DAILY NEWS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
Michelle Obama helped her husband win the White House—now she hopes to help her hometown win the Olympic Games.
The first lady arrived in Copenhagen Wednesday morning to lend her star power to Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city on Friday.
Obama, Chicago's most famous daughter, will serve as schmoozer-in-chief, cornering as many IOC members as possible and touting the Windy City as the ideal site.
President Obama, who will be the first President to attend an IOC host city selection meeting, is slated to arrive Friday in time to participate in the Chicago bid committee's final presentation.
"That's the perspective I bring," Michelle Obama said earlier this week, referring to her Chicago roots. "That's the voice that I'm most comfortable using. But in this case, it's probably helpful, particularly given the fact that so much of where the games are going to be held are sort of right in my backyard."
Chicago is competing against Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo to be the host of the world's most prestigious sporting event. Rio de Janeiro—viewed as Chicago's primary competition—would make history as the first host city in South America.
Michelle Obama planned to meet with IOC members throughout the next two days, and she also has a meeting scheduled with IOC president Jacques Rogge.
She'll attend Chicago's welcome bash—along with TV talk show queen Oprah Winfrey—and has lunch plans Thursday with the Danish queen.
While Rogge has said publicly that heads of state are not expected to attend, history shows their presence has been instrumental.
Tony Blair is widely credited for tipping the 2012 vote in London's favor, spending two days doing one-on-one meetings with IOC members in his hotel suite.
Michelle Obama declined recently to disclose details about Chicago's final presentation—but she was adamant about what won't be included.
"We're not going to sing together or anything," she said.
- More coverage from the New York Daily News.