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October 1st, 2009
09:23 AM ET

Pres. Obama, The Olympics and Political Implications

President Obama heads to Denmark later today to lobby for Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

The first lady, who is already in Copenhagen, says they plan to treat it like a political campaign.

However, many critics say the President should stay home to focus on the big issues like health care, the call for more troops in Afghanistan and nuclear talks with Iran.

Chicago is competing with Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro in wooing the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen.

A decision is expected Friday.

Are there political risks? Tell us your thoughts.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This is sad that the president picks one the most undeserving citys in America to stand as embasador to our country when there are so many other beutiful and none violent citys to choose from Chicago dose not deserve this honer .

    October 1, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  2. William

    Obama should do his job as a president, period. Let the Olympic bid be made by the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor. He's into too much business he doesn't deserve to be in. He should keep his nose out of it, as well as Michele Obama.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  3. Ali

    Hi Heidi.
    Plain and simple, this president needs to spend his time focusing on our domestic problems that currently exist and forgot about being the ambassador for Chicago and bringing monies back to his friends for helping him with the presidency.
    God Bless America.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  4. M Foster Jeweler

    I want to know why someone in the government hasn't raised the question about who's paying the bill for the First Lady's trip. She will take her entourage' and this won't be cheap! As bad as the economy is- it seems as though the Obama's could care less about expensive trips. I don't recall George W doing things like ; Date Night in Chicago, or the prolonged trip to Europe for Mrs. Obama and don't forget the girls! So this is the Change?

    October 1, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  5. Doug

    The ONLY reason Obama is over there lobbying for the olympics is because its Chicago, his hometown. if it were any other city, i seriously doubt he would show an interest. while the olympics coming to a city can be a major economic boost with construction of the facilities several years in advance, it would take a long time for these projects to start. we need economic stimulus in this country NOW. Afghanistan must be dealt with, the healt care issue must be hashed out in some form. there are FAR more important issues pressing the United States than the olympics.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  6. Keita

    Why should every president be the same?
    Obama is his own unique personality.
    Make a pitch for his home town.
    Go Mr. President !

    October 1, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  7. Janis Kief

    I believe President Obama is very brave to stand up and take a stand for our country and the city of Chicago. He has nothing to gain personally, but our country, the children of our country and the city of
    Chicago imparticular, have much to gain. Chiago is a great and beautiful city.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  8. Mary

    Of course there are political risks because no matter what Obama does, the Republican smear machine will spin it to make a negative out of it. If he goes, he is "neglecting" other problems. If he doesn't go, he is not doing all he can to get the Olympics in Chicago and would be pilloried for not going. And it doesn't matter whether Chicago gets the Olympics either. No matter what, the smear machine will make it a negative for Obama. And the media will go merrily along with them, helping take his presidency down as fast at they can. All the good he is doing will never be mentioned. I am proud of him for doing what he knows he should do and doing a pretty good job of ignoring all the hatred and shameful smears.

    Of course, when Reagan and Bush made a big deal about the Olympics, went to opening ceremonies, travelled with a huge entourage to the China Olympics, etc, that was all wonderful and great ambassadorship for the country and very "Presidential". When Obama does something for the Olympic movement and does his best to bring something great to the country. it is all horrible and he is horrible and on and on and on nauseam. The hypocrisy is mind boggling. And the media's hand in it is disgusting beyond words.

    October 1, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  9. Mamoud

    I only have a question for all these republican leaders, where were they when President Bush went to the olympics in China for four days to watch and boost china economy in the middle of two wars and a bad economy?
    Now that we have a President that is going to fight to bring the Olympics to the USA and for the betterment of our economy. It makes me sick as an American to see this kind of hate coming from the same people that were cheering when President Bush went to watch the Olympics in China.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  10. Liberal4Obama

    President Obama loves his country... cant say the same thing about the republicans. Hosting the olympics bring honor and needed jobs to any country, specially during a recession I wonder why republicans are AGAINST Job creation right here in America.

    Maybe the GOP would like those jobs to go to Rio, Tokyo or Madrid?... if thats the case then maybe they should book a one way trip to those places.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  11. Renee

    This is not about bringing the Olympics to Chicago – it is about bring a lot of jobs to this area and to the USA. Think about the amount of construction and service jobs that will be created. In a part of the state so hurt by the auto industry – I am surprise that more people are not jumping in to help. Thank you Mr. President.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  12. Ashley

    Give me a break. This is just another reason for right-wingers to take a slap at the president. Bringing the Olympics to Chicago would be a huge economic boost for the city and an incredible morale boost for the country. Come on, people – WHERE IS YOUR PATRIOTISM??? (Wow, I almost sounded like a Republican there...)

    October 1, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  13. Earl

    The President has the ultimate mobile office. Air Force One has everything he needs to do the work that he would do in the office. His staff, communication tools, a computer, it is all there. It is not like he is sitting on a United flight in coach and doesn't have internet access. Are all the other issues that he has to work on going to be solved in the next 24 hours? It is not like he is not they are being forgotten. Is there about 500+ congress people that also need to work on these issues too?

    He is the PRESIDENT of the United States of America. This isn't just about bringing the Olympics to Chicago, it is bringing the Olympics to a city IN THE UNITED STATES.

    To some of the other comments. "Don't forget the girls!" Do you think the girls are not being taken care for? Come on. This criticism is silly.

