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  • Can You Blame Obama for Olympic Loss?

    After today’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would be the host of the 2016 Olympics, supporters and opponents of the President immediately began debating his impact on the decision. This was a debate that had been simmering for a week, due in no small part to the revelation that the President had spent considerably less time than one would expect with his U.S. Commander in Afghanistan. His presence in Copenhagen was also not assisted by another devastating round of unemployment numbers announced this morning, bringing U.S. unemployment to the brink of 10%.

    So can you blame President Obama for not bringing home the gold? The answer is no, but his arrogance was certainly on full display. Any U.S. President would have been expected to proudly make the sales pitch for Chicago, and America as a whole, but the way President Obama went about it was very indicative of the way he leads on more pressing domestic and international issues.

    In 2008, when the President was elected, it was viewed as a net positive to America’s chances in this competition. In fact, ESPN noted that a win by Senator McCain may have made the situation worse, due to his “scathing investigation of the bribery scandal involving IOC members who helped award the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City.” Certainly, IOC members may not have appreciated more scrutiny nor rewarded his oversight in the past.  But the Obama team worked hard on their bid, with senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, a former Chicago 2016 Board Member who was replaced by the Obama campaign Treasurer, leading the charge, with a specially designed White House office.

    And the first people to tell you about the hard work it took the White House would be the President and Mrs. Obama themselves.  The First Lady told boosters this week: “As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days, so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.” Has anyone commented on their tremendous sacrifice? They flew several private jumbo jets (carbon footprint?) to beautiful Copenhagen for three days. This is not the sacrifice Americans are familiar with.

    Frankly, it was the job of all of these well connected Chicago 2016 White House insiders to let their colleagues know whether a multi-million dollar trip to Copenhagen was worth it. If the United States was running neck and neck with Brazil, there is little doubt the President should have been there. If they were running a close third, then the trip is still probably in the nation’s best interests. But fourth place? The Olympics themselves don’t honor fourth place. Either the White House knew where they stood and arrogantly thought the President could change minds, or they didn’t know, meaning the White House had little or no ability to use dozens of high-profile insiders to gage the temperature of less than 100 IOC voters. Both scenarios are hard to believe.

    If the speech was considered the tipping point, how did it go? Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, gave an impassioned speech saying: “It’s time to address this imbalance. The Olympic Games belongs to all people, all continents, all humanity,” referring to the fact that the Olympics had never been held in South America. It wasn’t about Lula, rather it was about an entire culture that felt it could proudly lead these games.

    Michelle Obama spoke about her time growing up in Chicago, and passionately spoke of her father’s influence on her love for sports. She said “I” or “me” 26 times in an address that lasted only a few minutes. She closed by saying: “…and to give us hope; and to change lives all over the world. And I’ve brought somebody with me today who knows a little something about change,” and then introduced her husband. Hope. Change. This wasn’t about America, or our culture, this was about the Obamas.

    President Obama arrived at the lectern and also included 26 “I’s” or “Me’s” in his speech.  Towards the end of the speech, he even had to remind the audience that it wasn’t about him, the individual, after describing the throngs of people who turned out to watch him win the election in November.  He talked about why he ran for President.  He talked about meeting the First Lady in Chicago.

    See, what the President and the First Lady missed is that the Olympics aren’t about change. They’ve had the same running distances, the same sized shot put, the same discus for centuries. Some things don’t need to be changed. Did their inclusion of their familiar campaign rhetoric end our bid? Probably not. The reality is that the choice of who would host the Olympics was most likely not made in the past two days alone. Just as in a presidential election, voters most likely had their preferences before arriving in Copenhagen to vote.

    The problem is that the Obamas thought it was about them, until they lost and then it was about something else. Either the White House knew they were coming in fourth and the President thought that much of his oratory skills, or the due diligence of their closest advisors was paltry at best. Either way, let’s hope they don’t keep repeating this scenario on other important issues.

