Patterico's Pontifications


We’re No. 4! (Updated)

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 12:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

With the strong support of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Oprah, Chicago came in fourth out of four in the race for the 2016 Olympics:

“Chicago was bounced in the first round, bringing an audible gasp from the crowd. The elimination came so quickly—more than an hour before the final announcement—that people were still excitedly talking among themselves when IOC President Jacques Rogge announced: “The city of Chicago, having obtained the least number of votes, will not participate in the next round.”

Many weren’t sure what Rogge had said, and turned to each other to ask. Some just stood for a few minutes, staring at the screens, and at least one flung his hands into the air in a crude gesture toward the TVs. Within seconds, people began filing out of the plaza, though many stayed to see Rio de Janeiro ultimately chosen as the winner.”

The President is disappointed:

“President Barack Obama is “disappointed” Chicago missed getting the 2016 Olympic Games but doesn’t regret putting so much on the line to argue for it, his chief spokesman said Friday.

Talking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama and his wife Michelle flew back to Washington, Robert Gibbs said Obama “feels obviously proud of his wife for the presentation that she made.” Mrs. Obama had gone to Copenhagen ahead of her husband and had lobbied hard for the Summer Games to be brought to her hometown and his adopted hometown.

“Absolutely,” Gibbs replied, when asked whether Obama was glad he’d made such a large commitment to lobbying for the Games. He said the president “would never shy away from traveling anywhere, talking to anyone about this country.

But he can’t find the time to talk to General McChrystal and Fox News. [EDIT: Obama has spoken with McChrystal twice in two days: Once by video on Thursday and again Friday in Copenhagen.]

And did Obama just throw Michelle under the Copenhagen bus?


UPDATE 1: Via Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., check out the fun Top Ten Reasons Chicago Didn’t Get the Olympics.

UPDATE 2 — This Houston Chronicle blog has Dan Rather’s analysis:

“By any objective analysis, he gambled, and he lost,” Rather said. “At a time that we have two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, the economy is still not in ideal shape, health care (is) hanging in the balance, people, and not just people who are opposed to President Obama, some of his friends said this is a bit of a gamble, because with all these big, abiding problems he takes time out to advertise his home town for the Olympics. ‘Is this the best use of his time? Is this real presidential leadership?’ I want to emphasize that is not my own view, but that view is out there.

“If he had come back with the Olympics, a great deal of that would have been muted. But since he didn’t, it’s inevitable that there will be talk that he wasted his time, and at a bad time.”

58 Responses to “We’re No. 4! (Updated)”

  1. Well, we’re down to “can’t find time to talk to FoxNews” since he did meet (briefly) with the general whilst in Copenhagen.

    As to Rio:
    So, the Games are going to Rio. This is only a surprise in reality-challenged areas of the World, such as Rio Linda and the White House!
    Everywhere else, it was a No-Brainer!

    Thank your lucky stars we won’t have to see the starstruck media tripping over themselves showing/not showing Michelle in a “bathing suit” on the beaches of Copacobana.

    I fully denounce myself!

    AD - RtR/OS! (3d0577)

  2. I’ll have to say my faith in how the rest of the world sees Pres. Obama has now been partially restored. Chicago would have been a poor choice given the IOC’s stated criteria. And having a leader – who actually doesn’t lead – try to use his weight on this matter; has been shown to have little sway.

    I hope he comes back with a deflated ego and begins to listen to what the real needs are: reduce the size of our gov’t and debt.

    (But I’m sure the chances are slim to none)

    Corwin (ea9428)

  3. “This could be a meeting in Chicago, because we look like the world. And over the last several years sometimes that fundamental truth about the United States has been lost. One of the legacies of this Olympic Games would be the restoration of that understanding of what the United States is all about and a recognition of how we are linked to the world.”*

    ohnoes. That was our chance at redemption. Unredeemed and unloved we are doomed to be. Who shot the effing albatross anyway? This is just awful. Can we go on like this? I don’t think we can go on like this.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  4. He said the president “would never shy away from traveling anywhere, talking to anyone about this country.“

    …to tell everyone how evil and fucked up we are.

    Matador (ad4464)

  5. Please happy, don’t link a wonderful bird such as the Albatross with this corrupt administration except by using it’s less-than-affectionate nick-name:
    The Gooney Bird!

