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As IOC Vote Nears, Celebrity Is the Name of the Games

By Amy Shipley
The talk surrounding Chicago's campaign for the 2016 Summer Games in recent weeks has been over whether President Obama would lobby personally for the bid, not the specifics of the city's compact, lakefront venue plan.

As the International Olympic Committee's vote Friday in Copenhagen approaches, the technical strengths and weaknesses of the competing cities -- Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo -- have been all but lost in a sea of whiz-bang announcements, seemingly capped by the news Monday that Obama would, indeed, join Chicago's star-studded delegation.

The contending cities seem to sense Friday's secret ballot of the IOC's 106 members, who include five princes, two princesses, a count, grand duke and a mix of other high-profile figures and athletes, will hinge more on intangible elements than on which city has the best transportation plan or most efficiently designed Olympic stadium.

"We think our bid has been well-received by the IOC and IOC members," Chicago's bid president Patrick G. Ryan said during a recent telephone interview. "That doesn't mean we'll get the majority of votes. I do think they realize Chicago is a great city with a great bid; whether they vote for us is something else."

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By Web Politics Editor  |  September 30, 2009; 3:23 PM ET
Categories:  Obama Abroad  
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I too was kind of surprised that the President would personally fly over to "pitch for" Chicago. But, then, hey: if it helps, why not? But, on the other hand, if it goes to one of the other three cities, be ready for it to be on FOX's agenda every night for the next five months!

Posted by: AboonaJoe | October 1, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow seems inappropriate that the U.S.
president get involved, actually flying over to make a bid for the olympic games;
In this case to have the olympic committee
broadsided (honestly, no pun intended there), and tag-teamed by the president and his wife. In fact it seems like a whole lot of bullying to me. I think that it is indeed unbecoming of a president who is faced with so many crisis at home.

Posted by: teddyb1 | September 30, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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