    Dan O’Brien was an American decathlete who in 1992, was poised for Olympic Gold. He was so hyped up that he got arrogant.  He passed up lower pole vault settings because he thought he could reach the sky on every try.  He lost.  He was still a world record holder, but now he was also a champion in humility.  America loves champions of humility.  Congratulations Rio! You earned this.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    42 Responses to Can You Blame Obama for Olympic Loss?

    1. Space Bisbee,Az says:

      So, how many millions did the Obama,s waste? Prime example of Liberal thinking, spend money you don't have, just give the bill to someone else.

    2. Harley F. Bennett, J says:

      The sad fact is that America has forgotten their unique history.

      The sad result is we now elect a face and a sound bite instead of a Patriot/Statesmen who loves the constitution and all it represents. I pray we don't go the way of Carl Marx.

    3. cmmjaime, Alabama says:

      Well put! Thank you for an insightful look at this, that I will be sharing with my Economics students next week. (Last week we discussed the pros and cons of the Olympics being in Chicago — pro list was not very long!)

    4. Ally Cooper, TX says:

      Thanks Rory Cooper. Article dead on….

    5. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    6. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      I and Me instead of You and We.

      Like a gentlemen in the 1990s, self-adoration will not force people to love you, no matter what form of government. With Americans it is usually the polar opposite.

      I noticed there was another apology – of sorts, for the USA.

      Even the world will be embarrassed for us – eventually.

    7. Chuck Hardy, Randal says:

      I honestly believe this man, Obama is sick. What a Commander in Chief. He had no business going to Denmark, he could have sent some one in his place and stayed home and worked on the unemployment situation and the war situation. Men dying while he runs off to Denmark. Just Look at the Czars he appoints that will tell you what kind of mind set he has.

    8. John Towle, Salinas, says:

      Maybe the First Lady should review her thesaurus. Sacrifice is when you go over to fight terrorists in Afghanistan & Iraq & leave your loved ones at home to keep the home fires burning. Sacrifice is putting your life on the line for your country. I'm sorry but a junket to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics & nosh on open face sandwiches & Cherry Heering is just not sacrifice. Thank you for limning the egotistical content of the speeches of the President & wife. Yes, it is all about them. QED. Rush Limbaugh reminds us of this daily. Now maybe the ladies & gentlemen who revile him & who voted for Obama in good faith have received a wake up call. We'll see.

    9. Jim says:







    12. John, Florida says:

      The IOC had already made up it's mind, but the crass lastminute shennanigans of the not so dynamic duo and their hangers-on, clearly show that their egos are much bigger than their brains.

      I do blame them for letting the office of the president be demeaned by this charade; turning Washington into Chicago.

    13. Pingback: SNL – Obama Accomplishments? Just 2, Jack & Squat (video) « VotingFemale Speaks!

    14. Bobbie Jay says:

      Obama took our time to fear us about all the crisis' the country is facing that his administration is choosing to put us in and then he makes the Olympics his priority. With our money! Something smells fishy.

      Mrs. President seemed pouty, but the President handled his arrogance well. Obama's chosen sins of ignorance and arrogance are to blame. Not losing to the International Olympic Committee that he chose full attention. Things were handled fairly and with dignity on the part of the International Olympic Committee.

    15. Pingback: race42008.com » Blog Archive » Why Are Republicans Cheering The President’s IOC Defeat?

    16. Patrick, Kissimmee, says:

      No, not for the Olympics loss……..but you can blame him for taking his eye off of the ball. Instead of "sacrificing" his energies for increasing the number of jobs, fixing upon a winning strategy in Afghanistan, or encouraging a bipartisan solution to the cost of health care, he sacrificed the prestige of his office to hustle to Copenhagen on behalf of one of the most corrupt city administrations in the nation. The sooner he returns to Chicago and takes his czars with him, the better off we all will be.

