Romney Takes Part In Salt Lake City Olympics 10th Anniversary Celebration
Republican presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY made a "short but triumphant return Saturday for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Salt Lake City Olympics," according to Mike Gorrell of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Romney made two public speeches, the first to the Salt Lake Organizing Committee team he led that put on the "highly acclaimed" '02 Winter Games, and the second to a crowd that "filled almost half of EnergySolutions Arena's seats for an ice show paying tribute to the Olympics." Both speeches "heaped praise on the group effort that produced the successful Games." Romney "avoided any claims that he had saved the Salt Lake City Olympics after the bribery scandal erupted late in 1998, taking out SLOC's top management" and 10 IOC members (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 2/19). In Utah, Lisa Riley Roche noted Romney "made sure to thank the crowd repeatedly for their contribution in making the scandal-scarred Games a resounding success." His comments "came as Democrats and even one of his Republican opponents are raising questions about whether he's overstated his role in turning around the troubled" '02 Games (DESERET NEWS, 2/19).
POLITICAL POWER: China VP XI JINPING concluded his visit to the U.S. on Friday night at Staples Center, where he watched the Lakers beat the Suns. Xi, who was attending his first NBA game, was the guest of L.A. Mayor ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, AEG President & CEO TIM LEIWEKE and AEG China President & CEO JOHN CAPPO (AEG)....Former President BILL CLINTON attended the Heat's home win against the Magic last night. Clinton "sat just to the right" of Heat Owner MICKY ARISON and the two were "chatting just about nonstop during play while sitting near midcourt at a table only inches from the sideline" (AP, 2/19).