    AD - RtR/OS! (3d0577)

  6. I wonder how old Barry feels, knowing even the Euro-despised Bush could not have done any worse.

    Matador (ad4464)

  7. Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 10/2/2009 @ 12:46 pm

    Real …king Cold!

    Love it.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3d0577)

  8. Imagine if George Bush had gone to Copenhagen and the U.S. finished 4th. Every newspaper would have had banner headlines about how much Bush had damaged us in the world. MSNBC would have run pictures of Bush with a Hitler mustache. CNN would have moved their headquarters to Belgium to show their disgust. Ed Schulz would have a meltdown on the air (whoops, he does that every day).

    But Obama puts his credibility on the line and no one blames him at all.

    MU789 (3f9d29)

  9. “Check out the hilarious Top 10 Reasons Chicago Didn’t Get the Olympics.”

    Many thanks Brother Bradley. Hilarious indeed. :)

    JerryT (ba186b)

  10. Thanks for posting this, DRJ – the local newcasts here were priceless right after the decision was announced. Only one media outlet in this entire city had even one negative news piece on the local citizenry’s anger at the Mayor and his cronies (surprise, it was Fox), and why they didn’t want the Olympics here. Other news sources were likewise told “not to go negative” or else future access would be curtailed. Pathetic.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  11. Interesting.

    Barack makes the case that the world will like Chicago because Chicago is like the world
    Michelle makes the case that the world will like Chicago because it’s her hometown.

    MayBee (f57cc4)

  12. “President Barack Obama is “disappointed”” Baloney. He probably hasn’t even woke up yet on the flight.

    gp (72be5d)

  13. He said the president “would never shy away from traveling anywhere, talking to anyone about against this country.“


    in_awe (a55176)

  14. Just another promise Obama could not deliver, what’s new.

    RodZ (a5e7af)

  15. I think one mistake Chicago made was to propose siting the Olympics on the South Side. I really doubt that Rio chose to site the games in their favelas.

    As a Chicagolander, I didn’t want the Olympics here anyway. I figured it would be a net economic loss to the region.

    gp (72be5d)

  16. Goonies!!! Down here, this is our time!


    But really, as disappointed as I am about the Lympics it’s the children what are hurt the most. The light in their eyes has just … died.

    Oh well.

    oh. Back to the other. What’s weird is how that one Goonie grew up to play George W. Bush. You just never know how things are gonna work out.

    There’s a lesson in that.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  17. The highlight of the coverage is the disbelief on CNN. It’s a little like Ahmadinejad wiping out Israel and the Mahdi doesn’t show up. What do we do now ?

    And the lefties are in a snit saying the right “hates America” because we think it’s funny that the thugocracy in Chicago is now going to have to sell all that land at a discount. The wise guys have been buying up all that slum land and now what ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  18. He said the president “would never shy away from traveling anywhere, talking to anyone about this country.“

    So he can apologize for it.

    Has there ever been a major national leader so eager to sink to his knees and beg other countries for forgiveness?

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  19. Has there ever been a major national leader so eager to sink to his knees and beg other countries for forgiveness?

    Well the world did not like Bush and now they show they don’t like Obama.

    Maybe people will figure out that the world does not like us for reasons other than who our president is.

    MU789 (3f9d29)

  20. I loathe our lying and mendacious president.

    But, I have to give him props for actually showing leadership, for maybe the first time since taking office. I watched the presentation by the Chicago delegation and it was excellent. All of it. Granted, the IOC’s purported spirit of internationalism is right in BHO’s wheelhouse. This being true, his speech was extremely well crafted and delivered.

    It is not on him that Chicago lost out to the condescension of validating South America. Sure, as a leader (again, for maybe the first damn time) he takes the hit, but the reality is he did a very fine job.

    I agree with all of you that it is beyond pathetic that the media will not stray from the narrative. W would be sliced and diced in a most brutal fashion were he to be in this position.

    Ed from SFV (f8f689)

  21. I’ve updated the post to include Obama’s meeting with McChrystal and 2 updates.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  22. This is a great day. The world refused Obama, his wife and his cheerleader Oprah. And to top it off, Letterman gets to make Palin jokes about himself.

