Ok… Ok… The title is a bit over the top but President Obama is going to be the first U.S. President to appear before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to lobby for the Olympics (via The Huffington Post):
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s decision to fly to Denmark to support Chicago’s Olympics bid elevates the Games to an issue of national importance – and exposes him to political risks as well as rewards at a critical point in his presidency.
Obama’s presentation in Copenhagen on Friday will be the first time a U.S. president has appeared before the International Olympic Committee to lobby for an Olympics. Obama initially had said he couldn’t make the trip because he needed to tend to the health care debate at home.
As the White House announced the change of heart on Monday, there seemed to be increasing confidence that the votes could be stacking up Chicago’s way to host the 2016 Summer Games. If Chicago does come away the victor in the four-way race – Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are the other contenders – Obama could get a political boost for helping to deliver the Games to his adopted hometown and for handing the U.S. a fresh source of national pride.
If the U.S. loses, he still might get points for trying. But he would be visibly tied to a failed effort – and to the spending of political capital on an endeavor many Americans might consider unworthy of so much of a president’s time and energy.
Sometimes you can smell the bloody political red meat from 100 miles away. Our good friends in Right Blogtopia are all over this one via Memeorandum. Byron York has a particularly explosive title that say “Iran smolders, Afghanistan burns, and Obama heads to…Denmark“. I had a particularly juicy reply to that but Jim Geraghty at National Review steals my thunder:
The fact that Obama is going signals that Chicago is getting the Olympics, right? Would Obama go if he hadn’t been told that his attendance was the difference-maker? Would the IOC have the nerve to reject the hometown of the president, after every international elite spent the last two years telling Americans to elect this man?
And with allied reinforcements in Afghanistan few and far between, Iran shooting off missiles, trade wars brewing with China, Mexico, and Canada, and Russia ignoring the “reset button,” doesn’t Obama need a big foreign win right now?
If Chicago doesn’t get the Olympics, we’ll hear a lot of people noting that Obama can’t find time to meet with General McChrystal to decide on his Afghanistan plan, but he could find the time to go Denmark to get rejected . . .
OF COURSE! The Olympics 2016 (Chicago Edition) is a done deal. President Obama goes to Denmark, spreads a little joy and cheer, takes some pictures with the Denmark leadership and their families, and PRESTO! Chicago deep dish pizza anyone?
Look, I know folks on the Right like Michelle Malkin, Don Surber, and our really good friend but necessarily all the way “Right Wing” Rick Moran have to drop bombs on this but friends, the “President Obama has too many issues to waste time with a Denmark visit because he must stay heads down 24/7 in all things Afghanistan, Iran, and Domestic” just doesn’t fly. This is the 21st Century. President Obama is linked into everything he needs to know on the dime. Air Force One isn’t a Cessna ya know. He will be briefed, re-briefed, side-briefed, and back-briefed all the time. So don’t you worry, President Obama knows what’s going on.
Now speculating about the corruption Chi-Town style when it come to the Olympics (and corruption follows The Games wherever they are) is fair game. I’m already wondering what juicy scandal future President Sarah Palin will have speak to in some press conference… Oh! Did I just say President Palin? Sorry for letting the cat out the bag. The Almighty, and Most Majestic Future Seeing Luck Dragon told me.
Forgive me please!
FOR THE RECORD: The last paragraph is not a knock on Sarah Palin for all you Palin fans and supporters. I just couldn’t resist the vision (and irony) of a Chicago Olympics with a President Palin there.
I’m not complex. Don’t have time for all that. And all that complex stuff bad for the stomach. Just color me simple and plain with a twist.