After years of speculation, President Obama confirmed on Thursday that he and his wife, Michelle, intend to remain in Washington for “a couple of years” after his term ends.
It has been decades since a president stayed in the capital after leaving office. But Mr. Obama said during a visit here that “we’re going to have to stay” in Washington until his younger daughter, Sasha, finishes school.
“Transferring someone in the middle of high school — tough,” the president said in response to a question from a woman at a restaurant here.
Sasha is on track to graduate from the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in the spring of 2018. Mr. Obama said he was unsure where the family would move after that.
Mr. Obama rarely answers questions about his life after the presidency, preferring to focus on his remaining goals. But he has been preparing for his post-presidency with the discipline and fund-raising ambition that characterized his 2008 campaign.
The Obamas intend to raise up to $1 billion to fund an endowment for charitable efforts and a presidential library in Chicago.
But there has been much guesswork about where the Obamas will live once their time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue ends.
The president’s fondness for golfing in California led to rumors that the Obamas would settle there. In July 2014, The Los Angeles Times reported that the Obamas were “believed to be in escrow” on a $4.25 million home near Palm Springs. Five days later, the newspaper reported that the house had been sold to an Omaha couple with no apparent ties to Mr. Obama.
Last year, Marty Nesbitt, a longtime friend of the Obamas from Chicago, was linked to the purchase of an $8.7 million house in Hawaii that was featured in “Magnum, P.I.” Some reports took it as a sign that the Obamas were planning a return to the state of Mr. Obama’s birth.
There have also been persistent rumors that Mr. Obama wants to teach at his alma mater, Columbia University.
But Mr. Obama is also loyal to Chicago, where he owns a home. He repeated that loyalty on Thursday when a woman mentioned that he was from Hawaii.
“Hawaii is home for me,” he said, but then suggested that his real home was Chicago. “I spent almost 30 years in Chicago,” he said, noting that it was also his wife’s hometown.