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Why Obama Might Not Show In Copenhagen


Soaring

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First, let me state that I believe with the state of the current race, Obama appearing in Copenhagen is essential to the success of Chicago's bid, but I do not believe Obama alone will win it for Chicago (not showing up could very well loose it).

There have been some recent grumblings here as to why he may not show up, and here a couple of reasons why...

- Obama has had a rough couple of months trying to pass a health care reform bill, and things are only going to heat up in September when Congress comes back from break. The debate may still be raging come late September/early October, and if Obama leaves the country, it could been seen as a negative. The stakes are high, as this piece of legislation could make or break his first-term legacy.

- If Rio continues to gain momentum, and the evaluation report does not cast a shadow over their plan, Obama may not want to show up at the risk of coming home a loser. Really at this point, the better Rio does, the weaker Chicago's bid becomes.

Why he might show...

- Obama has already visited Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Quite a tour for only being in office seven months. But there is still one country that Obama has not visited yet, and that is Israel. If he ends up securing a trip for late September, he just might be able to swoop down in Copenhagen for a day and do a meet and greet. He already had to postpone a trip to Israel because of health care.

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What is your opinion on this?

Does Obama need to show up for Chicago to win?

Could Michelle Obama or someone else take his place and be effective enough?

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WE MUST CONTINUE THE OBAMA DRAMA!!!!!!!

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Soaring, you make good points.

The Obama factor is tricky. On the one hand, his presence would put a great deal of pressure on the IOC and might even be viewed as somewhat manipulative. On the other hand, he is a charismatic leader and the presence of a U.S. president would show just how serious the U.S. is about the Games and how much respect there is for the international community.

The truth is, any number of things could happen to make it impossible for Obama to visit Copenhagen -- events that may be totally disconnected from the Olympic bid (health care reform among them).

I also agree that if it becomes apparent that Rio is totally running away with this race, then Obama is not likely to show. At this point, I do not believe that Rio is "running away with the race". The bid is strong and sympathetic, but at this point in 2005 Paris seemed comfortably ahead of London too. We can keep typing it until we're blue in the face, but a great deal rests on the evaluation report. If the report is unflattering to Chicago or presents Rio on a level playing field with the other candidates, then Rio will be almost impossible to catch and Obama's presence in Copenhagen would be extremely doubtful.

In summary, if Obama's schedule permits AND he believes Chicago has a fighting chance, I believe he will be in Copenhagen. However, those are two big if's.

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Jim Jones sent this to me in a personal message regarding this topic. I don't know why he didn't want to share it with everyone, and felt it necessary to send it just to me...

Obama may not showing knowing the history of America having been defeated on so many occasions . The amount of bids lodged by America is probably equal to all other countries combined with 90 percent of them going down to defeat . Why would you step into something with the possibility that at the end of the day you have wasted time on the Olympics when the keystone of your presidency reforming health care may go down to defeat before October 2nd ? If he cant get something that was considered to be a given in Europe Especially then how hostile an audience would congress and the senate be in Regards to backstopping a Summer Olympics ? Maybe it is me but I don't think Obama would go from a possible defeat of Health Reform to a Probable Defeat of Chicago 2016. The man is crafty and politically savy.

cheers Jim Jones

.

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Perhaps for security reasons (especially with a trip to Israel), it might not really be made public like 2 or 3 weeks before.

Actually he should stop by Copenhagen BEFORE proceeding to Israel. After coming from Israel would cost a few Arab votes.

Not that I want the topic to get off-track, but supposedly the White House, and Israel are "close" to an agreement about settlements. I don't know if him going to Israel first would necessarily loose any Mideast votes, because everyone knows the U.S.'s position, and the media will surely be reporting his trip to Israel. More importantly, it depends on what Obama does while he is in Israel.

If they announce that Israel will halt settlement development, and make some concessions because of Obama's more hardliner stance, then it might turn into a positive.

....

I think at this point it is more likely Obama won't show up in Copenhagen. Congress comes back on September 13th, and negotiations will surely drag out until early October for health care. But who knows. He may be there.

Can you think of anyone who could fill his place. Hillary Clinton showed up for New York's 2012 bid, and we know how that went...

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I've been thinking about this for the last few weeks now. If Obama doesn't show, who could he send in his replacement. It would have to be someone, at the very least, almost as powerful & influential as Obama. Bill or Hillary Clinton are the only ones that I can think of at the top of my head. Bill, afterall, was able to convince N. Korea to release those women.

I never thought of Michelle Obama, but maybe she could work, too. Perhaps Al Gore? Any other thoughts of who could take Obama's place? And no one mention Biden, cause he's a gaff. At this point, I prefer Obama himself, but if the worst case scenario he doesn't go to Copenhagen, the Chicago 2016 Delegation is going to need someone powerful along with them, considering the other cities are going to have their heads of governement & royalty with on their side.

