Obama "Proud of Chicago"

Press Secretary Gibbs says President wants to make strong case for city

By Nicola Orichuia
|  Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009  |  Updated 1:14 PM CDT
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Obama "Proud of Chicago"

AP

President Obama and First Lady Michelle are expected to leave for Copenhagen on Thursday night.

President Obama’s presence next to his wife Michelle in Copenhagen is an act of love for his city, which is in a close battle with Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro to win over the 2016 Olympics.

“I don't think there's any doubt that the president is enormously proud of Chicago,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told White House reporters during a briefing on Monday morning.

But what if another city were running for the 2016 Olympics instead of Chicago?

“If it had been Los Angeles, I think the notion that the president would have done less because it was a different U.S. city just doesn't hold a lot of water,” Gibbs said.

The president will leave for the Danish capital on Thursday, hoping “to make a strong case for Chicago and America’s bid for the Olympics in 2016,” Gibbs said.

“Obviously, the Olympics showcases the country that those Olympics are in and there’s a tangible economic benefit to those games being here.”

Still, the final speech for Chicago’s bid will be made by First Lady Michelle Obama.

“Michelle and Michelle alone is a powerful presence and will be a powerful voice for the Olympics coming to America,” Gibbs said.

When asked if Chicago could be trusted to spend Olympic money, the Press secretary responded that “the onus is on the city.”

So what about the super-busy health-care reform schedule Obama had mentioned a few weeks ago?

“I think the president believes health care is in better shape,” Gibbs said.

“I think he felt strongly and personally that he should go and make the case for the United States.”
 

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