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Maggie Hendricks

Will Pres. Obama's letter be enough for Chicago?

Maggie Hendricks
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On Oct. 2, the International Olympic Committee will decide the fate of the 2016 Olympic games. As the date nears, the candidate cities are doing everything they can to step up their profile in the eyes of the IOC.

Brazil's president is headed to Copenhagen, where the vote will take place, and is touting the beautiful beaches of Rio. Japan's Prime Minister plans on attending the vote on behalf of Tokyo, as does King Juan Carlos of Spain who will back Madrid's bid.

And for Chicago, Pres. Obama is sending a letter.

Wait, what? A letter? That is how the president is supporting a bid for the Olympics from not just his home country, but his hometown? If Chicago wins the bid, the Olympic Stadium will be a stones throw from his home near the University of Chicago. The Obamas, who recently hosted a "Support the Bid" bash on the lawn of the White house, could walk to the games.

The President is sending an emissary: his wife. Hopefully, Michelle Obama will be able to charm the room as first ladies like Jacqueline Kennedy have done in the past. She was well-received during the president's summer tour of Europe and Africa. If that good will carries over, Chicago will still be in the running.

In addition to Mrs. Obama, the Chicago delegation will feature the city's schlubby but charming mayor, Richard Daley. Though he has a classic Chicago accent, and is rough around the edges, Mayor Daley has an ability to persuade like few others.

But Pres. Obama could have been Chicago's ace in the hole. In previous Olympic city bids, both Russian president Boris Yeltsin and British prime minister Tony Blair played a key role in securing the games for their countries. Pres. Obama is quite popular internationally, and his presence might have awed the IOC into checking the box next to "Chicago" on their ballot.

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