First Lady Will Advocate For Chicago To Host 2016 Olympics

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A top White House adviser said first lady Michelle Obama is planning to make a dramatic presentation when she offers the closing argument for the bid by her hometown of Chicago to win the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“There won’t be a dry eye in the room,” said Valerie Jarrett, who plans to travel with the first lady to Copenhagen for the Oct. 2 International Olympic Committee vote.

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“I’m sure that it will touch the hearts of each of the IOC members,” Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said today in an interview.

Jarrett declined to say what the first lady will tell the IOC. The stakes are high because winning the games would be an economic boost nationally, as well as for Chicago, she said.

“It will be a huge economic engine for Chicago, but it will have a ripple effect throughout the country,” Jarrett said, adding that U.S. corporations have voiced support for Chicago’s bid.

Michelle Obama is leading the U.S. delegation to Copenhagen, where the IOC will choose among Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

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Getting the games would mean billions of dollars in construction, tourism, sponsorships and advertising, as well as national prestige. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has pledged his city will take financial responsibility for the undertaking, now budgeted at $4.8 billion.

McDonald’s Corp., based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is one of the many Chicago-area companies following the bid. The fast- food company is one of nine global Olympic sponsors with exclusive marketing rights.

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[SOURCE: Bloomberg News]

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