Iran smolders, Afghanistan burns, and Obama heads to...Denmark 

With growing pressure for decisions on life-or-death issues in Afghanistan and Iran, this morning the White House announced that President Obama will soon travel to…Copenhagen. Obama will be in Denmark for just a few hours -- he leaves this Thursday and returns Friday -- which is just enough time to make a pitch for Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. He'll be following First Lady Michelle Obama, who is also going to Copenhagen as part of the promote-Chicago team. Here is the White House press release:

Today, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark to support Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games at the 121st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session. On Friday, October 2nd, IOC members will elect the host city for the 2016 Summer Games.

President Obama will join First Lady Michelle Obama, who will be leading the United States delegation to Copenhagen. Mrs. Obama will arrive in Copenhagen on Wednesday, September 30, along with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and head of the White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport.

President Obama will depart Washington on the evening of Thursday, October 1 and arrive in Copenhagen on the morning of October 2 local time, just prior to Chicago’s presentation to the voting members of the IOC. He will arrive back in Washington on Friday afternoon.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will both make presentations to the IOC during Friday’s session. They will discuss why Chicago is best to host the 2016 Summer Games, and how the United States is eager to bring the world together to celebrate the ideals of the Olympic movement.

While in Denmark, the President and First Lady will meet with Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness, the Prince Consort. President Obama will also meet with Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

And it's not just the president and the first lady. Indeed, a significant part of the Obama administration -- the group includes top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood -- is also heading to Copenhagen to make the pitch for Chicago.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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