    To Mr. Armstrong in TX, can you point out another major city in our country that is 100% violent free, that has the capacity to have the olympics? Your are making an assumption on Chicago, a city and area of 10+ million people, over the action of a few.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  14. Ron

    I didn't see people complaining about the times former President Bush went to the Ranch in Texas, or the 4 or 5 days he spent in China playing at the Olympics. The dumbest statement I've heard recently (among a lot of dumb statements) was by the Chairman of the GOP...Waitinf for jobs to be created in 2016 when we need jobs now...Wow, you have got to build everything, right? One would logically think that if Chicago gets the Olympics, the jobs would start to created almost immediately.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  15. Josh H, IL

    There are always political risks no matter what a president does. In this case though, if his push is successful it will help his image and be a bit of good news for a change. I also think given the rise in violence in Chicago you keep reporting on, if they won it could be a unifying force in the city and help out morale.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  16. Ron

    OH! By the way...His name is PRESIDENT OBAMA...Not just Obama. I think respect for the office is in order.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  17. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The implications are that the president makes verry bad decisions .

    October 1, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  18. Charles (San Jose, CA)

    By having the President go to pitch for the Olympics, the U.S has greatly increased its odds of winning the bid. Obama (and the First Lady) is very charismatic and will most definitely do an outstanding job. Win or lose, the Obama's are the right people for this task.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  19. Sheree Blakemore

    JOBS, JOBS, JOBS Stupid! This is not just a state issue for Chicago. This is will bring national economic value thoughout America. The enormous influx of cash, jobs, and internationals will give America the shot in the arm much needed for a weary country.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  20. Jeremiah Osborn

    The Olympics are arguably the oldest tradition the world has. Although I am hesitant to agree with some of president Obama's political decisions, this decision I absolutely do agree with. Health care, the economy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq all cast a negative shadow on today's politics. The idea that my president can go fight to bring something as positive and optimistic as the World Olympics to the United States inspires hope.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  21. Kyle

    It‘s a chance to create economic stimulus, jobs and reaffirm the good that exist in the U.S. to the world. It is very much in line with his positions.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  22. Ann Cassill Hogan

    The question is reminiscent of a seventh grade girls' pe locker room; no matter what good a deed might be, find fault.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  23. Miriam

    I feel like the media is hyping this up to a point of stupidity. President Obama is making a bid for the Olympics AMONG other world leaders. If he gets it than that means a boost to our national self esteem, a new sense of excitement, an economic push and new jobs people in that region. If he doesn't get the bid, I don't think that a crucifixion is necessary. The man tried. Geez..

    P.S. President Bush spent 4 days WATCHING the Olympics in Beijing, the first sitting president to ever do so. Funny couldn't find any info on who paid for that.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  24. Harper

    I don't think that there should be any political risks for President Obama going to Copenhagen. If Chicago wins the bid to host the 2016 Olympics, it will bring a wealth of money to the state as well as a multitude of retailers and those with whom the retailers do business. With the current economic state, I think it's a great opportunity for Chicago as well as the United States.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  25. Ken in NC

    Heidi, it would be great from an economic point of view if his trip results in the USA getting the Olympic Games here however the problem simply is that he is going to be denounced for everything he does. It seems to make no difference if what he does works or not.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  26. Maia Ajanaku-Locke

    What's up with all of these doubting questions: "What if the President fails?". Is this a case of wishful thinking? It certainly sounds like that to me. Why not prove me wrong and ask, What if he did not try to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago, what say you then?

    Barack Obama Is the President. There is no erasing the fact that his legacy and America's legacy are now inextricably interwoven. If he fails, America fails. If the media calls for his failure then there is the stronger possibility that he might. If the American people wants to see to that he fails, then he might. On the other hand if the Olympic Committee finds the American people behind the President, they might be more favorably impressed. But if he fails, don't blame it all on Rush Limbaugh and company. The closet haters and the passive well-wishers are also the in the room.

    I urge CNN to remember the failing marks given by the public to the News media. Another question you might ask: What can the media do to improve its image? I suggest that you ask more parallel questions.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  27. Matt

    You are all a bunch of babies and sorry souls! If Pres. Obama stays, many babies like you here will say he is unpatriotic and a foreigner. Is there anything he does without people hating him and his family? The presidents of Brazil and Japan are going, why not Pres. Obama? Why should the President foot the bill? Okay... I see... He should pay the plane fair because he doesn't deserve to be president? Going to support the Olympic won't damage this country. By the way, most of you should go and visit some East Asian countries and see if we are better than other countries. Visit Japan, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc and stop the arrogance. We are not better than everyone like we like to think. Bunch of cry babies! And yes, I am an American.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  28. Chris from Bartlett, IL

    Why is it that all these patriotic republicans never complained when Bush went on vacation after vacation and trip after trip while he led us in to two wars? Yes, I am from the Chicago area, I think it will bring a huge boost to our economy. I have been unemployed for 7 months. I think anything that can bring the possibility of work to us is important. If Obama can help bring money home to the US and Chicago – great job!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  29. bhoulie

    I think Chicago is a poor choice to host the Olympics. The city's poverty and crime will be visible to a global audience and negatively impact their perception of the "Land of Opportunity". Granted, they will clean up and build the facilities needed but the tourists will travel to the metro area that does not represent the majority of the USA. There are other cities here that represent America's beauty and pride on a small scale. Chicago would only discourage tourists from returning to the US on their next vacation.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  30. Molly

    President Obama needs to focus on the issues at hand. Not only is he trying to reform healthcare in the U.S., but the U.S. is fighting in two different countries. We do not need to be spending money on an event which the majority of the country does not want here in the U.S. I support the President on many issues, but this is where I draw the line.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  31. charlotte dinwiddie

    Heidi, you are GREAT for keeping the last two guests in line and threatening (in a very nice way) to cut off the interview if they could not let the other talk, uninterrupted! I wish more hosts would insist on the same. When the guests get too obstreperous, we just change channel to the BBC! (probably not the reaction your bosses want) Thanks.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  32. John M.

