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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obamas Return Home to the White House

President Obama is back in the White House.

After a gut-wrenching (and expensive) campaign that had him on the road for the better part of the last two months, Mr. Obama escorted his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha, back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base at 6:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Because of the weather, the Obamas took a motorcade instead of Marine One back to the White House.

This arrival lacked the pomp and circumstance of Mr. Obama's arrival at the White House after the 2008 election, for obvious reasons. Besides a gaggle of reporters, photographers and Secret Service agents, there were no staff members lined up to greet the president, although he was trailed by weary-looking staff members who accompanied him in the motorcade.

And he did get a congratulatory sheet cake from the crew aboard Air Force One on the flight home. As he posed with the cre w on the plane, a question dawned on him. “There is somebody flying this plane, right?” he asked.

At 6:55 the S.U.V. carrying the Obamas pulled in front of the south portico of the White House. Mr. Obama got out, commented on the weather - “chilly,” he pronounced it - and ignored a shouted question from a reporter about whether he thought he had a mandate.

And then he and his family walked back into their home for the next four years.