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QUOTE" Hillary Clinton showed up for New York's 2012 Bid, and we know how that went..." UNQUOTE

Yeah, but by the time of the 2012 vote, New York's 2012 bid was severly damaged because of their Olympic Stadium debacle. In hindsight, the IOC was very generous to not disqualify New York & let them even continue to the vote, since the New York plan the IOC was going to be voting on was not the original plan New York sent in their initial bid book & not the one the IOC Evaluation Commission evaluated.

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Werd. After that stadium embarrassment, New York loosing was more likely than ever.

However, I do question how good Hillary would look in front of the IOC after her calls for Bush to boycott Beijing's Opening Ceremonies last year.

If Pres. Obama can't show up, I think Michelle is the next best thing anyway.

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Nobody else is going to have the Obama factor so I'm not sure it makes a great deal of difference who they substitute. Michelle would probably be the next best. Bill and Hill would be ok.

Of course it would be best to find somebody who is really closely associated with Illinois. Perhaps somebody could bust out Rod Blagojevich?

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It has to be someone on the national politics level. Even if Rob Blagojavich was free, I don't think that would be enough. Mayor Daley is most likely to be there, but that's not going to be enough, either. It has to be a National powerful figure.

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I don't think Obama is going to cut a deal with Israel on settlements any time soon. Come on! It's Netaniahu in a government with people which are even more on the right-wing than he is. His only chance would be to cut a deal with Kadima and form a new government, but these negotiatons take time. I don't see it happening with Lieberman in the government coalition.

Anyway, Obama has its own airplane, so he can decide to drop by in Copenhagen for a little gathering anyway. I hope de doesn't.

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Yeah, but by the time of the 2012 vote, New York's 2012 bid was severly damaged because of their Olympic Stadium debacle. In hindsight, the IOC was very generous to not disqualify New York & let them even continue to the vote, since the New York plan the IOC was going to be voting on was not the original plan New York sent in their initial bid book & not the one the IOC Evaluation Commission evaluated.

I was merely joking. I know HC had nothing to do with NY loosing.

Anyway, I agree that Michelle would be the next best thing, and then Bill Clinton, although Bill has no government authority, and no direct ties to Chicago (other than his wife growing up in one the suburbs there).

I am not sure if Michelle would be enough, unless some real questions are raised of Rio's capabilities in the evaluation report.

I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK

.

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However, I do question how good Hillary would look in front of the IOC after her calls for Bush to boycott Beijing's Opening Ceremonies last year.

Ehhhhhhhhh. Carter, who almost wrecked the Olympics with his 1980 boycott, was there front and center in the Atlanta VIP box w/ Samaranch. If you're a head of state, unless you've done something egregiously damaging, they will overlook such slight gaffes.

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Ehhhhhhhhh. Carter, who almost wrecked the Olympics with his 1980 boycott, was there front and center in the Atlanta VIP box w/ Samaranch. If you're a head of state, unless you've done something egregiously damaging, they will overlook such slight gaffes.

That’s great.

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Soaring, Obama has been to Israel before. If I remember correctly, the local newspaper there even published his short prayer he personally placed in the Wailing Wall.

I wouldn't rule out an Obama visit whether the Chicago bid is weak or not. It's just another way of showing the US's renewed interest in internationalism, I guess. Plus, he has the Air Force One, so it's not like he has to book a flight two weeks in advance. One thing for sure though, which you made a point is how would things look in Congress with the impending healthcare reform.

Overall, I'm still confident Chicago can pull a London. Plus the more I hear Rio's argument that they've never had it before the more it becomes like a Paris 2012. The IOC shouldn't feel obligated to award the games to Rio just to fulfill their "quota." So there's that thin line between deserving the games and earning it.

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It has to be someone on the national politics level. Even if Rob Blagojavich was free, I don't think that would be enough. Mayor Daley is most likely to be there, but that's not going to be enough, either. It has to be a National powerful figure.

You might want to work on developing your sense of humor. Blagojevich was a joke.

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What the heck are you even talking about? <_<

Athensfan was joking about Rod Blagojevich. He is the recently impeached/deposed Governor of Illinois. Not a national figure of any renown and certainly not someone we want within a continent or two of Copenhagen in October. If Alaska will take him, we wouldn't mind relocating him there either just to be sure (we almost sent him away to Costa Rica for the "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" reality show competition--but, unfortunately, the judge wouldn't let him leave the country).

CHItown '16

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Soaring, Obama has been to Israel before. If I remember correctly, the local newspaper there even published his short prayer he personally placed in the Wailing Wall.

I wouldn't rule out an Obama visit whether the Chicago bid is weak or not. It's just another way of showing the US's renewed interest in internationalism, I guess. Plus, he has the Air Force One, so it's not like he has to book a flight two weeks in advance. One thing for sure though, which you made a point is how would things look in Congress with the impending healthcare reform.

