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Obama's failure to win Olympics for Chicago GOP fodder. But they complain about everything

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'One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports," said President Obama, back in Washington after his sales pitch to the International Olympic Committee could not deliver for Chicago, "is that you can play a great game and still not win."

Obama's face-saving comments came after his dash to Copenhagen -- and a lobbying blitz by first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey -- seemed to do little to bolster Chicago's bid.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod defended the decision for Obama to travel to Denmark to make the closing argument. The trip --less than 24 hours -- was criticized by Republicans as taking the president away from more pressing business at home. And that was before Chicago was knocked out.

"Listen, this president is going to go anywhere he can to promote this country, to try and bring good things back to this country," Axelrod said on MSNBC. "So it isn't exactly like he was gone very long. We truncated the trip so that he wouldn't miss business back home. So I think it was well worth the investment of time, and I have no regrets about that."

I don't think Obama's international reputation suffered an important blow; after all, the leaders of the finalist countries -- the United States, Spain, Japan and Brazil -- all were in Copenhagen. Obama's global brand was dented, but he used the platform to reaffirm the Obama doctrine of engagement with the world, to say the United States wants a new start after the Bush era. That's not a bad long-term investment.

The bottom line is, at home, Obama will not really suffer especially for going to the mat to try to secure the Games for his adopted hometown. The reality is, the politics of the IOC these days practically demands a sales pitch from the bidding country's head of state.

Obama's hopes of a new bipartisan era ushered in by his presidency didn't seem to have much chance of happening before Air Force One headed to Copenhagen. His Republican critics find fault with him no matter what. All this Olympic defeat does is give them something new to complain about.

I think the Republicans and commentators who take Obama on for his Olympic pitch are dealing with nonsense. There are much more substantive issues to challenge Obama on than going to bat for his country.

12 Comments

Embarrassing.

I know many of you won't believe this but here are some things to ponder:

1. The Europeans supported President Obama because they love a humble and less visible (weak) America. They loved his discussion of disarmlament because it would put us (The US) on the same footing as them (All talk..no action)

2. He misinterpreted their support as admiration.

3. They bursted his bubble by letting him know what they really think about him by shutting him and Chicago down in the first round.

4. If this is not true, then how could of this have happened?

America loses...and the Republicans and their sycophants cheer. Really? This coming from the same people who ripped Obama for not wearing a flag pin? Is this TRULY what they think best represents them? This behavior is not only abhorrent, but out and out treasonous.

Remember, it wasn't even Obama's choice to have Chicago as a host city. The ball was started last year with George Bush saying Chicago would be a wonderful city to have the Olympic games at. Of course, Limbaugh, Beck and others conveniently forget about that.

Wolf ! Wolf ! Wolf !

This RED-NECK Appalachian party is truly pathetic.

The money he used-our money-hmmmm wonder what that poor woman with cancer he spoke with could have done with that in relation to treatments.

great article tubby....has your acorn check arrived yet?

I will say I was against the bid from the beginning.

I personally felt win or lose, the President didn't have much to do with it.

The City of Chicago needs to balance the budgets of their HEAVILY layered schools, CTA, and City government without the one of the highest tax rates in the nation before they can expect everyone in the area to get behind them.

When you fail at these comparitively small efforts, how can you expect to take on more???

SOME GOP MEMBERS ARE ACTING BORDERLINE UNAMERICAN, THEY WERE GLAD CHICAGO DIDN'T RECEIVE THE OLYMPICS, BUT THEY DON'T REALIZE, IT WAS AMERICA'S OLYMPICS, NOT THE PRESIDENT'S, VERY UNAMERICAN TO HOPE SOMETHING OUR COUNTRY WANTED, TO FAIL, THIS IS WHY WE ARE IN THE CONDITION WE ARE IN, I WANT THIS, AND THEY WANT THAT MENTALITY, WE MUST LEARN TO CHEER FOR EACH OTHER, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES ABOUT OUR COUNTRY, PRIVATELY YOU CAN THINK WHAT YOU WANT, BUT PUBLICLY YOU SAY SOMETHING WRONG AND YOU BECOME AN EMBARRASMENT TO YOUR COUNTRY, REMEMBER THAT GOP, WE ARE ONE COUNTRY, START ACTING LIKE IT!

"...Going to bat for his country." That's my complaint about this individual. I don't preceive him as able to "go to bat for his country." And in this instance, he again self-promoted his own story, while saying, "It's not about me..." He he took the IOC back to that November night in Chicago history where his own election took center stage. And he wound up his speech by saying he'd like nothing better than to welcome the world to his own neighborhood. I cannot remember any speech in the past year of his travels around the world where he spoke of the true historical greatness of America or leadship of America or the uniqueness of America. I don't think the conservative commentators are that far off by characterizing Obama's speeches around the world as "apologizing for America." Its not in his nature to "go to bat" for this country, so he relied on his fallback position as he spoke to the IOC- going to bat for Barak Obama.

I am not a fan of this president, and I don't drink the Kool-Aid from either party, but he is not at fault in the U.S. failure to secure the 2016 Olympics. He did the right thing by going. Chicago is his home town and it was only a brief trip. Air Force 1 is a flying command center. He is never out of the loop. I have a tendency to disregard the rhetoric and counter rhetoric from either party. Let's get onto something else.

FAN IS SHORT FOR FANATIC, DON'T BE A FAN, BE RESPECTFUL OF THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN OUR LAND, BE SUPPORTIVE, YOU MAY VOICE YOUR DISSAPROVAL BUT DON'T BECOME UNAMERICAN ABOUT HEALTH CARE, AND OTHER TOPICS, STAY ON TRACK, AND HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN, DETROIT IS DYING, INDIANA IS SUFFERING, EVERYONE CAN'T MOVE TO NORTH DAKOTA, SO WE MUST LEARN TO GIVE A DARN ABOUT OUR FELLOW AMERICAN CITIZEN, WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITH ONE ANOTHER, OR PERISH AS FOOLS, THE LATTER SHOULDN'T BE ON THE HIGH PRIORITY LIST!
WE MUST GET THAT JOE LOUIS SPIRIT BACK, JOE FOUGHT HIS HEART OUT FOR AMERICA AGAINST MAX SMELLING, WHY CAN'T IT BE LIKE THAT AGAIN!

This would have happened no matter who was doing the biding. Most delegates from the developing world were not going to vote for any other city but rio. Privately, they've been bristling that the games seem to always be held in either europe, n. america or asia the resentment was palpable.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 3, 2009 5:55 PM.

Rio wins 2016 summer Olympics was the previous entry in this blog.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, Oct. 5, 2009. Doctors in the House is the next entry in this blog.

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