    17. jadedfellow aka rene says:

      Man I thought I was mad. Keep voicing your thoughts folks. "Dissent is Patriotic", (a favorite Liberal bumper sticker prior to the Pearl Harbor of 2008). It is time to speak out about what we think since the other side of the aisle has given their consent by their own actions.

    18. J. McCully, Canada says:

      Obama. The world adores him; the world ignores him.

    19. Ridge, Oklahoma says:

      The conventional wisdom of the news media earlier this week was that the US was in a very close race with Rio. After Obama tried to throw his weight around, we dropped to a poor fourth place showing. Coincidence? I think not. He's just another two-bit politician trying to line the pockets of his cronies.

    20. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      Being a first generation born here and of Danish line, I can tell you Danes are not dumb, most countries don't understand why the leader of a country would bad mouth his country, he infuriated me when he apologized to FRance, I have a brother in law and his two first cousins that died in 1945 liberating France, they are buried side by side in sec. 12 Arlington Cem. to me he insulted them and most of those buried in sec. 12, as these were our service men that were brought home after the war ended. Impeach this man NOW

    21. Jean,Missouri says:

      The czars together with the Obama's limited understanding of true history, believe, according to Bill Ayers in his C-Span interview, that, "We have to get rid of all these 'old' people." Could that be because "rewriting history" for indoctrination of our children has not been enough… Because they are still exposed to their relatives having actually "lived" that same history???

    22. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Rory Cooper, great piece. You covered almost all the bases. But you left out one important factor,

      the Valerie Jarrett factor. Can anyone believe that one of Obama's major reasons to land the Olympics for Chicago was NOT

    23. Cooper says:

      Why is every comment I make good or bad censored

    24. Matt, Arlington VA says:

      It is revealing that President Obama chose to invest so much of his time on the Chicago Olympic bid while virtually ignoring Afghanistan for 8 months. Payoffs for his corrupt Chicago cronies vs. U.S national security – it is clear where his priorities are.

    25. StepIntoTheLight, Mi says:

      Yes, I can blame Obama and his Administration for once again using an international platform to do what he does best – talk about himself as the second coming all the while bashing America yet again for all the evils this country has done to the rest of the world.

      Rio deserves the Olympics. It is about time the Olympics moved from a Eurocentric vision into the global commodity it has truly become in modern times. The passion Brazil's president showed by declaring, "The Olympic Games belongs to all people, all continents, all humanity" is in stark contrast to the Obama's making it all about themselves and how much they "sacrificed" to bring the Olympics back to America yet again.

      This should be a wake-up call that Obama has lost credibility and legitimacy, not only here at home, but also on the international stage.

      Is it 2012 yet?

    26. Tim Az says:

      Most of the world knows that a large part of the make up of the Mao-Bama's is arrogance. Even if Chicago had no chance of hosting the Olympics the Moa-Bama's had to make every effort to make it happen. This was to be payback for those in Chicago that made the Mao-Bama's. Excluding this fact smacks of old media practices. You can't win a war with kindness.

    27. Mary,Cleveland, OH says:

      Team Obama and Oprah (Team O) were beaten badly and I have thought about why this probably have happened. Here are my reasons:

      Team O does not have a good knowledge and understanding of the sports industry. Here is who I would have chosen to send to Denmark:

      1)the owners of the Chicago Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and/or Bears,

      2)Peter Uberoth, former USOC president for the ’84 games in Los Angeles and ’04 games in Greece, and former MLB Commissioner, and

      3)athletic director from a major university, such as University of Illinois. Many of the athletes are student athletes who train and compete at the college level. Sports such as swimming, diving, soccer, water polo, gymnastics and hockey are at the NCAA level.

      These representatives have a great knowledge of this industry. They understand sports marketing, sports management, organizing sporting events, venues, etc. They think in terms of sports, while the O Team does not.

