The First Draft: Obama’s next diplomatic challenge: Olympics victory
If you think President Barack Obama has it tough negotiating with the G20 over the global economy and Iran over its nuclear program, take a look at his next international diplomatic challenge:
Obama thinks it ought to be held in his hometown of Chicago.
He’s so sold on the idea that he’s flying to Copenhagen Friday to put in a personal appearance at a meeting of the IOC — the first time a sitting U.S. president has done so.
Chicago is up against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo as the site for the Olympics.
The Windy City has never hosted a Summer Olympics, nor has Madrid nor Rio.
Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964. It also won the bid for the 1940 games but was stripped of the right after the outbreak of its war with China. The 1940 games were ultimately canceled due to World War II.
The Obamas were already involved in the Olympics bid before the White House announced the president would travel to Copenhagen this Friday.
First lady Michelle Obama is part of the Chicago delegation attending the IOC meeting to present the case for the city to host the games.
Obama won’t be the only national leader in attendance.
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama are also planning to go.
Obama’s week gets off to a slow start after his sessions at the United Nations and the Group of 20 Summit in Pittsburgh last week.
He has no public appearances on his schedule for Monday.
The Senate and the House of Representatives were not in session Monday.
Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama watches a girl on a balance beam at a White House event Sept. 16 promoting Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics)