First Lady Michelle Obama is on a mission to win the bid for Chicago to be the host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. At a round table discussion with reporters in the White House State Dining Room this past Monday, Mrs. Obama, smiling, had this to say, "It's a battle –– we're going to win –– take no prisoners!"
Mrs. Obama arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, this morning and President Obama is scheduled to leave on Thursday to join his wife and they will be making their presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday, October 2.
According to news reports, a "Chicago entourage" will be joining President Obama and the first lady in Copenhagen, including a few from Obama’s administration; Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; Hollywood powerhouse, Oprah Winfrey; and Chicago is bringing 14 Olympic and two Paralympic gold medalists, including Michael Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Nadia Comaneci and Nastia Liukin.
Obama will be the first U.S. president to appeal in person to the IOC for an Olympic event and many are praising his decision to make this special appearance, while some Republicans consider Obama’s trip “misplaced priorities”. The Associated Press noted that RNC Chairman Michael Steele called the visit “noble”, however, Steele asked, "Where is the focus?" and added, “At a time of war, at a time of recession … I think this trip is nice but not necessary for the president. The goal should be creating job opportunities not seven years from now, but job opportunities today."
Politico.com weighed in on the Obama trip this past Monday, “White House officials didn't want Obama to be rebuffed and initially hinted the president himself wouldn't make the trip. Now top aides say they want to pull out all the stops, and they hope a personal pitch by Obama, who is highly popular around the world, will give Chicago's bid a major boost”.
The four finalists for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo and other than the U.S. President, heads of state representing Rio and Madrid will be attending as well. The IOC will be announcing the winner on Friday…will the Obama’s and their "Chicago entourage" bring home the GOLD?