Obama's Olympic Gamble

Must say that I'm surprised the president is going to Copenhagen this week to lobby for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Sure, we knew everyone from the First Lady to Oprah to Valerie Jarrett would be there to lobby for the president's adopted hometown. But it is going to be embarrassing if he gets there and the International Olympic Committee goes with one of the other cities bidding--Rio de Janiero, Tokyo or Madrid. South America has never hosted the games, and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is emerging as a powerful and popular world leader. Of course, if the president brings the games home it's a great win and one that probably wouldn't hurt Democratic chances in next year's Senate and gubernatorial elections in Illinois. It can't look good, though, if the U.S. doesn't get it. Then again, if the U.S. lost its bid and Obama hadn't gone...

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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