But that didn't stop the President from heading to Copenhagen. When I first heard he was heading there the morning of the announcement, I figured it was in the bag. After all, coming away empty handed would only make the President look weak not only nationally, but globally as well.
Alas, here was the scene in Chicago two seconds after the announcement.
You can stop laughing now.
And yes, I laughed when I heard the news. Why? Because it was funny. It was funny because Obama created such an overbearing spectacle of his efforts. As Ed Morrissey said, it was because "the stakes for the country were so low and Obama’s ego so overweening that an unforced error this dumb can be laughed at." And why? Half of Chicago didn't even want them there.
In reality, the bid was over-reliant on 'temporary' structures and white elephants that would have no long-term benefit whatsoever. They weren't even going to use Soldier Field! Look at Vancouver's experience right now: massive cost overruns, almost a complete neglect of non-Olympics infrastructure, every red cent going to the boondoggle of the Games. Chicago doesn't need it, it's already a major tourist attraction. This would simply displace normal traffic, perhaps with some miniscule additional traffic over the two weeks, but at the risk of a lag afterwards. No upside, lots of downside, and the entrenchment of the Daley Machine. This was the Daley Keep Me in Office effort, pure and simple.
Of particular amusement to me was Taegan Goddard's rationalization over at Political Wire:
That's an embarrassing political miscalculation by the White House. However, it's likely to be a short term blow. Almost no one blames New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for failing to bring the 2012 Olympics to his city.
Except the President isn't also the Mayor of Chicago. He's the leader of the free world. Well, at least he used to be.
See you in Rio.
h/t: Duke & Stars at Night