President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Copenhagen to support the bid of their home town Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Their efforts mirrored those of the President Brazil to support the winning bid of Rio de Janeiro. In the end, Chicagoâ€™s proposal failed to gain the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
In response to Chicagoâ€™s unsuccessful proposal President Obama remarked; â€œOne of the things I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win.â€
The effort to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago unfortunately placed the president in a no-win situation. As a former Senator from Illinois whose home town was Chicago; the President had to weigh in on the campaign for the games. The potential for Chicagoâ€™s bid to fail was always there. If he failed to participate and Chicagoâ€™s bid failed the President would be criticized for not making an effort, particularly in light of the participation ofÂ the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the other finalists in the process.
This reality has however been lost on the right-wing corporate run media. Leading up to his visit, media pundits complained that he was trying to take on too much, that there were more important things for him to focus on at home. Jon Stewart coverd this on the Daily Show Thursday Night.
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With headlines like â€œOlympic â€˜nopesâ€™ beat out hope in Chicagoâ€ on CNN.com, and â€œOlympics loss weighs on Obamaâ€™s agendaâ€ and â€œAnalysis: Chicago loss is blow to Obamaâ€ on MSNBC.com you would think that President Obama was solely responsible for the Chicago proposal and its failure. The â€œAnalysisâ€ headline kicked off an article by Associated Press writers Jennifer Loven and Julie Pace who pounced on the loss of the bid as an example of the failure of â€œObamaâ€™s fabled charm and powers of persuasion.â€ They wrote â€œPresident Barack Obamaâ€™s high profile failure to win the games for Chicago could feed the negative narratives already nipping at his heels — that he is a better talker than deal closer, more celebrity than statesman. And this could hamper his efforts on weightier issues like health care, climate change, war.â€
WHAT?! When did Chicagoâ€™s bid for the Olympics in 2016 become a matter of State diplomacy? On what planet do these two live? While it is true that the President and First Lady were avid supporters of the Chicago bid, they are hardly responsible for the proposal or its failure to succeed.
They continued; â€œHe is trying to do too much at once. Heâ€™s too casual with the use of his own time.â€ They went on to speculate that while â€œthe votes of the IOC members are notoriously hard to count ahead of time, so are those in the U.S. Capitol. Will Obama do as poorly predicting how health care votes are leaning in Congress and make similarly ill-fated strategic decisions?â€
It is one hell of a leap to compare Obamaâ€™s participation in Chicagoâ€™s Olympic bid to the efforts regarding health insurance reform. Such a leap of â€œlogicâ€ is actually absurd.
The only saving grace of this AP story was in the closing of the article, which got lost in its early framing.
â€œKeep in mind: If Obama had not gone to Denmark and Chicago lost, he no doubt would have been blamed for not making an effort.â€
With slanted analysis such as was presented by these Associated Press writers, who needs Newt Gingrichâ€™s Twitter tweet â€œSomehow charm and oratory donâ€™t seem to work in foreign affairs but historians have warned that foreign policy is different than campaigning.â€
So much for that so calledÂ liberal media bias.