    Alta Bob (3dd3fe)

  23. The IOC, being students of history, have now made themselves Obama’s enemy instead of his ally.

    ras (20bd5b)

  24. These clowns really have no idea what to do with the Presidency. They look like college kids who ran for college president and now are sitting around the dorm clueless what to do next.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. Obama meeting with McChrystal keeps coming up. I agree it’s crazy that the President of the United States seems to show more interest in a sporting event than he does in a shooting war, but we might want to be cautious about going too far with the President-versus-the-Generals meme.

    The article at NRO by Andy McCarthy is worth reading. Taking a closer look at McChrystal’s strategy makes it sound like this is just one liberal versus another. (And since I can’t seem to get the link to embed in my text…

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  26. Gesundheit,

    For me, the point isn’t whether Obama does what his generals advise. The point is that he focuses his time on so many other things while we are at war.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  27. Obama could have won this if he just could have gotten three of the other cities excluded from the ballot. Too bad those cities did not have any embarassing divorce records sealed by court order.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  28. Meanwhile, thanks to Obama, European unemployment is lower than US unemployment … I cannot think of a date when that was ever true post WWII …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  29. Groan, this country is in the very best of hands.

    (doing a massive facepalm)

    How long has this brilliant moron been president. ah sh–, only 9 months. you mean we have to go through three years and three more months of this?

    i mean its almost like that episode of south park mocking the davinci code. we would have literally been better off nominating a rabbit. sure it wouldn’t have done anything, but at this point nothing would be an improvement.

    God this is going to be a long 3 and 1/4 years. groan.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  30. After quoting a former olympian who tried to take a swipe at the Bush admin while decrying the loss of the Olympics for Chicago, Mark Steyn has this great line:

    “Hitler won Germany the Olympics. Bushitler cost America the Olympics. It all makes sense.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. Oh well, another bullet point for his resume.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  32. Outsourced to Joe Scarborough[!].

    Chicago is a beautiful city that would have made a perfect backdrop for the Olympics. The President was right to fly to Copenhagen to try to land the games, not for the sake of his city, but for the good of his country. The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President’s mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all. […]

    One gets the impression that if Obama were to stub his toe, the Weekly Standard would toast the architect and contractor.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  33. I don’t know that I would celebrate this as a “great day” as some here do. I don’t understand why conservatism has to be linked to such negative hopes for our country. Nobody likes that except people inside the right-wing echo chamber. Such negative sentiment will never win an electoral majority, though it serves quite well to power blogs and talk radio. Bring back the shining city on the hill.

    But I agree the IOC action is a slap in the face, most definitely. It was intimated to Japan yesterday that they would be out of the running, and they got more votes than us. I find it telling that we were not extended the same face-saving courtesy.

    It does show that the world-at-large has just as much ignorance about our internal politics as we have about theirs. This dis only gives sustenance to the very people here who do not have an internationalist view, who are America-firsters, the American Empire crowd. In other words, the crowd that backed Bush II, who the world very recently rejected.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  34. Andrew – Had George Bush gone overseas to lobby for the Olympics to be held in Crawford whilst ignoring the US war effort, and failed this badly, you and the rest of the raging leftist lobby would have lauded him for his efforts.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  35. Myron, “great day” ? One such comment. Negative sentiment about our country? Nothing here matches that. The complaints are about Obama’s theme about the negative aspects of our country. Your act of putting words in others’ mouths got old long ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. Comment by Have Blue — 10/2/2009 @ 3:03 pm

    Yeah, Right! That would be the day.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3d0577)

  37. Clearly, Bush’s fault (what else could it be?): “Maybe there is some hangover from politics, from the last eight years,” Rowdy Gaines.

    Rocin (606cf6)

  38. Drudge Headline – The Ego Has Landed


    daleyrocks (718861)

  39. and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President’s mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all. […]
    One gets the impression that if Obama were to stub his toe, the Weekly Standard would toast the architect and contractor.

    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus

    Andrew, I take your comment seriously and not just as a snark. First, Chicago is the most corrupt city in the US and Obama has a history with the most corrupt of the leaders. I’m not saying he’s corrupt; Harry Truman was the appealing face of the Pendergast machine in Kansas City.

    However, it is well known in Chicago that the Daley machine was fully invested in the land where the Olympic site was to be built. Chicago is one the most highly taxed cities in the US and the Olympics would have been a financial disaster. Some of the cities that hosted Olympics decades ago, like Montreal, which is still paying off the 1976 games cost, probably wished they’d lost.

