Think Progress, the Democratic media-watch and policy group, always tries to blame conservatives for everything, including now the loss of the Olympics for Chicago: Mission Accomplished For Conservatives Who Rooted Against America.
I doubt that the Olympic committee listened to any conservative U.S. voices. And talking honestly about the political corruption in Chicago and Illinois, and worrying about how Obama’s friends would spend tens of billions of dollars, is not “rooting against America.” Rooting against America would be something along the lines of hoping that the Iraq surge failed and our troops came home in disgrace and failure, which was a uniquely Democratic and liberal phenomenon egged on by groups like Think Progress.
We didn’t get the Olympics, or even get to the final round, because there was no logic to Chicago other than as a hat tip to Barack Obama. That is why President and Mrs. Obama put their personal prestige on the line to practically beg for the games. I did not think that Obama would risk his international reputation unless he knew we had the games in the bag, but I underestimated Obama’s ability to persuade himself of his own persuasive powers.
President Obama’s speech to the Olympic committee as quoted by Think Progress was a typical Obama speech, long on sop and emotion, short on details:
[Chicago is] a bustling metropolis with the warmth of a small town; where the world already comes together every day to live and work and reach for a dream — a dream that no matter who we are, where we come from; no matter what we look like or what hand life has dealt us; with hard work, and discipline, and dedication, we can make it if we try.
That’s not just the American Dream. That is the Olympic spirit. It’s the essence of the Olympic spirit. That’s why we see so much of ourselves in these Games. That’s why we want them in Chicago. That’s why we want them in America.
The President, who rarely has a nice thing to say about the United States when speaking to foreigners, based his presentation on selling the United States brand. No wonder it didn’t work. The delegates probably remember President Obama’s European Apology Tour and apology speech at the UN. You can’t tear us down repeatedly, and then try to repackage the damaged brand when convenient to direct money to your political friends.
I know it’s not entirely fair to quote from comments, but the very first comment on the Think Progress post must be quoted because it is a classic of the genre that all that befalls Obama is Bush’s fault:
“Make no mistake, Chicago getting the fewest votes is part of the ongoing legacy of George W. Bush.”
UPDATE: Apparently Think Progress readers are not the only ones blaming Bush (via Powerline):
“I’m still in a state of shock. I can’t believe we couldn’t get past the first round. I still thought the (Chicago) bid overall was the best,” said three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ambrose “Rowdy” Gaines.
“Maybe there is some hangover from politics, from the last eight years,” Gaines said.
Now Roland Burris is getting in on the blame Bush action:
Senator Rowland Burris of Illinois, the Senator who was appointed to fill President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, blames George Bush for Chicago not getting the
Olympics in 2016. Burris stated in an interview, shortly after the announcement, that the image of the U. S. has been so tarnished in the last 8 years that, even Barack Obama making an unprecedented pitch for the games could not overcome the hatred the world has for us as a result of George Bush.