Today's Question: Should Obama fly to Copenhagen for Olympic bid?

Thursday, October 1, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

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.

The trip tops off Obama’s championing of Chicago for Olympic host city. His efforts included video pitches and this summer’s creation of a permanent White House Olympic Office.

Should Obama fly to Copenhagen to support Chicago’s Olympic bid?

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Ray Shapiro October 1, 2009 | 5:33 p.m.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen a shot in the arm for New Orleans.
Considering how much Obama "owes" Valerie Jarrett and the nature of Mayor Daly politics, no surprise to the sense of urgency and opportunity to pump some money into the real estaters of Chicago.
(Even though violent crime in Chicago now looks worse then New Orleans, post-Katrina.)
"Prior to joining the Obama administration, Jarrett served as a Director of corporate and not for profit boards, including Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Vice Chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, and the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee."
Valerie Jarrett: The Next Van Jones?

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