Mrs. Obama to back Chicago's Olympic bid

July 22, 2010 10:19:48 AM PDT
First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Copenhagen to personally pitch International Olympic Committee members on her home town as a host city for the 2016 Games, ABC News has learned. Michelle Obama will mingle with members of the International Olympic Committee the day before they vote on a host city for the 2016 Summer Games.

"We feel very, very good about the First Lady coming to represent the president, represent the country, represent our bid. She's going to do a fantastic job," said Patrick Ryan, Chicago 2016 Chairman.

The First Lady's statement says, in part: "There is no doubt in my mind that Chicago would offer the world a fantastic setting for these historic games and I hope that the Olympic torch will have the chance to burn brightly in my hometown."

Other bid cities are banking on their heads of state to travel to Denmark. Japan's new prime minster, Prince and Princess may go. Brazil's president will make the trip for the Rio team. And Spain's royal couple will be there.

"If the other heads of state are going, you sure would like to have your head of state as well go to Copenhagen and campaign for you," said Ed Hula, AroundTheRings.com.

Hula says, on the other hand, some IOC members understand the -president is dealing with the healthcare debate.

"I could see critics possibly saying why are you wasting your time with that when we have the healthcare reform debate going on," said Jake Tapper, ABC News White House correspondent.

Officially, the president hasn't turned down the trip. There's still a chance.

"If I was a wagering man, I think Obama is going to have a Danish in Denmark on October 2nd," said Paul Green, political analyst.

President Obama has taped four messages to IOC members. It's likely he'll tape a fifth, unless, of course, he sells the city to the IOC, face to face.


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