    Heidi, I loved that you stopped both commentators, because they could neither could keep the debate civil without constantly interrupting each other. Excellent job!
    As for the Pres. helping get the Olympics to the US, it's part of his job to promote a positive image for the US at a point in history when we are despised by most of the world. The argument against it by the right-wing extremists is a red herring.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  33. jade

    When a nation has been void of leadership for eight years its becomes difficult for many to embrace what it actually looks like. President Obama is a leader. He can manage more than one issue at a time. The days of linear problem solving are over! We are and have always been a multi-issue nation even though we have been consistently led by mono-issue leaders. For those who want to incessantly complain about President Obama – let the record reflect that your complaint has been duly noted–now let's move forward.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  34. Maureen

    President Obama will only be gone for a day or two to do this, and if Chicago gets the bid, it will be great for Illinois' economy which is so poor only California is worse off. Leaving for a couple days to help ensure the bid goes to Chicago is a worthy cause. Besides it's not as though he has taken many vacations since he took office, unlike other presidents we have had who vacationed regularly.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  35. James

    It is such nonsense that our president has the absolute "I'm a star" mentality! How about focusing on getting everyone on board with the sanctions against Iran? Better yet your healthcare program reforms; your butt belongs in the White House doing what we pay you to do, not jet setting to Copenhagen. I wonder how much it costs to run Air Force One over to Europe on this little jaunt?

    October 1, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  36. Tony

    Every country in the final group is sending the head of their country, and so are we.

    The rest of this non-sense is more republican spin. republicans need to understand they are not in power, and as such they don't set the agenda. it's really that simple.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  37. Larry

    The Republicans apparently are used to a President who can focus on only one issue at a time. Now that we have one who has the energy and the will to focus on many issues they try to denigrate his efforts – again to the detriment of the country they purport to love.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  38. bansidog

    It amazes me to see the hate regarding all topics including the Olympics!! America needs a boost in economy, job creation, reputation and morale. Obama is trying for the first three but the American ppl are responsible for the last one. All the negativity is not helping and shows the rest of the world, who are lined up to get the Olympics, what America is really about....

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  39. AJ

    I honestly think that he should focus on the promises that he has made to the American people.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  40. Alisa H

    I don't see it a political problem for President Obama to go to Copenhagen to bid for the 2016 Olympics to be in Chicago. GO USA!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  41. Diane J

    Oh please this is ridiculous!

    The President does not work alone! His staff and Congress many continue to work on the "big issues" while he's in Europe for a couple of days... I'm from Chicago and I think there is a lot of pride in sponsoring the Olympics for any County chosen, if Obama pitching his home town helps I say GO FOR IT!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  42. Caroline Meers


    Really? Why does this make headline news? Every time our president does something a bit out of the ordinary it makes the news. He has every right to "lobby" for the USA, his country, to host the Olympics. He is doing a great job given all that he inherited from the previous eight years. Can't the media and more importantly the country cut him some slack? It always amazes me what makes the news!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  43. james luce

    The president should go and make a bid. this will be so much financial stimulus for the usa. yesterday he gave $5B to the national institute of health. he's done more in his first 8 months than the last president in all his years. just let him do his job, as i'm sure he's making the best decisions that come before him.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  44. Khiem

    If the US were to win the Olympic bid, it should create a very large number of jobs for all the construction that will be required. Furthermore, everyone coming in from foreign countries to watch the Olympics will bring in a huge influx of money to the US economy. That's from a purely economic standpoint.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  45. David

    A big part of the President's job is his role as 'head of state' representing the nation to the rest of the world. It is absolutely acceptable that he has decided to personally represent the nation's bid to host the olympic games. With Air Force One being a fully functioning office, there's nothing to say that President Obama will be spending the majority of his trip devoted to dealing with the other 'pressing' issues.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  46. rick cedri

    This is such a stuopid debate. We are in a recession. The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world. So the President and his wife went to pitch a US city. What an awful thing to do. And since I worked with the Olympics, if a city losses money it is because it wasnt managed properly. Atlanta was a joke. It was sloppy at best and included a USA Terrorist. But we don't talk about that because we arte perfect here. The world views us as a country that doesnt even take care of it's sick dying people because we protect insurance company's profits. The only difference between a terrorist and the GOP is that the GOP uses a pen to kill Americans.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  47. James P.

    It is appalling that President and Mrs. Obama are there with Oprah Winfrey lobbying for this when we are at war where our soldiers die daily.
    They are busy enough promoting socialism in our country. Do we need this too.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  48. Lyn, MN

    Why oh why does everything have to be political! President Obama is from Chicago, he loves the place! He's interested in the Olympics and Michelle has a personal love for it. Allow the two to enjoy their dreams and yes, President Obama has a lot on his plate, but he's still allowed to breathe and just maybe make a short pit stop to enjoy the part of his job that allows him all these situations thrown at him. Why not just enjoy the competition of the whole idea of the Olympics, here in the USA

    October 1, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  49. Ronnie

    No, there won't be any risk. It will be good for Chicago and America, because the world will be able to see that we all don't think like rightwingers!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  50. nigel

    hi morning
    in regards to the president going to denmark.
    of course he should ,all other world leaders are there.
    plus also if he didnt go and america does not get chosen,with the other leaders being there,he would then get roasted for not going over there,
    as for his job responsibilties,health care has taken 75 years so far ,and the wars will not be solved in the next 24 hours, wish people would stop complaining about the little things and start concentrating on the bigger issues at hand.
    thats whats wrong with the world ,not if obama goes to represent his country .


