classmates
The president-elect and his entourage will stay in a suite of rooms reportedly costing £13,000 a day at the Hay-Adams hotel - a favourite with the political elite since it opened in 1928
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