Overall, I'm still confident Chicago can pull a London. Plus the more I hear Rio's argument that they've never had it before the more it becomes like a Paris 2012. The IOC shouldn't feel obligated to award the games to Rio just to fulfill their "quota." So there's that thin line between deserving the games and earning it.

I don't believe that he has been to Israel as president though (I could be wrong). I agree that as president, he could go and do anything as he wishes, but I just wanted people to be aware that there could be some obstacles, and not to be too disappointed if he did not show. I too, will remain hopeful until Oct. 2nd! Chicago seems to be underestimated a lot of times, and this would be a sweet victory if we came out of top.

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Athensfan was joking about Rod Blagojevich. He is the recently impeached/deposed Governor of Illinois. Not a national figure of any renown and certainly not someone we want within a continent or two of Copenhagen in October. If Alaska will take him, we wouldn't mind relocating him there either just to be sure (we almost sent him away to Costa Rica for the "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" reality show competition--but, unfortunately, the judge wouldn't let him leave the country).

CHItown '16

I know exactly who Rob Blagojevich is. I was just commenting on the posters out of context post. I know the man is in jail. What I meant by my post, is if he hadn't gotten in all the trouble that he got into, that he still wouldn't be enough for Chicago in Copenhagen.

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Good grief, FYI.

OF COURSE Blagojevich would be a terrible delegate to Copenhagen -- not only because he lacks an international reputation, but because he's a crook living in ignominy. I was being facetious. That's the joke.

By the way, it's Rod -- not Rob.

Let's move on, all....

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Obama COULD help the bid by an appearance, but something tells me it would compromise his image domestically. I'm sure he supports the bid, but he can't afford to be spending much time (and money) on something that might not even happen. The US is experiencing political, financial, and social shifts like crazy and he needs to maintain his image of a working man for the nation instead of a promoter for his political grassroots hometown, which could come off as a sour note to the conservative-minded Americans who are not overly prominent in Illinois and could hardly care if Chicago hosts the Olympics. I've lived there for many many years and the US is a country where hosting the Olympics is only really exciting and engaging if it happens to be in your state, and is a bit of a snoozefest anywhere else.

Obama is better off making an appearance in Vancouver or London for the sake of internationalism as opposed to jumping at the bargaining table with the IOC squaring off with firebrand politicians who lobby for the games rather excessively.

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Obama COULD help the bid by an appearance, but something tells me it would compromise his image domestically. I'm sure he supports the bid, but he can't afford to be spending much time (and money) on something that might not even happen. The US is experiencing political, financial, and social shifts like crazy and he needs to maintain his image of a working man for the nation instead of a promoter for his political grassroots hometown, which could come off as a sour note to the conservative-minded Americans who are not overly prominent in Illinois and could hardly care if Chicago hosts the Olympics. I've lived there for many many years and the US is a country where hosting the Olympics is only really exciting and engaging if it happens to be in your state, and is a bit of a snoozefest anywhere else.

Obama is better off making an appearance in Vancouver or London for the sake of internationalism as opposed to jumping at the bargaining table with the IOC squaring off with firebrand politicians who lobby for the games rather excessively.

You statment only shows what is obvious... hosting the games doesn't matter to the US as a whole... and if Obama doesn't show... it'll be a sign that it also doesn't matter that much to the government...

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You statment only shows what is obvious... hosting the games doesn't matter to the US as a whole... and if Obama doesn't show... it'll be a sign that it also doesn't matter that much to the government...

No, it'll be a sign that health reform is more important to the government. And so it should be.

If that tricky bill is still being passed at the same time as the IOC session, Obama, even if he's a huge supporter of Chicago 2016, would be mad to go to Copenhagen and would deserve all the criticism he got if he did so. It's sometimes easy to lose perspective...this is a sports event we're talking about and it doesn't compare in importance to his health bill.

Sorry to hark back to 2005 again, but it provides an interesting comparison. Some here, possibly including myself (I can't remember), were convinced Blair had got it wrong by only showing up for the days before the vote and then flying back home on the day of the vote. In contrast, Chirac actually made a speech during Paris 2012's presentation. That was seen by many as a much better tactic. But it turns out it wasn't.

It all depends on timings. Blair had to go back early for the much more important G8 meeting the UK was hosting at Glenegales. But he made the most of his time in Singapore, working the rooms behind the scenes and giving the bid team a bilingual video for the final presentation (Seb Coe's speech aside, having Blair speaking French in that film was perhaps the most impressive aspect of our presentation). Chirac, whilst much more visible on the day of the vote, didn't have the same effect Blair did.

Obama will I suspect, like Blair, do as much as he can do but not at the expense of what is important.

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