Monday, September 28, 2009

We all knew he would go to Denmark....

....that is President Obama....

President Barack Obama will travel to Denmark this week to support Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president, told The Associated Press Monday morning that Obama will leave Thursday and join his wife, Michelle, in Copenhagen, where they'll make the pitch to the International Olympic Committee. Obama would be the first U.S. president to take on such a direct role in lobbying for an Olympics event.

The International Olympic Committee is meeting in Copenhagen to select a host city for the 2016 Summer Games. Chicago faces tough competition from Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo.

Obama, who represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate after serving in the Illinois Legislature, is a longtime supporter of Chicago's bid. He and Michelle consider it their adopted home town, and he recently sent letters to selected IOC members, promising a "spectacular Olympic experience for one and all."

"President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama symbolize the hope, opportunity and inspiration that makes Chicago great, and we are honored to have two of our city's most accomplished residents leading our delegation in Copenhagen," Mayor Richard M. Daley said in a statement. "Who better to share with members of the International Olympic Committee the commitment and enthusiasm Chicago has for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement than the President and First Lady." read more here....

The big question is how Chicago will pay for the Olympics? One of Cook County's taxes is already 10%. That is extremely high. Many in Chicago, including my mother, are not on the Olympic bandwagon, she as many others in the city and in Cook County are wondering how Chicago will pay for the Olympics. The displacement of many African-Americans on the South and West Sides is real. The displacement of the poor, is real. But not taking anything away from the city, logistically it is prime property for the Olympics with several colleges and university campuses ready, Washington Park is ready, Douglas Park, etc., so Chicago is ready but is the money ready? That is a question that many are asking Mayor Daley right now as he too, heads for Denmark.

Chicago will probably get the Olympics and I will be nowhere near it, with the exception of watching it on television.

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