Obama Pitches Chicago Olympics in Person

September 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Commander-In-Chief will become the cheer-leader-in-chief. President Obama will join First Lady Michelle on her trip to Copenhagen on Thursday. They'll try a double-dose of persuasion on the International Olympic Committee to get them to pick Chicago as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the games, before the games, The White House is pulling out all the stops. President Obama will take a red-eye flight to Copenhagen on Thursday, to join the First Lady in making the final pitch for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"The American people are ready. We want these games. We want them," said President Obama.

The president has already started lobbying for the games. He recently spoke with the president of the International Olympic Committee and has been calling heads of state with I.O.C. members who are still undecided.

The competition is fierce; Madrid, Toyko, and Rio are all contenders. The King of Spain and the President of Brazil will also make their bids in person.

The president had initially planned to dispatch the First Lady and stay behind to handle the health care debate. As a Chicago native, Mrs. Obama has a personal connection to the city. "I know that barrack and I would feel such tremendous pride to see the Olympic torch burning brightly in the city that we love so much," said Michelle Obama.

The White House said the president now believes a one day absence won't hurt the health care debate and that the competition in Copenhagen is so close, he simply has to go.

Mr. Obama is the first sitting president to make an Olympic pitch in person. Chicago would be the first American city to host the summer games since Atlanta in 1996.

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