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"Michelle's our best representative," Obama tells Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman re Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid

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WASHINGTON--President Obama, speaking for the first time on his decision not to pledge to go to Copenhagen to promote Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic summer games, said Monday sending instead First Lady Michelle to lead the U.S. delegation is better than him showing up.

"Michelle's our best representative," Obama told Bloomberg News White House correspondent Julianna Goldman. Obama may be staying in Washington because of the pending battles in Congress over health care reform, and he added on Monday, an overhaul of the nation's financial regulatory system.

The White House announced Friday--and scooped in this blog--that Mrs. Obama will lead the U.S. Olympic Committee delegation to Denmark next month for the last sales pitch. The International Olympic Committee votes Oct. 2 between Chicago and cities in Spain, Brazil and Japan.

Obama told Goldman, "You know, I would love to go, because Chicago is my hometown. 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...

"... I don't know if Usain Bolt will still be running at that time. But - so we - 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.

"...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." Obama said.

Below, transcript of Obama on Chicago 2016 Olympic bid and whether he will go to Denmark.....

GOLDMAN: Now, one last question. Next week - next month, excuse me, in Copenhagen, the Olympic Committee is going to make the decision for 2016. Many have credited Tony Blair's pitch with bringing home the bacon for the London Olympics. Are you that confident that Chicago can get this, so you don't have to go yourself?

OBAMA: You know, I would love to go, because Chicago is my hometown. 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 - and watch - I don't know if -

GOLDMAN: If you're not still living here.

OBAMA: I don't know if Usain Bolt will still be running at that time. But - so we - 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.

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.

GOLDMAN: Still a chance?

OBAMA: Oh, I think that we have a great chance of Chicago -

GOLDMAN: No, of you going.

OBAMA: I think, as I said, Michelle's our best representative.

GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.

1 Comment

I hope we get the Olympics. No doubt Winfrey and MOBAMA can compete in the pie eating contest. I look for gold and silver in that event.

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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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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 14, 2009 8:26 PM.

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