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Oprah Winfrey to personally lobby IOC members in Copenhagen to vote for Chicago's Olympic bid


WASHINGTON--When Oprah Winfrey, one of the most famous women in the world, arrives in Copenhagen next week to bolster Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic summer games, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned she will have a list of members of the International Olympic Committee to buttonhole as she does some one-on-one lobbying.

Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will engage in a series of one and one meetings with targeted members of the 106 member IOC, in a quest for the 50 plus votes it will take for Chicago to prevail over Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo in the Oct. 2 IOC balloting.

Mrs. Obama and Jarrett land in Copenhagen on Sept. 30. Winfrey's arrival is not known.

Jarret told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday, "Oprah will have a full schedule from the time she hits the ground as well. I think that she is an international icon, widely respected throughout the world and her presence, and her willingness to put her reputation behind Chicago, a city she both calls home and loves and knows so well, I think will have a very significant impact on the IOC."

Mrs. Obama will be a central figure in the final presentation Chicago will make to the IOC, a 45 minute sales pitch that will be Chicago's closing argument. Mrs. Obama will deliver a speech and the program will be adjusted if President Obama decides to attend. Obama has declined to say for sure if he will go because of the ongoing negotiations over health care with Congress.

Jarrett said she has been "Working hard preparing the first lady for her presentation. I have reviewed her speech and I will say to you without signaling our strategy that is deeply, a deeply personal appeal to the Olympic Committee, International Olympic Committee.


This woman is a loose cannon. What gives her the right to lobby for anyone? She is not an elected official, not been appointed to any committee. Is she going to be held responsible for anything that goes wrong? Or will she fade into the background and claim innocents?
This Olympic bid is the worst idea this city can be saddled with. It will cost the tax payer untold millions of dollars we don’t have. Look at NY with the World’s Fair, Atlanta with the summer games. Look how the city handled the parking meter fiasco. Get your head out of the sand!

lol...some might be frightened and run away. i would. does that tragic figure have any friends to tell here to get some help?

glad i'm not passing the food tray pass!!

Oprah is the best women in the world besides my grandmother so watch how you talk about Oprah and she iz the sugar, honey, ice, tea

gotta be to share somethin' about food or some beverage. i'd keep my grandmother out of this is i were you....tayler.

Oprah will do a great job for Chicago. She loves Chicago and will be a great part of the presentation team. The people who make mean comments about Oprah or about anyone for that matter need to really look at their own spirit and issues. You go Oprah!

Bill, bill, bill, get your head out of the sand. She's trying to help. Good, bad, or indifferent, at least she's trying to do something besides complaining, like someone we know. As for the millions, nothing is FREE. Everything worth while cost something. Stop complaning and do something for your country.

Response to the comment by Bill regarding Oprah. Please read the posting below, then share your opinion for Oprah's lobbing efforts for the Games. I think whatever she can bring to the table as a business professional will be an added benefit. She's not "just a talk show host", or didn't you know..

yea joann, she is more...a tragic obesse figure that needs help. you sound like you share a struggle with her. weigh going public? seeking help? if so , shes done something good.

Winfrey shouldn't even be involved. She is a bully and she can only hurt the U.S. You think because she is so wealthy that she should be involved in evey thing....tay home Oprah your not the first lady!!!!

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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 25, 2009 1:31 PM.

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