Obama Will Pop Over to Europe for Less than 24 Hours

Posted October 1, 2009 at 2:31pm

President Barack Obama embarks Thursday night on an overnighter to Copenhagen to help first lady Michelle Obama sell the International Olympic Committee on choosing Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics. But the voyage will take him away from the action in Washington, D.C., for less than 24 hours.

Obama, who has been criticized for suddenly leaving the White House as decisions loom in Afghanistan and as crucial Senate debates occur on health care legislation, is scheduled to depart Thursday at 6:40 p.m. and return at 3:05 p.m. Friday.

Both the president and the first lady will make presentations and take questions from IOC members Friday — and then schmooze them at an “informal— reception.

Obama will likely be in the air on the way home when the decision is announced, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.