Was Losing the Olympic Host City Bid Really Obama’s Loss?

I’ll be honest, I didn’t want Chicago to host the Olympics. This was simply because of the fact that I don’t think that the Chicago Transit Authority or the roads could have supported the people that would have been in Chicago for the Olympics and the Olympics could have gentrified the South Side to the point that people would have been priced out of their homes. And I don’t think that there would have been affordable housing built so people would have a place to live; developers are probably more interested in building expensive high-rise condos rather than building affordable apartments for people. (And for those of you ready to point out public housing, don’t get me started on the Chicago Housing Authority.) Sure, America hosting the Olympics would have been neat and some jobs, albeit temporary, would have been created. But I saw more harm than good.

However, I was very shocked when I found out that Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting. (The office I was in Friday morning became filled with the sound of people typing on their keyboards when someone said that we were eliminated. However, the conversation quickly changed from Chicago’s loss to “What will happen to Michael Reese Hospital?” which was going to be torn down for a site for the Olympics. I still don’t know what will happen to that building.) As much as I didn’t want the Olympics to be here, the elimination that early was a bit insulting.

And yet there were people that were cheering because of the early elimination. Americans, notable conservative talking heads too. Why? Because it meant that Obama lost.

Wait, Obama lost? I thought Richard M. Daley was the mayor of Chicago. At least, last time I looked at something that said City of Chicago, Richard M. Daley was the mayor of the Chicago.

It should be noted that the heads of state for the other countries with bids went to Copenhagen. Oprah might be famous, but she’s not a head of state. And although Michelle Obama is the first lady, Obama is our president and therefore the head of state. It’s certainly helpful that our president is from Chicago and therefore could have a personal viewpoint. Although, I strongly disagree with a statement that President Obama made about Chicago being ready to host the Olympics. But, still, Obama went to Copenhagen like all of the other heads of state did. This is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation; if he didn’t go, people would be upset. He went and people are still upset.

But the loss of the Olympics is not “Obama’s loss.” It’s not going to ruin him, I don’t think that this will stop health care reform or repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The fact that there were people cheering for the loss of the Olympics because it was “Obama’s loss,” is very infuriating to me. I’m sure that the same people that were cheering because Chicago wasn’t going to host the Olympics are upset because people are blaming George Bush. As Paul Krugman points out in his column today, it’s childish behavior. It’s just outrageous partisan behavior. (And those same people should be glad that they weren’t near the DePaul University campus in Chicago on Friday, because I was called un-American for my reasoning as for why I don’t want the Olympics here.)

And, in my opinion, if this is any politician’s loss, it’s Mayor Daley’s loss. It’s the city of Chicago’s loss, even though half of the city didn’t want the city to host. But on the upside, Chicagoans get free coffee today as a toast to our efforts.


7 thoughts on “Was Losing the Olympic Host City Bid Really Obama’s Loss?

  1. No. It was Obama’s loss; he messed things up and some of us are happy about that because we’re happy that the world is showing itself to be get tired of Obama’s attitude.

    Understand please that Chicago WAS NOT going to get the games, irrespective of Obama’s attempts. Everyone “in the know” knew that Rio was getting them because the IOC needed to give Latin America “some love,” since no country there had EVER been allowed to host the games.

    The loss was Chico’s being ousted in the 1st round. In fact, it was the 1st city eliminated from the running.

  2. jonolan, I simply have to agree with you. Obama made the pitch to the IOC on behalf of the city of Chicago and the United States, and as Monica mentioned, so, too, did the other heads-of-state on behalf of their respective city and nation. The loss of Chicago’s bid was not Obama’s loss; it was a loss for the United States as a whole.

  3. Excuse me…I meant DISagree.

  4. Sam,

    President Obama put his job on hold – and in the middle of myriad problems, including his lack of strategy for Afghanistan & Pakistan – and went to Copenhagen because he thought he could by his speech-giving prowess and his cult of personality sway the IOC’s decision. That was, given the facts on the ground, an example of extreme hubris – ugly Americanism if you will.

    The IOC slapped him down hard by eliminating Chicago in the 1st round instead of letting us reach the last round and then announcing the foregone conclusion of Rio.

    It’s no loss for America at all since we weren’t going to get the Games anyway. It was a loss for Obama and his vanity though. Hopefully he’ll regard it as a “teaching moment” and learn from it.

  5. Let me get this straight. You believe that fighting for billions of dollars in tourist money and thousands of jobs to build the stadiums was Obama putting his job on hold? I wholeheartedly disagree.

    I believe President Obama had the foresight to fight for what would have been a huge money-maker for the country. It is unfortunate that his predecessor lacked any foresight whatsoever…

  6. I’m with Sam on this. Even though the Olympics would have hurt the city of Chicago and the residents on the South Side, it would have created some jobs, albeit it temporary ones, and it would have, you know, stimulated the economy.

  7. Very, very few Olympics have ever turned a profit; most put the host cities in debt for years and years. Obama isn’t quite so stupid as to not know that.

    So…no real loss there. In any case though – you can’t “loose” what you had or had any reasonable chance of getting.

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