One suspects that Ramesh Ponnuru is right – Pres. Obama wouldn't be going to Copenhagen to see the Olympic Committee unless he knew Chicago was going to get the games. There's just too much downside risk to what little remains of his rapidly dwindling international reputation to come away empty handed.
The other downside – at least for the taxpayers – is if he wins. Chicago and Illinois will be saddled with a huge bill for a bunch of white elephant infrastructure, as well as major losses on the games themselves. No doubt Uncle Sam will be expected to pick up the lion's share of the tab.
Still, in 2016, it will be his last chance to unleash the National Endowment for the Arts “ Army of Lili Riefenstahls” that his administration has under construction.