President Obama gave himself an "A" for effort today in spite of the fact that his in-person plea in Copenhagen did not put Chicago over the top to host the 2016 Olympic Games. The Associated Press reports that the president and his wife learned of the news on board Air Force One while heading back to Washington. Mrs. Obama had gone to Copenhagen ahead of the president and had also been lobbying hard for the games to be held in her hometown,but the committe gave the nod to Rio de Janeiro.
In spite of the president's impassioned plea, Chicago was knocked out in the first round in what is being called one of the most shocking defeats ever in Olympic Committee voting. Meanwhile the president was quoted as saying he could not be prouder of his efforts, in spite of the loss which put his personal prestige and political capital on the line. Many Americans have said they are embarassed by the president's defeat, since no other president has ever gone in person to make a pitch for the games.
While it is sad that Chicago lost, it is also embarassing for the president that he failed. There was much criticism of his going to Copenhagen in the first place, in light of all of the problems with national defense, the economy and healthcare at home. It also gives the world the impression that the most powerful man on earth can't close the deal.
In spite of what should be the president's embarassment over the incident (although he's obviously not embarrassed) losing the deal should be good for his ego. For a man who has allowed school kids to praise and worship his name, and who has become punch drunk while basking in his own hype, getting knocked down in such a big way will hopefully help him see that it really isn't all about him. While millions of Americans have fallen for the president's charms, the loss in Denmark shows that not everyone has "Obama Fever."
Even though his world view has championed the rights of our enemies and denigrated the name of our men and women who believe that democracy is worth preserving, President Obama got to see first hand today that sometimes sandy beaches and ocean breezes are just harder to resist than a great speech