President Barack Obama is expected to take the red eye from Washington D.C. to Copenhagen and to give the International Olympic Committee a presentation proclaiming Chicago to be the best choice for host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The trip will mark the first time a U.S. president has made an in-person pitch to win the games.
Obama is scheduled to return to the White House later Friday immediately after speaking to the committee and meeting with Denmark’s royal leaders and prime minister.
But with the health care fiasco in Congress, the recession and the possibility of increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, the president’s short trip comes at a strained time for the United States. The effort could win him political points, but it could embarrass Obama internationally if Chicago isn't chosen. And some may resent the time invested that could have been spent on other matters.
Previously, Obama said that he was too busy to go and that Michelle would be the only Obama to make the trip in support of the couple’s hometown. But the president changed his mind and decided to join the first lady, who left for Copenhagen on Wednesday.
Leaders from the Windy City’s three competitors — Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro — are scheduled to attend the meeting. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair started the precedent of a nation’s highest officials attending the IOC meeting when he showed up in Singapore to help win the 2012 games for London.
Should Obama fly to Copenhagen to support Chicago’s Olympic bid?