President Barack Obama is getting away from Washington for a few days in Chicago, leaving behind Cabinet headaches and a partisan divide over his economic stimulus package.
Obama is to fly this afternoon to his chilly hometown with his wife, Michelle, and daughters. It is his first return to Chicago since taking office.
Aides said the president planned a low-key, four-day holiday weekend, including a Valentine's Day dinner on Saturday with his wife and a likely basketball game with friends.
During the time between his election in November and his inauguration in January, Obama stayed in his Kenwood home and kept a predictable routine: gym in the early morning hours, breakfast with his family, then work at his office.
Obama aides said they expected a similar agenda this trip, which was expected to last until Monday.