Posts Tagged 'Michelle Obama'

Rio 2016

I’m happy for Rio, but I feel bad for Obama. First he says that he won’t travel to Copenhagen to push for Chicago because his hands are full with the health care battle.

Then he changes his mind, and joins Michelle and Oprah (!) at International Olympic Committee meeting to campaign for his adopted home city.

I thought his visit would clinch the Chicago victory, and Oprah would send it hurtling over the finish line.

I’m glad that South America will finally host the Olympics. But I may have to reassess the world’s opinion of Obama…and Oprah.

Going for the Gold

What a race: the Obamas and Oprah, together again, pushing for Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. I was impressed to hear that Michelle was traveling to Copenhagen for the International Olympic Committee’s final vote between Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. Then the President decides to come too? AND Oprah?! Their key weapon in the early days of election campaign? With that power trio behind the city, how could Chicago lose?!

It’s true that Rio’s bid also looks attractive: they’ve never hosted before, and PelĂ© is making the rounds in Denmark. An actual Olympian!

And I’ve learned that these IOC votes are full of suspense, and surprises. Back in 2005, when London and Paris were vying for the honor of hosting the 2012 summer games, the public and the media in France and in Britain seemed convinced that Paris would seal to deal.

But London really worked it. Tony Blair mingled and schmoozed the IOC members, Ken Livingstone, London’s mayor at the time, made the bid a priority, and a hard-core lobby group, including a former Olympian (Sebastian Coe) and an impressive American (Barbara Cassani).

So London won, even as sceptics questioned whether the aging transport system could handle the influx of visitors, and whether the planned sporting complexes in East London would be ready (and paid for) in time.

At least the Obamas’ push comes at a time when Chicago needs some positive publicity, after the horrific killing of the honor student this week.

US: In Vogue Again

img_2983 It’s a great feeling to have the US admired again. After eight years of living out of the US, timed perfectly to coincide with the Bush presidency, I am proud to say I helped to vote Obama into office.

I do wonder sometimes whether Americans living abroad will confront angry questions from Europeans like I did about why the US is so aggressive in its foreign policy; the legality of holding prisoners in Guantánamo Bay; and why the World Series is called that when only the US partakes.

It’s fantastic to see a US First Lady on the cover of Vogue (and Oprah’s magazine! And Essence! And People!). And to see almost as much coverage of Michelle Obama’s visit to a London girls’ school as the world leaders’