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Unplugged: Obama Goes for the Gold

Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief and Politics Daily columnist Lynn Sweet said on "Washington Unplugged" Tuesday that she doesn't think President Obama's upcoming trip to Copenhagen to promote Chicago's Olympic bid was quite as impromptu as the White House is suggesting.

The White House first suggested that Mr. Obama would not make the trip because he had to stay home to focus on health care reform, then reversed course.

"I actually think he was going to go all the time, and that they just wanted to have an out just in case health care heated up and they couldn't make it, or there was some other issue," said Sweet. "They didn't want to get locked in."

CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes asked Sweet what the reaction has been in Chicago to the news that Mr. Obama is taking the trip.

"Probably people thought all along that he was going to go anyway," Sweet said. "Mayor Daley really, really, really thought that he was needed to go seal the deal. The Olympics are something of an obsession for Mayor Daley, he wants this as his legacy project."

Ezra Klein, who covers health care for the Washington Post, added that he believed the president would get credit for the trip regardless of the outcome.

"Unlike in the Olympics, there is actually a medal for effort here," he said. "I think people will be happy if Obama went and advocated for their city."

Sweet pointed out that not everyone in Chicago supports the Olympic bid.

"This is not unanimous in the city, not unanimous in every neighborhood, the way it is downtown with the civic leaders," she said. "…there are activist groups that have been campaigning against it, saying, that in their judgment, in the end the cost outweighs the benefit."

Also featured on Tuesday's "Washington Unplugged" is a piece from CBS News Digital Journalist John Bentley on the political prospects available to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, whose meteoric political rise was knocked off course by a prostitution scandal.

"Right now politically he is still a dead duck in New York, and I don't see him doing anything in the immediate future," veteran New York Post political reporter Fred Dicker says.

Patrick Egan, professor of Politics at New York University, countered that you can't count Spitzer out.

"Americans are much more blasé and are shrugging their shoulders at these kind of things in a way that they wouldn't have twenty or thirty years ago," he said.

Watch the full episode above.

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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