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.