    October 1, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  51. Shirley

    The people speaking against the President for going to Denmark need to get over themselves. He is an ambassador for the U.S. As far as people making money if Chicago gets the olympics, who wouldn't want all the construction workers, vendors, etc to be gainfully employed during this time. People need to stop being so narrow-minded, period!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  52. Dwight

    Heidi, does the "Birthers" know that the President and the First lady don't need their permission or approval to go anywgere they want?


    October 1, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  53. Dorothy,

    Of course the president should do all that he can to help the United States in these difficult times to do whatever he can to get jobs and improve the economy. The problem with all those against it is not that they worry that the president has other things he needs to focus on, they fear he may succeed, and that would just be another terrible blow for the republicans that are wanting him to fail. If he goes and doesn't get it at least he tried. and I was always told that "nothing beats a failure but a try". God be with you President Obama!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  54. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This is just one more reason for America to be mad as hell .

    October 1, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  55. Paul Thomas

    As a registered Texas Republican, I am becoming more disenfranchised with our Republican spokes persons on issues such as this. President Obama should be applauded for his attempts to secure the Olympic Games for the US & Chicago, including this trip to Denmark. Having the Olympics in the US is a great opportunity to show case to the world what a great country we live in.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  56. Dwayne L

    Well done in handling your guest! We are watching for well reasoned arguments that bring additional information and provide a broader viewpoint. Not snide aragonite uninformed remarks, or false conclusions spins.

    Thanks for freeing us (the viewers) for once.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  57. shemaya

    1) The President is supposed to have "it all"on his plate when it comes to the country, including a financial opportunity like the Olympic Games.

    2) If a large company was contemplating a move that could potentially create jobs and financial opportunity, as well as enhance US prestige, then we wouldn't hear all this nonsensical whining from John Bayner & co. It's money. Go get it. That's something he understands so what is the problem?

    3) Are JB and his elephant pals angry because Obama is "taking a day off" to go to Stockholm or because they can't get a day off from working for the Insurance Lobby? 😉

    4) I can remember when Alaska had jobs for the unemployed out in the oil fields and many temporarily went north for them. Get the Olympics and then move there for a while to work in the jobs it will create.


    October 1, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  58. Nita from New Orleans

    People please get over it! Making a bid for the games IS a political move for us ALL. Having the Oylmpics here in the USA period regardless of where is a great move by the president. We need the exposure economically as a WHOLE. UNITED States we claim to be?! Any plus for one of our towns SHOULD be a plus for us all. We are complaining about a few days out of a 4 year term? It will most definitely take more than 4 years to undo the damage that Bush has done and most of the posters here are complaining?

    October 1, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  59. James

    The operant word I keep seeing is "If"; if the Olympics come here, if we get the Olympics. You know what IF we get the Olympics that wont be for almost 5 or six years. People talk about the economic boost; what about the investment capital that needs to be put out before we see dime number one? We need to get money back in our pockets first BEFORE we count on money that we haven't earned yet. Its so typical of the United States to spend money on the premise/promise of a return. My company has laid off almost 8,000 people since this has all started and they are all scattered around the country. Forgive me if I'm not cheering loud enough for Chicago, I still looking at the big space where two towers used to be in my city.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  60. Gene

    As it has been said numerous times, though has not make it to the air. Where was all the complaining about Bush's time in China last summer while the economy was melting down and we had two wars going on. This is a period of only a few hours to help bring jobs to the country. As far as money for friends, hello, did you guys not pay attention to the fact the last administration was run by a former oil man and a war profiteer, I mean head of a government contractor. Do you know which were the industries with the biggest growth and profits over that period? Guess! Stop being hypocrites and complain about a real issue. How about the banks being publicly owned loan sharks charging 30% for credit cards, or that insurance companies are the only ones to benefit from the plans being recommended. I think your priorities are confused if this short trip is a concern for you.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  61. Dyanne Earley

    Bottom line is that according to Republicans, he can do NOTHING
    right, so I don't think this is a risk for him. IT'S ONE DAY – and for
    those of you still living in the dark ages, international communications exsist in Denmark too. It's not a vacation, just something he felt he
    should do. That's his call as far as I'm concerned.


    October 1, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  62. ceaser

    As a Chicagoan and Moderate Democrat, the Olympics should not be held in Chicago. No one has discussed that the 50 Alderman in the Chicago City Council put the taxpayers on the front line if Chicago doesn't get the Olympics.

    Also, Chicago has too many problems to handle an Olympics with all the indictments, corruption that still exist in the real city.

    Obama must be going because they did their politics and were probably promised votes from the committee for this olympics.

    If the Olympics happen in Chicago, then the taxpayers don't win, it will be the Daley Machine Power Brokers, Jarrett, Axelrod, developers, not the unions were they have to take unpaid furlough days.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  63. Wil

    This is such a complete and utter non issue. Is this more egregious than anything that happened under the Bush administration... I don't know... like say, Halliburton receiving 21 BILLION dollars in protected contracts from their best bud Cheney? At least the entire city of Chicago and the surrounding area will get some sort of economic benefit rather than a handful of scheming CEO's. I swear, the collective American memory for things is almost nonexistent - some perspective - please.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  64. Sergio Hentschel

    I believe that President Obama is making a very intelligent move going to Copenhagen. This is another opportunity to show the World that the USA whats to change.

    All the heads of state involved in the Olympic bid have huge internal issues as well. Not going to Copenhagen would be considered "arrogant" and we really need to stay away from this adjective.

