Obama's mother-in-law to stay at White House





President-elect Barack Obama's mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, is moving into the White House at least temporarily to join Michelle Obama and the two children, transition officials said.

"Throughout history there have been many extended first families in office," said Robert Watson, author of "Life in the White House." Ulysses S. Grant's father-in-law, Richard Dent, stayed for several years. Harry S. Truman's mother-in-law, Madge Gates Wallace, lived there, too, and was critical of her son-in-law.

"She never liked him. She always felt that Bess had married below her station," said Myra Gutin, a first lady historian and professor at Rider University in New Jersey. "For his part, he was gracious. Whatever Mother Wallace wanted, she pretty much got."

Mamie Eisenhower's mother also had extended stays, but like her daughter she tended to sleep until noon, said Maria Downs of the White House Historical Association.

Even the presidents' mothers can be tough. Lillian Carter stayed in the White House and got on well with her son Jimmy, but Gutin said that when he first told her, "Mom, I'm going to run for president," she replied, "President of what?"



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