    The only modern (Post WWII) Olympics that was not a financial disaster was LA in 1984 and that was the genius of Peter Uberroth who used the 1932 venue for most events.

    Chicago dodged a bullet, especially given the economic climate that will continue as long as Obama is president.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  40. For me, the point isn’t whether Obama does what his generals advise.

    And yet, I understood that Obama “risks losing the war” if he “refuses to send more troops as requested by General McChrystal.”

    Bush took what – three months – deliberating the Iraq surge in late ’06?

    Afghanistan has a corrupt, tribal government, too weak to go it alone without U.S. troops. McChrystal appears committed to policing it, creating a modern infrastructure out of a medieval society and providing Afghans security and jobs. It’s a tough sell, and damn well should be. What really “risks losing the war” is ideological malice back home.

    steve (336a87)

  41. Bush II, who the world very recently rejected.

    The world?

    Gerald A (a66d02)

  42. Dr. K., I can pretty much promise you that Andrew doesn’t know a blessed thing about the Pendergast machine, and is probably fuzzy on Harry S. Truman.

    Oh, he’ll wiki it up now, but I’ll bet I am right.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  43. Mike K – The Chicago population was pretty divided over the bid. A lot of us saw it as a cornucopia of graft for grifters and politicos to dip their beaks into. Obama, Axelrod, Emanuel and Jarret are all part of the Daley machine to some degree or other. You just know there was a little sumpin’, sumpin’ in there for them somewhere if it went through.

    I’m not sure I agree with you about our #1 spot on corruption, though. I think with Fitzgerald breathing down Daley’s neck, Detroit and New Orleans are certainly in the running.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  44. I don’t understand why conservatism has to be linked to such negative hopes for our country.

    I don’t think Chicago getting the Olympics was good for Chicago or the country. Chicagoans were evenly divided. It was probably good for some Chicago politicians and people with connections to them.

    I also like the fact that Obama’s and his wife’s speeches in Copenhagen completely fell flat, because the were the same kind of garbage that got him elected. They made it about themselves. In essence THEY were the reason the IOC was supposed to grant Chicago the Olympics. You should try listening to their speeches. They were pretty bizarre. Basically nothing about why Chicago was a good venue for the Olympics.

    Gerald A (a66d02)

  45. Newsweek’s unintentionally funny spin on how getting the Olympics to Chicago would’ve just been a real drag for the President (of course, had he managed to get the Olympics to Chicago, it would’ve been greatest thing since sliced bread…but that’s beside the point):

    This is a tad humiliating for the president, but his embarrassment will be short-lived, especially if he demonstrates some good humor about it. Republicans will probably criticize him for skipping the country for a day instead of focusing on Iran or Afghanistan, but those attacks won’t stick. He wasn’t even gone 24 hours, and General McChrystal joined him on Air Force One. This will be fodder for late-night comedians and talk-back radio for a day or two. But winning the Olympics could have bogged down his entire presidency. And this way, next time he goes to Tokyo, he’ll have something in common with Prime Minister Hatoyama.

    Dana (863a65)

  46. Gerald A – The excerpts I saw of Michelle’s speech were all about HER!!!!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  47. I don’t understand why conservatism has to be linked to such negative hopes for our country.

    You are the the King of Asshats of the World – consider yourself crowned.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  48. steve,

    The point for me isn’t that President Obama does what his generals advise but that doesn’t mean he’s excused from listening to them. General McChrystal said we may fail — we risk losing the war — if he doesn’t get more troops. That would get my attention if I were President, but Obama just put it on the backburner for a month (or two).

    DRJ (b008f8)

  49. Ace has some nice spin on this today which I think helps explain the mendoucheousness of Crazy Andy and Myron:

    Here’s an interesting angle: Although conservatives tend to be against subsidizing stadium construction, for liberals, there’s usually an extra dose of outrage, because not only is public money being misspent on something other than abortions and methodone, it’s being put into the pockets of wealthy team-owners, and besides, liberals only watch tennis and the WNBA.

    That’s all the Olympics is. A massive public payment to a private entity to benefit some but not many private businessmen (hoteliers, obviously), and for no real greater reason than prestige.

    Well… What is prestige worth? Surely not five or ten billion dollars.

