Obama Defends Sending an Envoy to Lobby for 2016 Olympics
By Anne E. Kornblut
President Obama won't go to Copenhagen next month to lobby the International Olympic Committee on behalf of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics -- but he insists that his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, has sufficient international starpower to make the pitch.
"I would love to go, because Chicago is my home town. The track and field stadium, if we got the Olympics here in the United States, would actually be about three blocks from my house, so I could walk over and watch," Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. "We are deeply invested in getting this done. Michelle is definitely planning to go to Copenhagen, and she's, I think, the best Obama representative that we have."
Explaining his decision not to go, he said: "I'm in the middle of some very important decisions around health care, the - are obviously still working on the issue of financial regulation. It may not be a time where I can just devote a couple of days to fly over there."
Chicago's prospects appear to be fading as other countries are making bigger pushes to win the 2016 Games. The Brazilian president, the Japanese prime minister and envoys in a special Spanish jet are heading to Denmark to lobby. Michelle Obama is scheduled to make the trip in a few weeks.
Anne E. Kornblut
September 14, 2009; 7:00 PM ET
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