Until I started reading stories about Barack Obama’s failure in Copenhagen, I didn’t realize just how pathetic were the arguments used in support of Chicago as the 2016 Summer Olympic venue. In short, Obama and Chicago played the diversity card, but got out-diversified, and in the ultimate irony, out-historified.
Here is Rahm Emanuel’s explanation of the pitch Chicago would present to the IOC:
“There’s no better city in the United States or the world to host the international community than Chicago — because of the diversity,” Emanuel said. “You’re going to bring literally the whole world together for Olympic games, sports games, and competition. Chicago’s a great competitive city — has always been that. It has a great amount of diversity and it would be great for Chicago also for not only its diversity but for the economic opportunity that it provides in the sense of jobs and economic growth….
“Nothing against them, but Chicago is what none of the other cities have and this is again what I think the president’s remarks will be, not saying anything negative against them, but you’re bringing all the world together… The world will feel comfortable given the diversity of Chicago all the different ethnic communities are there…”
Mind-numbingly stupid on multiple levels, not the least of which was strategic. We were up against Rio de Janeiro, which was pitching its location based on there never having been an Olympics in a tropical nation … and Brazil is mega-diverse (at least as that term is used in left-wing intellectual circles). Brazil is a nation of color, a mix of African, indigenous Indian, Hispanic, Portugese, and other non-Anglo, non-Aryan, non-Asian, non-light skinned cultures, in other words, a nation which looks nothing like any nation which ever has hosted the Olympics.
If the diversity of Chicago was our main selling point, we didn’t have a selling point stacked up against Rio.
But the diversity as trump card mindset is so deeply ingrained in the Obama administration and its sycophants that they could not see the foolishness of their pitch. So Obama doubled down in Copenhagen:
You see, growing up, my family moved around a lot. And I never really had roots in any one place or culture or ethnic group. Then I came to Chicago. And on those Chicago streets, I worked alongside men and women who were black and white; Latino and Asian; people of every class and nationality and religion. I came to discover that Chicago is that most American of American cities, but one where citizens from more than 130 nations inhabit a rich tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods.
Read the whole thing, it is a speech which could have been delivered at almost any corporate diversity training session, but as a reason to award the Olympics to Chicago and not Rio, it was delusional. Obama acted as the straight-man to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who so out-diversified Obama that IOC voting members must have split their guts.
First off, his nickname is Lula, which makes Barack Hussein Obama seem so first-worldly. As reported by Times Online, Lula’s speech won the day, focusing the delegates on the need for Olympic-location diversity and the chance to make history:
President de Silva said: “I honestly think it is Brazil’s turn. It is South America’s bid. This is a continent that has never held the Games. It is time to address this imbalance. It is time to light the Olympic cauldron in a tropical country.”
Sepp Blatter, the chief executive of Fifa, the world governing body for football, said Mr de Silva’s speech “went under his skin”. Other IOC members may agree. Of the four bidding cities, Rio is the only one that offers them the chance to make Olympic history – something they may feel compelled to do if they follow their hearts rather than any nagging fears about Rio’s crime issues.
Rio bid chiefs held the inspirational trump card and offered a stunning visual backdrop for the Games. But the real selling point is access to a young population on a continent that has yet to be touched directly by the Olympic movement.
Obama was out-diversified. And in the ultimate irony, the most historic person in recent history was out-historified. That has to hurt.