    At any rate, while many on the right have been making this case about the Chicago Olympics for some time — noting that the city was split about it, many people not thinking they wanted to pay a ten year surtax to cover the costs of two weeks of chariot races — liberals have forgotten all about the very real question of misallocation of limited public resources and rah-rah embraced the bid for Chicago — just because it would have represented a win for Dear Leader…………

    Since when has paying ten billion on stadium construction appealed to them lately? Seems like it’s only now that Prince Obama of Grayskull said it’s a good thing that they’re rabidly in favor of this.

    They’re doing this a lot lately. I do not believe that more than 20% of partisan liberals really give a fig about the public option per se. For example, I do not believe that Chris Matthews has any policy wonk interest in the question at all. I neither believe he’s thought much about health care in the past nor has he increased his thinking about it in the present.

    So why is he so interested in the public option? Only because pushing it through would represent a display of raw presidential power on Obama’s part. He only cares about it at all to the extent that it could possibly represent a “W” in his boyfriend’s standings.

    The Olympics? Same deal. Frankly very few of us even realized Chicago was in the running for the 2016 Olympics (long time in the future, eh?) until a week and a half ago.

    And yet, suddenly, among liberals, this became a much greater political cause than health care.

    Why? Because it was so important that Chicago spend oodles of money for a two-week party?

    No. Because they knew Obama needed a win, desperately, and they figured this was an easy one. Rack this easy win up, claim he’s on a roll, try to leverage this easy (and frankly meaningless) win into a win on something more important, like health care.

    Which… 80% of them also don’t care about all that much, except to the extent Obama can win there and beat those nasty Bible-thumping moose-murdering Republicans.

    So, you know — f’n’ spare me, spare the living shit out of me, over this sanctimony of Republicans rooting against your BMOC wannabe-boyfriend. “You’re just rooting against our collective Dream Date Ken Doll out of partisan spite!,” liberals sputter.

    Oh? And why the hell are you rooting for him, I’d like to know. Tell the exact moment when you all collectively became great supporters of publicly-funded stadium construction — and if that point is more than two weeks ago, I’ll eat a beer-truck……………..

    daleyrocks (718861)

  50. Eric, my team will be defending its Redwood City trivia title in two weeks. I don’t need Wikipedia for that one.

    PS, did you know what political party the other Eric Blair belonged to?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  51. You should try listening to their speeches. They were pretty bizarre. Basically nothing about why Chicago was a good venue for the Olympics.

    Gerald A. – the previous half hour or so was filled with talking points/data as to why Chicago was a good choice to hold the Olympics. It would have been a poor choice for the Obamas to use the scarce time alotted to repeat things.

    The point of them being there was to personalize the importance of the Olympics. Like it or not, it is a prestigious deal to have a FLOTUS and POTUS speak in such terms. It does not happen often traditionally.

    I fully grant that for this particular pair, it is their go-to strategery. It sickens me, as well. But, the international audience is not aware of this. They saw a freaking president and first lady seeming to speak from the heart about their hometown. This is an extremely rare confluence of events, and the correct choice was made for this presentation.

    As much as I loathe them, this defeat is not on them.

    Ed from SFV (f8f689)

  52. This defeat is all on them. Teh One lost, bigtime. This is kind of a relief, though the billions in stadium and field construction would have been nice to get a piece of. The outright graft and corruption was not something I was looking forward to.

    JD (b279d0)

  53. I can’t believe how many people are reading this so wrong. This is actually The One’s first great victory.

    He has been going around the world telling everyone that American exceptionalism is a myth. The IOC looked at Chicago and said “he’s right”.

    harkin (f92f52)

  54. […] Patterico. Posted at 11:21 pm by […]

    All Atwitter » Too Good to Resist (b7821b)

  55. Illinois’ most junior of senators has announced that Chicago lost the Games because of George Bush. The Won hasn’t healed our reputation yet. Gag me.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  56. Which Senator are you referring to? They’re both “junior,” at least when we’re discussing intellect or honesty (although I realize it was Burris, it could have just as easily been his fellow hack Durbin).

    This is kind of a relief, though the billions in stadium and field construction would have been nice to get a piece of.

    Sure, as long as you bribe the right officials.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  57. dmac, of course they’re both “junior” but as I said, it was the “most junior” of senators!

    kimsch (2ce939)

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