    October 1, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  65. Joy-Texas

    The opposition to the President going to Denmark to try to get the Olympics in the USA is just another campaign against him..The fact is the President can't do anything right in the view of some these days..I think that these people should stop being so negative and see that this is a positive thing, that would create jobs and revenue for a lot of people, not just in Chicago...I'm sick to death of all the Obama bashing..For Gods sake, he's trying to help....

    October 1, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  66. Nita from New Orleans

    To: M Foster Jewler,

    Have you ever heard of, "doing what the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks you want with your salary?" If he chooses to take his wife out with the money he has earned for the week, who are we to tell him other wise? Or any other president before him? President Obama is not the leader of the nation for free. He like any other public official has a paid salary as does any other employed American. Get over yourself.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  67. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Theres no proublem with the olympics being held in America its where there trying to hold them whats wrong with Hawaii -Denver -Miami- or even Houston.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  68. M. Fashing

    Of course President Obama needed to go to Denmark because the other countries involved sent top leaders. Let's stop this mentality of winner take all and the rest are "losers" an risk reputations. The U. S. needs to continue to build a positive international image and that of a team player. If Chicago is awarded the Olympic bid, we'll deal with it. If we don't, we'll deal with it. I live in Chicago. I have not been polled, so I am sick of commentators quoting bogus statistics of what Chicagoans want or don't want. My question to those who criticize President Obama for not being in D.C. to work on other issues is, "Why? Is every Senator and Representative waiting patiently for him in the assemblies?" Many people are working on these issues across the country 24/7 whether the President is on U.S. soil or not.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  69. pbuitrago

    How can an American critticise their president for going to bat for them.
    The whole US will benefit as tourist will spend money not just in Chicago. IT will be a great booster to the whole economy and it will start quickly as the construction will start soon.
    So at least Boehner has acknowledged OBAMA is the US president.
    So all the other countries send their top representative and the US cant.??
    Hello, this is getting really childish this nitpicking.
    The GOp needs to get serious with the pressing problems in front of them.

    Maybe we should cancel the Republican's health insurance that we Americans give them and see if they can relate to those of us that do not have insurance.
    Great job at stopping the overzealous Republican model from taking over the discussion . Isure do not want to see that kind of TV program .That is for O'Reilly and n ot interested in that waste of my viewing.
    Thank you
    Thank you Heide

    October 1, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  70. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Because Chicago dont deserve the honor .

    October 1, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  71. Kevin

    Heidi, I hope you'll give as much time to positive comments as the bad ones. Obviously if the other finalists in the Olympic bid sent their heads of state then it follows that we should send ours. If we didn't then that would almost guarantee a loss as that could be viewed by the Olympic committee as a demonstrated lack of interest.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  72. M. Himes

    For the first time we have a president that's proactively engaging the world. This should not be looked at as something bad. It's good for the country to have our leader out to represent us. It's also a good thing for the U.S. economy if he can bring the games.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  73. James

    I got news for people, its not just Republicans or the Right Wing conspiracy that has a problem with this; its the people who voted for him like me! I want nothing more than ANY President of the US to suceed internationally as well as domestically. I just feel this Letterman/ Prime Time TV tour coupled with this is ill timed; I don't care what Bernake says we are still in this recession. Supporters of the President want the initial campaign platforms accomplished! You obviously can't settle up a recession in a few months but there are other things to be doing while people in our country are becoming more disenfranchised. We have to stop blaming Bush and Tricky Dick Cheney and move on as well; we have the reins and excuses aren't going to wash!

    October 1, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  74. Mary

    James P. – Was it "appalling" when Bush and his big entourage went to the Olympics in China while there was a war going on and the economy was tanking? Such hypocrisy. Bush cut brush at his ranch how many times while we were at war and the economy was tanking? And where was he when NOLA was underwater during Katrina? Get real.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  75. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This has nothing to do with wild man George hes not the standing president any more Obama is.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  76. Earl


    I voted for President Obama as well, but I am not naive enough that everything that was campaign promised would : #1 be resolved by today, #2 would exactly match the promises because that simply is utopia not reality, #3 there are so many additional issues then the dozen or so that are covered in a campaign.

    Again, we are talking about maybe a 24-48 hour away from the White House, not the office of the Presidency. The office and responsibilities go on the trip, even when he is on an official "vacation", he is not on a vacation. This is a functional business trip for the office of the President.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  77. Arlington

    At least this President is out there showing America's light instead of plotting a new war or declaring MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, or great job Brownie. By now our last president would have been on vacation in TX.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  78. Kevin

    The people who whine about Obama are obviously of the birther type. Angry simply because he's president and their party is out of power. Bush was constantly on vacation, showed incredible ignorance toward the rest of the world, handed out money and awards to his undeserving friends, and waged an illegal war from which Dick Cheney profited and should be jailed. Apparently a lazy, money loving, and ignorant president who can only handle one issue at a time is the perfect representative for the typical conservative. Obama, an intelligent, open minded president who can multitask is a much better representative of this great nation's position and potential.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  79. susan

    This is called Marketing the US to the rest of the world. It is unfortunate that the 2012 Olympic bid set the "new standard" of having the head of government personally involved (as opposed to the more usual video presentation.) At least the Queen did not get involved unlike the King of Spain.

