Don't Blame Obama on Olympics

Jo-Ann Armao
Copyright 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009; 4:11 PM

By Jo-Ann Armao Maybe they should have sent Michael Jordan. Clearly, the International Olympic Committee wasn???t bowled over by President Obama???s in-person plea to hold the 2016 Summer Games in his home town of Chicago. Indeed, it was the first city the committee eliminated. That first round rejection was a surprise. Not so unexpected is the predictable carping -- commenced within minutes of CNN flashing today's news -- about Obama???s decision to travel to Copenhagen to urge Chicago???s selection. A loss to his prestige! Major setback! Should have known better! I still think Obama did no wrong in going the extra mile in trying to get something he thought would be good for this country. I say that being one of those people who really don???t ???get??? the Olympics; just ask my family and friends, who got tired of me complaining about how much time people were spending watching the 2008 Summer Games during our annual beach vacation. I do, though, respect what the Olympics are supposed to represent -- the best doing their utmost, and, in that regard, Obama was true to the tradition of trying. Accordingly, it is hard for me to understand all the hoopla that surrounded the president's trip. The world didn't fall apart while he was on an overnight plane. Indeed, the Senate Finance Committee even managed to pass out a health reform bill in his absence. So, no, there won't be the Summer Games in Chicago, and no doubt Obama -- like the city itself -- is disappointed. One thing the president can console himself with, though, is the certainty that the very same sorts of folks who are criticizing him for going to Denmark would probably be blaming him if he hadn't gone.

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