Chicago 2016 – Obama, Fund Raising Success

Bloomberg reports U.S. President Barack Obama is weighing a trip to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Oct. 2 meeting in Copenhagen to support Chicago 2016’s bid by making a closing argument that Chicago should host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor said, “we have not made a decision yet. You can be certain that we will be well represented in Copenhagen”.

Jarrett said regardless of whether or not he’s there, the president will seek to convey to the IOC how important the bid is to him personally and to the U.S. She said, “we are confident that we can make that as clear as crystal”.

Jarrett added, “telecasting our last, home-stretch strategy doesn’t seem to be prudent. We want to win. We’re not interested in coming in second, third or fourth. The president’s time is considered a valuable commodity, possibly complicating travel. He has an awful lot on his plate”.

Bloomberg reports Ken Duberstein, a chief of staff to president Ronal Reagan, said the prestige of the president is also a form of capital and any trip would have to be weighed against the cost of coming home empty-handed. “You don’t want to put the president in a position where he’s going to go to Copenhagen and not come back victorious”.

Patrick Ryan, chairman of Chicago 2016, said his team is preparing one final pitch to the committee with an Obama appearance, and the other with him staying in the U.S. “It’s going to be decided very much at the end. And if he comes, he’ll be a positive factor”.

Juan Antonio Samarach Jr., Spain’s representative to the IOC, said he would “brag for the coming years to all my friends” about a presidential meeting. Madrid, Spain is one of Chicago’s three competitors for the 2016 Games.

Samarach said, “he will have an impact, but I think it’s a little frivolous that he’s going to make it or break it”.

Meanwhile Chicago 2016 raised about $5 million for its bid at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Hall of Fame induction Ceremony and the USOC legacy organization in its “Sprint Through the Finish” campaign.

Nearly 3,600 people attended the sold-out dinner and ceremony Wednesday. Hundreds of prospective ticket purchasers had to be turned away. A press release said it was the largest fund-raising event, in terms of Chicago’s 2016 bid.