ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
Looks like President Obama has no plans – as of now - to go to Copenhagen early next month to fight for Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, yet White House officials say he’ll lobby for his home town city’s bid from the White House next week.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said today that the race between finalists Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo will likely be decided by “a couple of votes.”
Many want President Obama to fight for Chicago’s cause in Copenhagen on October when the IOC will make the final decision, and believe a presidential appearance from the former Illinois Senator will help secure the bid.
White House press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters today not to hold their breath right now.
“As far as the schedule I had seen, that was not planned,” Gibbs said, “Obviously, I anticipate having representatives there.”
White House senior advisor and fellow Chicagoian Valerie Jarrett will be representing the Obama administration’s efforts for Chicago’s bid and head to Copenhagen on behalf of the administration. She also happens to be the vice chair of Chicago’s bid committee.
A White House official tells ABC News that the Obamas have their own event in mind stateside on how their can support their hometown.
On Wednesday September 16, the president and first lady will be hosting an event with the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport and Chicago 2016 to help promote Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, as well as help promote our commitment to healthy living and youth sport.
“There will be Olympic athletes and Paralympic athletes in attendance as well,” and administration official says, “This event will help highlight the Obama administration’s commitment to giving our nation’s children every possible tool they need to grow, learn and succeed in life. A key part of this is increasing access to healthy, constructive activities like sports for our nation’s children.”
Olympic athletes will be visiting local schools in the morning and then the president and the first lady at the White House in the afternoon.
However, pressure still remains on Obama to make a presidential appearance in Copenhagen to fight for Chicago.
The White House promised more details – specifically if the day of October 2nd was being held open on the President’s schedule in case Mr. Obama had to make a last ditch effort and pitch for his city.
The leaders of Spain, Tokyo and Brazil have committed to being there in person on the 2nd to fight for their cities.