“In 2016, I’ll be wrapping up my second term as president,” Obama told a rally in Chicago in June 2008. “So I can’t think of a better way than to be marching into Washington Park … as president of the United States and announcing to the world: Let the Games begin!”…
Even later, when the destiny was starting to suck the main character into its dark and smelly place, his top advisor and executioner (officially the Chief of Important Stuff and tax-evading Staff) Rahm Emanuel played down the expectations of the public: “They [right-wing mobsters and evil-mongers] shouldn’t try to make politics of this. I think they [right-wing mobsters and evil-mongers] should take some pride in the U.S.’s win, and you know, we’ll make sure they [right-wing mobsters and evil-mongers] get some good seats once Chicago does host the games.” I am not sure about you, but Emma's promise to provide good seats to the right-wing mobsters and evil-mongers does not sound too reassuring. But alas, Emma did not get a chance to fullfil his promise (threat)....
Now, the introduction is over, and the stage is ready for the main character to enter and change the world forever. President Obama makes an eloquent speech to the IOC committee, a humble speech of a humble man - a speech containing sentences with four Is:
“I’ve come here today to urge you to choose Chicago for the same reasons I chose Chicago nearly twenty-five years ago – the reasons I fell in love with the city I still call home.”
Michele Obama, not to be over-shied by her modest husband, had this to say:
"But I never dreamed that the Olympic flame might one day light up lives in my neighborhood. But today, I can dream, and I am dreaming of an Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago that will light up lives in neighborhoods all across America and all across the world."
This surely was enough to silence all the nay-sayers in the IOC. After all, can Rio fulfill Michele's dream, let alone Tokyo? No freaking way! Case closed, right?
But the First Lady in Chief did not stop there. She also reminded the world of how much personal sacrifice she had to go through for the Olympic movement: "Some of my ... memories are sitting on my dad's lap, cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis and others for their brilliance and perfection." If one remembers that Michele was 20 years old when Carl Lewis participated in the Olympics, it's clear that the First Lady was tearfully reciting the tale of abuse and humiliation by her late father. I presume the IOC could also imagine how many 20 year old girls would be forced to sit on their Daddy's laps through the entire Olympic Games if Chicago wins the bid - and that surely made them think twice about their choice. After all, some of those Chicago Daddie could be quite accomodating and may well share those nice girls, if you know what I mean.
If this heartbreaking testimony were not enough, Michele noted to her supporters: "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."
And indeed, it was a sacrifice. Not only the president, the first lady, and their 100 top advisors had to fly to Copenhagen, a place where all those rednecks clinging to guns and religion live in - a much worse thing happened there - a disgruntled American general leading the US military efforts in Afghanistan was able to sneak through the Obama security service into the Airforce One and bore his Excelency with tales of war and suffering in the far away lands of Afghanistan for a whole of
After all this hard work and unbearable sacrifice - the thunder struck - (think about the steps of the Commodore from the Pushkin's tragedy) - the IOC committee decided that Chicago, a place where Obama grew up from a smallish community organizer to the Top Olympic Games Salesman, and where Michele sat on the lap of her father, was not a suitable avenue for the Olympic games.
When the IOC announced its decision, the NYT was puzzled tothe point it actually wrote something honest: “A sense of stunned bewilderment suffused Air Force One and the White House.”
Senator Burris immediately confirmed what every liberal knew - that Chicago lost the bid “…due to the animosity against the US created by the policies of the last eight years.”
HoosierHawk though is willing to give the president some slack: "I don’t think that you can blame the President for the decision of the Olympic Commitee. My understanding is that the IOC actually visited Chicago. That’s pretty difficult to overcome."
A response from the extreme right was quite predictable - let me quote Hogarth whose response was quite typical for the right-wing mobsters and evil-mongers: "For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of the Olympic Committee." For some reason this sounds like a quote, but my memory is failing me, and I cannot identify who is being mocked by this right-wing mobster and evil-monger... Wait, don't tell me...
Another writer, Mark Buehner dryly observes: "I’m just really glad to see this new era of humility and diplomacy is paying such startling dividends."
I believe Alex Bensky summarizes the views of many with his astute comment: "Personally, I’m at a loss to understand this. The president went there, gave a talk illustrating why it would be a recognition of his charisma and specialness to grant Chicago the games. He even brought his wife who also talked about how special she is and how she would personally find it gratifying if they gave Chicago the games. And yet…the IOC immediately voted otherwise. I can’t figure it out."
Honestly, I am too quite puzzled by this result. Aren't you too?