Obamas Fail in Personal Pitch to Bring 2016 Olympics to Chicago-
Olympic officials eliminated Chicago in the first round of voting from its bid to host the 2016 Summer Games, a surprise failure for President Obama who put his capital behind an enormous campaign.
COPENHAGEN – Chicago was eliminated in the first ballot of voting for the 2016 Olympics on Friday, a stunning defeat for President Obama who put his capital behind an enormous campaign.
Chicago had seemed to pick up momentum in the last few days, with many International Olympic Committee members seemingly charmed by Michelle Obama. But when IOC president Jacques Rogge announced the results of the first vote, Chicago’s name was announced.
Obama’s visit to Copenhagen was the first time a U.S. president made such an in-person appeal.
“I urge you to choose Chicago for the same reasons I chose Chicago nearly 25 years ago — the reasons I fell in love with the city I still call home,” Obama told members of the International Olympic Committee, many of whom he later mingled with as some snapped photos of him on their cell phones.
“And if you do — if we walk this path together — then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America will make the world proud,” the president said.
Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo have been making their cases to the IOC for more than a year, but many IOC members were believed to be undecided about which city they would vote for Friday.
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President Obama demeans the office of the presidency by traveling to Denmark, where he will reduce himself to the role of Billy Mays pitchman in the U.S. bid to win the 2016 Olympic games for Chicago.
The greatest asset a president of the United States has is his credibility and his time. I know because I had the privilege of being the “gate keeper” for President George W. Bush.
I was Deputy Assistant to the President for Appointments and Scheduling, Vetting and Research. I was responsible for Mr. Bush’s time management and planning. As such, I was acutely aware of how valuable and important the time of the president of the United States is.
Everyone wants the president’s time but there is only a certain amount of it that is available. It is worth its weight in gold and is a finite commodity and thus, must be protected and used wisely.
We had a saying in the White House, that if you wanted to see the president, you never will, however, if you need to see the president, you always will. The only question is to how much time you would be given.
The questions we wrestled with everyday when the senior staff wanted the president to do something went like this: is this the best use of his time, is he the right person to be doing this, is the timing right, how will it be perceived by the public and the press, and will it advance policy?
The last minute decision by the president and his staff to sell the Olympic committee on Chicago is a mistake. It fails the five-prong test I alluded to above. Here’s why:
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