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Monday, October 05, 2009

Obama and humility

President Obama received a lesson in humility last week as the 2016 Olympic Committee in Copenhagen turned down Chicago’s bid for the Olympics in the Second City. To make matters worse, the Committee dumped Chi Town on the first ballot. It was quite a letdown as some windy city dwellers claim the city spent $48 million in promotional efforts to get the games.

I don’t think the good citizens of Chicago are complaining too much as a recent poll by the Chicago Tribune showed that those in favor of the games dropped from 61% to 47% since February. The city is also facing an estimated $500 million deficit next year while city employees are being laid off and taking unpaid furloughs (sound familiar?) Many don't feel the cost of setting up the Olympics is worth it compared to the return on investment.

After facing rebukes from Iran and Russia at the U. N., this was the last thing the prez needed. I’m sure he felt confident flying into Denmark with his entourage of Michelle, Oprah Winfrey, and Mayor Daley. It looked like a pushover meeting with the president in his Amani togs, Oprah in whatever depending on the progress of her latest diet, and his honor, the mayor.

Unfortunately, the Committee may have viewed it as overkill and another attempt by a new, inexperienced president to carve an international niche for himself. I would have loved to have been a mouse in the corner of Air Force One listening on the ride back to Washington: "How can they turn us down!! They gave the games to Atlanta, but not Chicago?" Maybe Atlanta showed a bit of southern hospitality, not overkill.

Personally, I don’t care much about the Olympics. I think too many times results are determined by politics. The U.S. was cheated in the ‘72 basketball finals, there were the killings in the dorms, we boycotted Moscow in ‘80, Russia boycotted L. A. In ‘84 and on and on.

Greece is where the Olympics originated so why not have them in Athens every year and stop the fighting over who gets to host them? It’s laughable to think that will ever happen; about as laughable as Air Force One playing a CD of Danny Kaye singing "Wonderful Copenhagen" on the ride back to Washington.

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