      I would have also sent:

      1) a representative from the Daley administration,

      2) a state representative from Illinois,

      3) the president of the organization who tried to bring the Olympics to Chicago, and

      4) selected business leaders from Chigago.

      There are other possible reasons why they got beaten like this:

      1)the President going on his “apology” tours,

      2)the first lady, who last year, said that America is a downright mean nation and that she became proud to be an American for the first time when her husband announced his run for presidency.

      I believe some IOC members were presuming that the first couple are not proud of their country, so why have the Olympics in that country? I don’t blame anyone from the IOC for thinking this way.

      Another reason: Heritage made a great point in this article, stating all the “I’s” and “me’s” they said in their speeches.

      Yes, this was $10 million dollars down the drain, when that money could have been used for help people pay for medical expenses. The President should have stayed home to focus on Afganistan, Iran, and the economy.

      Yes, the President did meet with General McCrystal for 28 minutes. It did not seem they sat down at a desk and took notes (whether that's important or not). Hopefully it went very well and was very productive.

    28. Russ, Dallas Texas says:

      As much as I wanted Olympics in USA, if I was one of IOC voters, I would have cast vote for Rio and not for Chicago. Why not? In last 8 months, what I saw at Whitehouse (Chicago’s hard-handed politics) would be enough to change my vote.

      President needs to get in to program. First, read the constitution and follow. This is our country and not his.

    29. Carol, AZ says:

      I was so shock by the brutality of the murdered in Chicago to a young man who refused to join a gang, had goals, was an honor student and was planning on attending college.

      He had hope, dreams, and a family that supported him.

      He was targeted and cut down like some aniamal.

      The blunt reality stated by the news meida pointed-out that 28 other young people who started the school year, have also been murdered since the beginning of the school year.

      Fast forward to the Olympics bidding war.

      The mess media (all three) stating how "shocked " the residents of Chicago felt when "they came-in last."

      Am I the only one that see a dis-connect here ?

    30. ChuckL, Nevada says:

      Perhaps the IOC is simply avoiding a likely target of the Islamic terrorists, and they have understood that by cutting the defense forces of the United States, Obama is encouraging terrorism. He has done nothing to seek prosecution of those who terrorized voters, and were recorded doing so. He is denying General McChrystal more troops in Afghanistan. He has apologized for our part in obtaining freedom for France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, algeria, Morocco, Romania, Kosova, Panama, serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Kuwait, Egypt, Montenegron New Guinea, Thailand, Greece, Russia, Tunisia, Ukraine, Albania, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Libya, Korea, Japan, Italy.

      The IOC is simply making sure that it does not contribute to harm to the spectators, and it just may also have the criminal political organization of Chicago in mind, as this is where Obama started his political carreer.

    31. Earl, Queens, NY says:

      A better way of putting this question is: Do you blame any foreign country for not wanting to award an Olympic bid to a mean arrogant country like BHO’s America? I’d have to say NO, given the way Barack Hussein Oblunder apologizes for and badmouths the USA all over the world. Sadly 53% of the voters made ‘One Big Awful Mistake America’ on 11/04/2008. Hopefully they will correct this mistake in 2012!!

    32. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Let us add up the facts since Mr. Obama took office.

      He appoligized to the whole World for our Bad behavior, throughour History.

      He appoligized for our assistance in WW1 and in WW11.

      He appologized for our "Free Aide" to any and all Nations of this World in times of emergency and hunger.

      He called Americans, Imperialist, made Capitalism sound like cancer, placed the responsibility for all the Worlds current problems square on America's shoulders, including all the World's polution.

      Then he takes American money, American Air Force One, his wife, Oprah, and goes to the Olypic Committee and tells them that Chicago, known for its Crooked Politics and Gangsters to the rest of the World, would be the Ideal Place for the Summer Olympics!

      Yup, I would say it was his fault.

    33. Jerry from Chicago says:

      It would have been nice for the Olympics to come to America. It would have created a number of new jobs, some of which might even have become permanent. Foreign money coming into the U.S. would have helped the economy.

