WASHINGTON (CNN) – Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, a Democrat whose district includes part of Chicago, called the Windy City's failed bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games "heartbreaking."
Davis was in the middle of telling CNN's Ed Henry on Friday why he believed Chicago would be the best location for the Olympics when the news broke that his city had been the first one eliminated. Above audible gasps around the studio, Henry asked Davis for his immediate reaction.
Listen: Davis hears the news from CNN's Ed Henry
"Well, it's kind of heartbreaking in a sense," Davis said. "It's obviously a downer for us, because a tremendous amount of effort has been put into trying to win the bid, but of course Chicago is the city of the big shoulders. We pick ourselves up and keep on moving and look for the next horizon."
Davis said he didn't think it was wrong for President Obama to visit Copehagen to personally push for Chicago's bid, and said that he was aiming to get an international opportunity and to show leadership. Davis also said that because Obama is from Chicago, he was expected to put up the extra effort to try to help his hometown.
(CNN) – Top White House aide David Axelrod is blaming the city of Chicago's shocking early elimination to host the 2016 Olympics on internal politics within the International Olympic Committee.
"I don't view this as a repudiation of the president or the first lady," Axelrod told CNN. "I think that there are politics everywhere, and there are politics inside that room."
Axelrod's comments came shortly after the IOC announced Chicago was the first city of the four finalists to be eliminated from contention. The early elimination came after in-person appeals from both Obamas on behalf of the city.
"As with any process like this, there are all kinds of crosscurrents in the room," Axelrod added. "There are relationships…the president of the IOC, former president, was heading up the effort for Spain. I'm sure those relationships meant something. I'm not an expert on the internal machinations of the IOC."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama is sending a pair of top Cabinet officials next week to visit the Chicago, Illinois, school where an honors student was beaten to death, the beating videotaped and broadcast around the world.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder will make the trip October 7, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday.
"It's a great concern to the president, as somebody who lives in Chicago and should be a concern for every American," Gibbs said.
Obama spoke with his advisers about the killing on Wednesday and directed Duncan and Holder to meet with officials from the school, the students and the community to "talk about the issue of school violence," Gibbs said.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CNN) - As First Lady Michelle Obama and talk show host Oprah Winfrey wrapped up a day of furious behind-the-scenes lobbying of International Olympic Committee members here, two sources close to the process tell CNN that the battle between Chicago and Rio is heating up, as the two cities battle to host the 2016 Summer Games.
Madrid and Tokyo are also in the running, but sources close the process said that Chicago and Rio have emerged as the clear frontrunners, and are neck and-neck ahead of President Obama's arrival early Friday for a presentation to the IOC's 105 members, who will be voting later that day.
After a flurry of private conversations among IOC officials here, one of the sources close to the process said bluntly that it's "close as hell" between Chicago and Rio, as both Obama and Brazilian President Lula da Silva plan to make personal appeals to the voters on behalf of their cities on Friday morning.
In a sign of just how ferocious the lobbying is, King Juan Carlos of Spain and new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama are also making personal pitches to the IOC members.
(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is sharply criticizing President Obama's planned trip to Denmark to promote Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics, characterizing the 24-hour trek as an unnecessary distraction.
"I think at a time of war, I think at a time of recession, at time where Americans have expressed rather significantly their concerns and frustrations over the course of the spring and summer …this trip, while nice, is not necessary for the president," Steele said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
Steele is the latest Republican to take aim at Obama's decision to accompany his wife Thursday night to the International Olympic Committee meeting in Copenhagen where representatives from the four finalist cities will make pitches ahead of the IOC vote in a few weeks. It is the first time a U.S. president has attended an IOC meeting.
"I think the first lady would have been and should have been the lead here, and let her go and sell Chicago," Steele also said. "The goal should be creating not job opportunities seven years from now, but job opportunities today."
Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, and Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan, both leveled similar criticisms at the president Monday.
President Bush plays beach volleyball with U.S. beach volleyball player Misty May Treanor during a visit to the beach volleyball venue in Beijing Saturday. Photo credit: Getty Images.