Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obama and the Olympics

Despite the fact that President Obama flew all the way to Copenhagen to make an in-person pitch to the IOC, he was rebuffed. The 2016 games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, not Chicago.

In retrospect, Obama shouldn’t have gone. Now, the fact that Chicago didn’t get the games is being pinned on him as a personal failure. It shows supposedly, that the world may like Obama, but that it doesn’t respect him. Moreover, Obama should have spent his time focusing on the economy and Afghanistan; instead he took a vacation while Rome burned.

Of course, if Obama had managed to bring the Olympics home, the trip would have been considered a success. He would have demonstrated how much the world now respected America post-Bush, and generated some economic growth for Chicago.

In the long term, I don’t expect the failure to gain the games to harm him politically much. Next year’s midterm elections and his reelection campaign will be a referendum on the economy. If the economy is doing substantially better, he’ll win, if not, he’ll lose. So I just don’t see this being an issue next year. If the economy’s bad, sure, Republicans will run ads claiming that Obama was chilling overseas instead of helping people get jobs. But the damage will be done anyway, as people would already vote against Obama because of the economy. Likewise, if the economy’s better, people will credit Obama’s leadership; attacks about the Olympics will seem petty.

1 comment:

  1. People honestly need to chill about the Olympics. South America has never hosted an Olympiad before, why not let them have a shot JUST ONCE? America does not NEED to have a monopoly on worldwide news all the damn time.