    This is almost like vying for a treaty. IF the 2016 Olympics does come to the US (Chicago – which is the Obama's hometown), this is another impetus for influx of foreign capital at least for 2016 and potentially for years to come in increased tourism. It will also serve as another "stimulus" to the Chicago aea as the proposal involves private moneys (with city guarantees). The naysayers to the Chicago bid forget that the money that is "earmarked" for the buildings, etc. would not otherwise materialize in infrastructure or other governmental services as it is private. (The naysayers may be correct in this as a bid for further "gentrification" to certain areas.)

    October 1, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  80. Kevin

    Reason why the talking heads and the republicans are making such a big deal about this is because they're hoping Obama does not get the Olympics here and they can set this up as a political failure that they can use against Obama later. Once again their blind hate prevents them from seeing that if Obama fails then the country fails.

    Amazing how there are so many complaints about how hard he's working. What kind of complaint is that? Since when do you see someone actually working hard at their job and you complain about that !?

    October 1, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  81. James

    It's not being naive to expect change to mean your going to keep your promises even though past Presidents have not. Utopia doesn't exist hence why its called Utopia. Go to the City of Wichita, Detroit, Mesa, or New Orleans; they would love the idea of economic opportunity and they are closer. Those other issues than the dozen or so in the campaign get no closer to being resolved going to Denmark.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  82. Kay Parrish

    I would really enjoy the news again if the guest would stop cutting into each others time. I was upset with mr. zimmerman(i think it was his name) he was rude to the lady because she said the president should have let his wife & valarie handle the bid for the olympics.(or something like that) I have noticed a lot of the commentators have shown bias toward the democrates
    I will just watch your war news, which is fantastic. I have two nephews fighting in this war on terrorism . I hope & pray Obama and his czars are on the up & up. It's beginning to feel like a war in our political arena and it's ugly.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  83. John L

    Where is the balance here? I hear a lot of commentary along the lines of "What if he FAILS" in his efforts to promote bringing the Olympics to the USA, but I don't hear any commentary along the lines of "What if he SUCCEEDS" in this effort. Why not? I'd like to hear an in-depth report on the economic and other benefits of bringing the Olympics to a city in the USA, for that city, and the region, and the entire country. How about it? People in the media wonder why the general public is so suspicious of the media, and this is part of the reason why. The media (CNN included) tends to seize on the most controversial points of view and repeat them over and over, again and again.

    Another point: A lot of critics are suggesting that there is too much risk that President Obama will fail in this effort, so he shouldn't even try. What a deplorable message to put out there for our country, and especially for young citizens. If you don't think you can win, don't even try. Is that what the critics are really saying???

    My personal opinion is that President Obama has demonstrated time and time again that he is perfectly capable of managing multiple tasks simultaneously in an estraordinary manner. So one wonders, why does he seem to always catch so much flack to doing so.

    The critics need to seriously chill out for a while!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  84. David

    Making the bid in person makes sense. Other countries' presidents and prime ministers are there and it's an honor to host the Olympics, kind of a fun event for the young people in the world, that's the idea.

    President Obama's schedule is packed with overwhelming issues, I hope that the media is not taking advantage of his energy, and almost endless energy to make a positive impact because it seems to me that the media sort of takes everything for granted.

    October 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  85. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Yes great marketing lets sell half a hot dog for the price of a whole one whers the fairness to deserving citys.

    October 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  86. Lisa Schaumburg IL

    Last time I saw pictures of air force one there was phones, computers and all sorts of stuff that the president can use to keep doing the work he needs to do while going to Denmark, which one is to help the american economy. I would think if the Olympics comes to Chicago that would help the economy not only in Chicago but all over america. Airlines, hotels, restaurants to name a few would benefit greatly which are owned by companys all over the USA.

    October 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  87. Arlington

    How quickly people forget the past 8 years. If Obama is the bad guy here, then Chaves was correct. I can still smell the sulfer.

    October 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  88. Ruth will

    EVERYONE seems to be missing the point here! Regardless of the merits or not to Bring the Olympics here, to Chicago or elsewhere in
    the U.S. There is apperance of not just shucking more pressing respon-sibilities, but also improperly pulling financial strings for all his pals in
    Chicago. For goodness sake it Makes him Look, BAD, ok.. I don't give a
    rats butt, he has a computer,phone ,etc. on board. JUST look @ all the
    Negatives surrounding this decesion: Unemployment is thru the roof,
    (people are suffering everywhere!! and Oprah isn't one of them)
    the economy is still S–t, we have a war on in Afganistan (he sent troops
    to) but now can't make up his mind about what to do NOW,etc,etc.,but
    even worse its the Impropriety he has now shown to finacially help
    questionable friends of his in Chicago! He should have excused himself of this, I think sending Michelle, Oprah, and ValleryJarrett,
    was quite enough already?? He is now the President of the USA,
    NOT Chicago, and just maybe he needs to start Acting like it! GET IT

    October 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  89. Gloria Brown

    It does not matter whatever, President Obama does, he is under the gun for everything, and to think that with his help the city of Chicago might be able to be awarded the Olympics, I see it as more jobs, more opportunity for all that live in Chicago and America, and more Americans will be able to possibly attend and share in this great event. I have been through Chicago on my way to Great Lakes Naval Base where my son graduated and now serving in a warzone, he is excited that he might be able to attend an Olympics in the continental US if we are awarded and it makes him proud. How can we who sit on the sideline while our Military Personnel are fighting on behalf of all our freedoms, sit there and continue to speak against the President of the United States, their Commander and Chief. We need to let our Troops know that we stand with them as they protect our Nation, our President and us, with thanksgiving and support in our hearts and not so much a criticism.

