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Michelle Obama says Olympic vote won't be impacted by Chicago crime


WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama, off to Copenhagen on Tuesday night to lobby for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid, said the rash of crime in Chicago won't hurt the city when the International Olympic Committee votes on Friday.

In a session with reporters on Monday, Mrs. Obama said, "You know, there are a number of big cities that are bidding. And when you live in a big city there are issues that are unique to urban settings. Chicago isn't unique in that way. But that's one of the things that I can talk about personally. I mean, you know, most of these Games are taking place blocks away from my house. There's good security by my house these days. And while Chicago is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it is -- people don't live in fear. The downtown area is completely accessible.

"But more importantly, the character of Chicago shines through. We're Midwestern folks, and there's a bit of southern hospitality that comes along with that place. We know how to treat our visitors with respect and with open arms. And I think that's the character that will shine through, in addition to the fact that it's such an international city.

"Then you think about the countries that are going to be represented and you think of the 77 different community areas in Chicago, it's almost a little U.N. There are significant communities that would support these athletes from across the globe. And it's important for people to understand that Chicago isn't just a U.S. place, it's an international place. And people will be able to go into communities and shop and find food that they get back home. They'll be able to hear their music. They'll be able to see people like them.

"I know Mayor Daley, and he's going to make sure that these Games go off without a hitch because that's the kind of mayor he is. It's not called the "City That Works" for nothing. It really works. And it's not always perfect, but it's really, really good."


I live on the u of c campus (57th street) and to say it is safe here is offensive. No one, not even the president walks around here. People get stabbed, mugged, and shot daily. To have the olympics here is just asking for trouble. Clearly we would all like it in the US, but lets not have it here.

Oh, and as uchicago tends to come down hard on students who post negative press I can't put my name down.

Most intelligent people know Chicago crime (which is lower than past years) will not be a factor with Olympics. It was amusing earlier watching delusional idiots like Hannity imply a connection.

Simply put: Michelle Malkin's "Culture of Corruption" explains it all.

Hmm there are many kids in the city of chicago who live in fear michelle.

If crime were a key consideration, Rio's bid would be DOA.

In fact, Chicago's tourist districts are clean and safe. Citing crime as an impediment to holding the Olympics in Chicago diminishes the credibility, the honesty, and the motives of the Olympic bid critics.

I also attended the University of Chicago, from 1997-2001, and I will definitely attest to the fact that Chicago is not a safe city. When MO says it is, she's just plain lying. The crime stats which anyone can look up speak for themselves.

My first year on campus, a girl from one of my classes was abducted when she was on her way to the cafeteria, forced into a van, driven to an empty building, and raped. She was fortunate she wasn't killed too. There were MANY students who were mugged. And one lady who worked in my dorm (shout out to Broadview!) was robbed at gun point when she was leaving work to go home. Another student was raped just minutes from the dorm in the park. And these are just a very few examples.

Combine these with the fact that Hyde Park where the U of C is located is actually one of the "safers" neighborhoods in the city! Chicago is not a good place for the games, and for MO to say that Chicago has "southern hospitality" is just asinine.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 29, 2009 7:55 PM.

Michelle Obama: On Chicago Olympic quest, she's got game was the previous entry in this blog.

Valerie Jarrett likens Chicago 2016 Olympic vote to Iowa caucus is the next entry in this blog.

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