The former first couple is putting down some roots in DC. Since leaving office, the Obamas have been renting a home in the Kalorama neighborhood. The family plans to stay in DC until 15-year-old Sasha finishes high school. They recently bought the house they’d been renting for $8.1 million. Keven Lewis, a spokesman for the Obamas, confirmed the sale and explained the practicality of the move. “Given that President and Mrs. Obama will be in Washington for at least another two and a half years,” Lewis said, “it made sense for them to buy a home rather than continuing to rent the property.”
The 8,200 square foot mansion has 9 bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms. Concrete barriers outside the home prevent public access, an important security feature. The home is also protected round-the-clock by Secret Service. The Obamas purchased their DC abode from former Bill Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart. The Kalorama neighborhood is a hot place right now. Some other famous people also live there, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,as well as Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Another famous neighbor is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of the Washington Post. Several past presidents have also made Kalorama their home, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover.
Although the official explanation for the Obamas buying a DC home is a practical one related to their daughter’s schooling, many are hoping that this power couple putting down roots in DC could have other implications as well. The Obamas have also secured office space about a mile from their home in the West End neighborhood. Michelle has stood firm in her conviction that she will never run for office. The Obamas have started a foundation in Chicago that will keep them both busy, but they’ve also offered some opinions on the current state of politics.
In recent years, it’s unheard of for a president to stick around after leaving office. In fact, Woodrow Wilson was the last president to stay in Washington, almost a century ago. Presidential scholar Stephen Hess says this is likely because “you are somehow connected to every problem that your predecessor is going to be confronting. And you will be asked to say something each time your name comes up.” With a current administration devoted to destroying everything he built, this is sure to be especially the case for President Obama.