In the wake of murder of a student at Fenger High School, President Obama is dispatching Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan--the former Chicago public schools chief--to Chicago to meet with local officials and students.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced next Wednesday's visit during the Thursday briefing at the White House. Last week,16-year-old Derrion Albert, a senior at Fenger High School, was beaten to death by at least four teens a few blocks from the school, the latest victim in an outbreak of gang violence in the city.
Duncan spokesman Peter Cunningham they are working with Mayor Daley's office to work out the details of the visit. Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller also said no specifics are available yet. Daley, Duncan and Obama will be Copenhagen to lobby the International Olympic Committee to name Chicago the host city for the 2016 Olympics in advance of the Friday vote.
During the briefing, Gibbs was asked if and how Obama was going to address ongoing violence in Chicago to the IOC.
"Obviously it's of great concern to the President, as somebody who lives in Chicago, but would and should be a concern for every American," Gibbs said.
"This isn't a Chicago problem; this is violence -- youth violence is a problem throughout our country. The President is concerned and has asked that next Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder travel to Chicago.
"They'll meet with officials from the school, meet with students and meet with the community to talk about the issues of school violence and youth violence," Gibbs said.
Pressed by a reporter about how Obama would answer an IOC member question about safety in Chicago, Gibbs said, "well, I think that the President has full confidence in the safety of the city and will be prepared to talk about that if that were a question."