      I don't blame Mr. Obama for failing to bring the Olympics here, but there are things he did that contributed to the loss. Such as, his world apology tours, apologizing right and left for America's "arrogance, dismissiveness and derisiveness". Also, his assumption that his

      mere appearance in Copenhagen, especially in the company of Oprah and Mayor Daley, would make all the difference. I guess he figured that his big smile and personal charm would work the same way on the IOC as it did on the U.S. electorate.

      There were also some things that Mr. Obama didn't do. Such as his homework. He didn't spend the necessary time doing the pre-work with IOC officials and finding out what was most important to them. He didn't coordinate his approach with Mayor Daley, who at one point said that the City of Chicago would underwrite and guarantee the cost of the Olympics, but later waffled on that comment. Further, Mr. Obama failed to make an early and continuous commitment to the IOC as to what America, and Chicago specifically, could do for the good of the Olympics. Instead he and Mrs. Obama chose to sway the IOC on the basis of their own struggles and triumphs and on what the Olympics would do for America and Chicago.

      Maybe, just maybe, this loss could be a blessing in disguise for Mr. Obama. Maybe he has learned something, such as smiles and charm and being a nice guy aren't enough. Maybe, but I'm not holding my breath.

    34. John Roane Sarasota says:

      No. But it was stupid for him to go there. Especially when you take into consideration two big plans for a couple of people the cost had to be over a million just for fuel. Where is Al Gore screaming about carbon foot print and polluting the air with jet engine waste?

    35. Tod, Colorado says:

      The administration is so clueless! The O's should not have gone on OUR money! Again, it's all about them.

    36. Freedomof Speech TX says:

      Where was the Jolly Green Gore – you ask?

      He was flying around somewhere in his jet with gas guzzling black suburbans to whisk him around upon landing.

      Oh, I forgot. Gore's a VIP; he needs a substantial entourage.

    37. Bobby Smythe,Oldsmar says:

      Ha,Ha,Ha arrogance got him nowhere !

    38. Andre Kenji -Itatiba says:

      Not that the Rio de Janeiro politicians are any better than the ones of Chicago. They are corrupt, even for the low standards of Brazil.

    39. kagiso edwards says:

      Every day there is an Obama Superstar story …. The man never did anything other than get elected .. The only reason he succeeded is that the MSM will NOT do their job, have sold out to a political viewpoint that is dangerous to America … and is hurting us now …. Even Obama's low rent housing project was and IS a flat out disaster … full of rats and broken windows and overflowing toilets … Obama and his cronies took the money meant to keep those homes decent for the poor .. so now the poor who cannot leave those apartments… suffer … Guess what America, keep Obama free to do what he wants .. He will our nation in the same condition as those dumps he was trying to use as Olympic-funded projects for those very parts of land in Chicago .. Wake up Americans and politically fight this Obama .. because wherever he gets his way, you can be sure it will hurt the economy, the safety, the freedoms, and the well-being of all Americans of the USA ..

    40. Pingback: SNL – Obama Accomplishments? Just 2, Jack & Squat (video); Update: SNL under attack From Yahoo- Fact Check Attack In Progress « VotingFemale Speaks!

    41. jim smith says:

      Can you imagine the Olympics in Chicago? Two different pickpockets in the same pair of pants while the local corrupters set new Olympic records for your fraud, your lying and your Mayor Daley worrying that here in 2009, he hasn't started receiving his first of 10000 payments yet.

    42. Freedomof Speech, Te says:

      To all our Brazilian friends. Congratulations on hosting the Olympics.

      You also suffer high crime. I personally want to thank you for winning this great "honor".

      I also wish you the best of luck in staying within budget – you will need it.

      Lastly, if you need any extra cash don't hesitate to ask. Americans will work overtime or an extra job to ensure out tax dollars are available to the new world order.

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