    October 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  90. Sandy

    of course President and First Lady should attend and why on earth would 24-hours out of a week be reason to implicate bad politics. Republicans and their station Fox and radio station with Rush Limbaugh will try to implicate and sabotage anyway they can. Give me a break...What does the Olympics do for a city??? It stimulates the economy, not only in Chicago but across the country. If others want to naysay his support of Chicago landing the 2016 Olympics, they should think twice about what it might do for our economy in general, help clean up the city, the hiring of police officers, new venues which will continue to bring in revenue decades after and the hiring of many, many personnel immediately since the building and planning begin the moment Chicago receives the Summer Olympics I live in SLC where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held so we know a little about this. My only suggestion...everything and i mean everything for the Winter Olympics, pins, flags, tshirts...everything was tagged as made in China. Always felt this was so ironic.

    October 1, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  91. Ty -Florida

    Dear Kyra,

    President Obama’s trip to Denmark to campaign for the 2016 Olympics to be held in America is a compelling effort to uplift our nation in the midst of these debilitating economic times. The games will provide hundreds of life saving jobs to those desperately seeking work. It would be a glimmer of hope in seemingly hopeless times. The games will also provide a much needed boost in moral and national pride in moments so bleak that it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel is only a flicker of our imaginations.

    October 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  92. Earl

    Mr. Armstrong,

    Those other deserving cities you keep mentioning, did any of them go through the effort to apply to be the host city? It is not like Chicago was just plucked out of the air to be the candidate city for the United States.

    Instead asking about other deserving cities hosting it, you should ask those cities why they didn't go through the effort to apply to host the games.


    Ms. Will

    "He is now the President of the USA,
    NOT Chicago, and just maybe he needs to start Acting like it! GET IT"

    Ummm isn't Chicago just as much part of the United States of America as any other city? Would you say the same thing if he went to LA, New York, Atlanta, because their was something that warranted his attention there?

    This IS a national topic. This is about hosting the games once again in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. The jobs that will come with this for the next 8 years, will be filled not by just people in the midwest, but across the nation. Travel, Hotel, Food, Logistics, Security, Technology, Building, Marketing, Auditing, let alone all the aspects about the sports themselves (kids getting excited at an opportunity to compete in sports other then the big 4)

    And once again, please explain in detail how President Obama not physically being in the White House, is going to impact anything with regards to the major topics that are pressing right now? The two wars are not going to be over tomorrow, healthcare bill isn't going to be on his desk to sign tomorrow, the financial issues are all of sudden going to be completely gone.

    It's not like he doesn't have: his computer, his phone, his pens, his staff, video conferencing if he has to be seen. He also has his cabinet members, the congress, and the thousands of others that have to continue to do what they need to do. Does the business of the United States come to a halt, when he goes to bed at night? I mean he is probably at least away from his desk for at least 4 hours when he is sleeping.

    October 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  93. Eddie F

    I'm curious if anyone stands to gain by profiteering from a Chicago 2016 Summer Olympics. Has anyone seen and news pieces down on this subject? Just curious.

    October 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  94. Lisa in Texas

    What is he thinking spending more of our tax dollars that we don't even have anymore taking a trip abroad. Why doesn't he spend that money bringing our guys home from the useless war in Iraq, and creating jobs. Can't he see OUR country is in trouble??? Open your eyes Obama!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  95. Mary

    George Bush is very relevant to this issue, despite what some here would like us to believe. 1. He went to, supported and spent taxpayer money on the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. 2. He went to the Olympics in China and used a lot of taxpayer money to do so. Pointing out the hypocrisy of attacking President Obama for trying his best to get the Olympics in Chicago is valid. 3. Bush's policies and his war have so damaged this country that it is going o take years to undo the damage. President Obama has been in office less than 9 months and has been working as hard as any president in years to do what needs to be done. If he can help get the Olympics in Chicago, he should do it. It would be a major boost for our economy and our spirits. After 8 years of Bush, we could use that.

    And to all the people who are so worried about crime in Chicago... have you checked the crime rates in Rio lately? Through the roof...far worse than Chicago. You will not find a major city which could hold the Olympics that doesn't have crime and horrible things happening every day. Remember what happened to the family of the US coach in China? The bombing in Atlanta? The killing of Israeli athletes in Germany? Bad things happen everywhere. Hate to burst your bubble but I doubt you are that safe in any big city these days.

    October 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  96. BrianH

    Thank you so much for the way you handle the opposing views on your show! It is greatly appreciated. I cannot stand "the let me scream louder and interupt approach. I happen to be a Republican that voted for Obama. Thus, I hope that I can listen and make up my own mind . I happen to think Obama should not have gone, but the republican on this segment almost made me change my mind. Manners and courtesy still are important, even on cable TV. Again, thanks! Please share this with the execs at CNN!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  97. Kariem in North Carolina

    I don't think it is a bad idea to go and try to get the 2016 Summer Olympics in Chicago but its not just in Chicago he's trying to get it here in America period. I think it will be good for the economy and those that don't/ you need to take that frustration out on the republicans! Ask them why we had to bail out companies that made bad choices! or better yet why they make so many bad choices when they had power.

    Obama cant really do much more on the health care debate he's outlined what he wanted already when it comes to reform; to bring competition into the market,lower cost, ensure every
    american,eliminate insurance companies from droping or not giving coverage to an individual because of preexisting conditions, And not add a dime to the deficet. It's now up to the house and the senate to comply with those few demands from the president with or without a public option and pass reform. And stop taking money from insurance companies and drug companies that doesnt want reform to pass.

