Obama Olympics Ouch!
So. What happened?
President Barack Obama dashed overnight to Copenhagen, waved the flag, praised everyone in sight, and came home with Nothing, Nada, Naught, Zero, Zip, Zilch (couldn’t find the Danish word or would have thrown that in too).
The Olympics Oracle, after much fumbling with the envelope, read the winner and Rio de Janeiro scooped up the 2016 Summer Games.
Chicago — the hometown for Obama, his wife, and close advisers like David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel — was left out in the cold, not even making it to the T2 (Top Two).
Was it the unbridled enthusiasm in Rio for bringing home the Olympics, compared with the protesters from Chicago who didn’t want the games anywhere near their town?
“I think that the city of Chicago would have welcomed having the Olympics in 2016,” said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly, also a native of Chicago. “I don’t think this necessarily demonstrates that Chicago is not a welcoming place.”
Was it the warmer welcome from Brazil to international travelers, compared with the post-9/11 U.S. security consciousness?
“We recognize that we need to do more to make it easier for legitimate visa applicants to make it to the U.S. We understand we have an image problem about that process,” Kelly said.
Was it that the IOC liked the sound of Duran Duran’s “Rio” and Tom Jobim’s “The Girl From Ipanema” rather than Frank Sinatra’s “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)” or Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” ?
Did Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva outcharm Obama?
Now the question is whether the failure in Denmark will tarnish Obama’s image at home and abroad. What do you think? Should he have made the trip to Copenhagen at all? Is this a big failure or just a small bump?
Inevitably, Obama’s trip became fodder for Republican critics. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele: “While I am disappointed with the IOC’s decision, I look forward to the president returning stateside so that he can refocus his efforts on the growing unemployment crisis that was highlighted by today’s monthly jobs report.”
Photo Credit: Reuters/pool (President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Chicago 2016 CEO Pat Ryan leave stage after presentation), Reuters/Sergio Moraes (surfer rides the waves in Rio), Reuters/Frank Polich (Lake Michigan in Chicago)