Friday, October 2, 2009

Obama's Olympian flop

"The Ego Has Landed."

This Drudge Report headline sums it up--the ousting of Chicago from the 2016 Olympic running (in the first round) is a major pushback by the IOC against President Obama's overweening pride.

A friend had asked me this morning what were Chicago's chances of landing the games. I responded that based on the presentation I saw on late night TV, chances were not very good. The video presentations were slick enough, and it probably would have been best to end it on First Lady Michelle Obama's sharp speech. But the Chicago team had to go "over the top" with bringing in the president (dragging him away from less urgent matters like, say, Iran's nuclear weapons quest, the increasing downturn in the war in Afghanistan, and his flailing health care nationalization; then again, that last point might have made his trip to Copenhagen worthwhile after all).

But two points of the presentation convinced me that the Windy City's quest was all but lost:

1)During the final video clip, a bunch of children kept repeating "Yes We Can!"--the official Obama worship mantra...I mean campaign slogan. Dragging in a political slogan into the Olympic bid was not a very bright move.

2) Then there was this incredible line from the president's speech to the IOC: "Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night, people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of the U.S. Presidential election. Their interest wasn't about me as an individual. Rather, it was rooted in the belief that America's experiment in democracy still speaks to a set of universal aspirations and ideals. Their interest sprung from the hope that in this ever-shrinking world, our diversity could be a source of strength, a cause for celebration; and that with sustained work and determination, we could learn to live and prosper together during the fleeting moment we share on this Earth."

This statement is akin to Obama's claim during the presidential campaign that when he was elected, the oceans would stop rising (you know, from that global warming that's allegedly melting the polar ice caps).

Such self-love was probably a little too much for the delegates to throw in their lot with Obama's hometown. Now, there more than likely were other reasons: the tape of some Chicago gang thugs beating an honor student to death; recent polls showing that the city was split on whether to hold the games; a streak of anti-Americanism among IOC members that goes back to the 90s; and even the current economic woes in America (remember, during the economic slump in the 70s, Denver was awarded the 1976 Summer Olympics--but that city's voters rejected the games because they did not want the tax burden. Wise move, since most Olympics run into serious debt or only barely break even).

Here's hoping that, however the state-run media spins this latest Obama flop, his worshippers (including his highness) will see that the world doesn't revolve around him.

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