    Two thumbs up obama your the only president that has ever went publicly to try and get the olympics here in the states. Keep muti-tasking don't worry about your critics they want you to fail but you stand!!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  98. Kariem

    I don't see anything wrong with president obama trying to get the 2016 Summer Olympics in Chicago. He not just trying to get it in Chicago but having it hosted here in the states that what his goal. It would be good for the economy.

    And those that argue he need to be spending time on health care he's done his part nicely outlined what he wanted, it's up for the house and the senate republicans and democrates to stop accepting money from the insurance and drug agencies and pass reform. And no need to complain about obama on afganastan because maybe if bush would have took time to fully evauate the situation we wouldn't still be over there!!! and for you critics of obama Bush is the one who totally forgot about afganastan turning to iraq trying to get oil and finish something his dad started.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:09 am |
  99. Eric

    Obama has degraded the concept of presidential allure and status. The president should be busy with domestic and foreign policy duties.
    – He should not be going on the Jay Leno show
    – He should not be commenting on arrests made in a procedural house break-in
    – He should not be hosting people in the White House for a beer
    – He should not be commenting on the Kanye West saga (although this MAY have been off the record)
    – He should not be spending exorbitant tax dollars to go on a date in NYC for the night.
    AND he should NOT be representing the Olympic city candidate

    October 2, 2009 at 4:57 am |
  100. Jan O

    President Obama, once more, is using his "star power" to sell, promote, and reward his political friends. Few Olympics have proved to be profitable for the cities and states in which they are held. Check the history, it's written in red ink. Who then pays the debt the Olympics leaves behind? You guessed it......the taxpayer!

    October 2, 2009 at 6:32 am |
  101. Robert Adams

    Bad ideal the worst place in us,but the bright side is the gang members will be out numbered.

    October 2, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  102. jade

    Boy! there is a lot of hate out there. If hate was a cancer there would be a lot of deaths out there. My recommendation...let the hate go before you have an stroke. Its just plain unhealthy for people to get this crazy over the President and the Olympic bid. In addition, it cowardly to hide behind an email with such hate.

    October 2, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  103. Chris

    I think they should do it somewhere else,due to all the shootings in chicago.Where are they gonna get the money for this,as bad as our economy is it will make things even worse.

    October 2, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  104. J Srinivasan

    Obama given timely snub by IOC where the "I" stands for International. Is Obama listening? The International community doesn't approve of USA and Obama's actions in the recent past – from the unjustified wars to bring down the Global economy. I doubt if either Obama or USA CAN listen; after all this has been doing the rounds for 10 years now.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  105. MR.AL

    People need to think? What will the Olympics will bring to the US.Think of jobs. Mabey the economy for the poor might change. Special intrest doesn't want it but who cares.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  106. Frederick D Lewis

    President O'bama, who is not only the leader of this country but also a resident of Chicago. He made a sincere effort to win over the election committee who would make the final decision in the selecting of the country who would host the 2016 Olympics. He loss in that effort. Howevr, we as a country must not be selfish because another country was more successful. Rio De Janerio, will represnt Brazil and South America. They are in fact the first country to represent South America. We as a country have won and loss many times in the history of the Olympics. Why should this time be any different.
    It is obvious that the right who are hailing the loss should be ashame of themselves. It really hints of racism. Also, that they willing to gloat over the United States loss and the defeat of our president's efforts. It is really sad to see the attitude that exist in this country. People who claim that they are Christian. They should practice what they preach!
    Frederick Lewis

    October 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  107. debra

    Seriously? As far as I'm concerned it was a win win!!! We need to think globally. We pour and have poured tons of support to South America. Their win could quit possibly be the help they need to slow poverty there. Wouldn't it be great if the food a parent puts on the table for their child wasn't bought by drug money. Come on CNN, politics are not this black and white. I am having a hard time watching you present the superficial. It embarrasses me that you present the news in a white trash soap opera format. Is this what we really want? I'm with jade don't hate.

    October 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  108. D. McDaniel

    I think the US lost the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games because the olympic committee was very aware that Minority Leader John Boener, Rush Limbaugh and other extreme right wing republicans want to see Pres. Obama fail at everything he supports. They were speaking against having the games in Chicago. They are also aware of the threats against the president, and probably feel that these same people would do everything in their power to keep the preparation from going well. There was actually a group that went to Copenhagen to picket against having the games in Chicago. On the other hand, the other countries, especially Brazil, made it clear that the whole country wanted the games. I think this is key to their win..

    October 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  109. F. McDay

    I am so surprised at how much the extreme right wing hate Pres. Obama. They really showed their true feelings when they cheered when he lost his attempt at bringing the Olympics to the US. They would rather bring down our country, than see the president win at anything.

    October 6, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  110. Bernard

    Obama hasn't done anything but talk like any politician. It's a slap on the face for the previous noble prize winners of their hard earned pride. it's more insult to them as well.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  111. Ed J

    The Nobel Commission is neither Dem or Repub-the world sees the intentions of our Pres clearly-unlike the political right of this country. Congrats to the commissions clear thinking

    October 9, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  112. Murali

    Post Bush era, there have been many innovative and intelligent strategies that Obama has brought to the world in handling tough situations. What Bush plundered, Obama has to restore. It is always easy to destroy than build and I oppose the Republican Chairman's view that Obama has not accomplished much in US. The vision that Obama spoke of during campaign was so hopeful and positive, not just for US but for the world that he deserves this honor. It is like a strong affirmation of his vision and hope he brings to the mankind. I believe this will persuade Mr. Obama to meet with Dalai Lama and not fall for Chinese propaganda.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  113. ray edwards

    re: the Nobel peace price to my president; can anyone name anyone else more worthy of this prize at this time for efforts made towards world wide peace this year.

    October 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm |