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On Olympics, Told You So

Told ya.

I wrote earlier this week that President Obama's trip to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago's Olympics bid could be futile or even counterproductive. Obama-mania notwithstanding, the U.S. president is always seen at international gatherings as the ultimate Bigfoot, and nobody likes to be Bigfooted. Chicago used the Powell Doctrine of "overwhelming force" to try to win, but in this context the deployment of presidential power and charisma only served to invite a comeuppance.

The Olympics movement is a strange culture with its own etiquette and mores. I don't think Chicago would have won the Games if Obama had stayed home, but, clearly, his going didn't help. The International Olympic Committee likes a little humility, and -- almost by definition -- no POTUS can be convincingly humble. The first lady would have had a better shot on her own.

I have to be happy for Rio de Janeiro and all of Brazil, though. Rio is one of the world's great cities -- a place where sea, mountains and urban electricity all meet in a setting so beautiful it melts your heart. The city knows how to throw a party -- carnaval happens every year, and it's the greatest show on earth. Parabens, cariocas!

By Eugene Robinson  | October 2, 2009; 1:09 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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actually the powell doctrine is "decisive force"

looks like you are in the same league with sarah palin as far as sketchy grasp of military doctrines go.

im surprised eugene. you're supposed to be SO much more educated than her.

Posted by: dummypants | October 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Nothing lost, nothing gained. What did it hurt ? You can't strike out if you do not get up to the plate ! ! ! ! ! I know these are platitudes......But, this is exactly the attitude we instill in our children ! ! ! This is what builds self-esteem and confidence...And a stronger America ! ! !
From a grandmother of 5.........

Posted by: kathiehuffman | October 2, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. You were spot on Mr. Robinson. This can only be viewed as an embarrassing failure. I truly beleive President Obama has been poorly served by advisors. There can be no doubt that Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the Chicago contingent had a large influence on his decision to make this ill fated trip.

Posted by: dbunkr | October 2, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Evidently people are getting tired of the Messiah and not only in America. To paraphrase the New Testament: can anything good come out of Chicago?

Posted by: ravitchn | October 2, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The International Olympic Committee likes a little humility, and -- almost by definition -- no POTUS can be convincingly humble.

Most of them have tried to carry some semblance of humility. Not this guy, who thinks the world is all about him. Matt Drudge said it best: "The Ego has Landed."

Posted by: PS7900 | October 2, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, if they're not impressed by the King of Spain and the former IOC chair was Spanish then I guess even Obama isn't going to do it.

It was definitely Rio (and South America's turn). It's about time I'd say.

Posted by: mosere | October 2, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I doubt very seriously if President Obama's trip had as critical an effect as Mr. Robinson seems to think. It was South America's time. Congratulation's Rio.

Posted by: dailyfare | October 2, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, you've got it right again. Congratulations to Rio, and I wish I could be one of the lucky ones to be there for the first Olympics in Brazil. What a happy day for them.

Posted by: Toosoonoldtoolatesmart | October 2, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I am not familiar with the IOC's culture, but my own bet on who would win was based on the fact that of the four cities on the list, three of the countries involved had already hosted the games in years past - the U.S., Spain, and Japan. It would be a first for South America - and who could resist fun-loving Rio? - a calculated choice. Good luck to them.

Posted by: jbleenyc | October 2, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The only people who keep talking about Obama-mania are the media sycophants and beyond the pale leftists.

Everyone else has seen the bloom come off the rose.

Posted by: bandmom22 | October 2, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I am proud of Michelle and her attempt. I am also proud of President Obama and Oprah. Lord let's not forget Oprah and all who attempted to get the gig.

Guess the Brazilian dancers flashing in men's heads just turned up the heat.

Maybe Sanford should have took another trip through the woods-ha!

Posted by: Scar1 | October 2, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

How could he NOT go? If we lost the bid, he'd be blamed and he'd never hear the end of it. At least he gets points for trying. Don't we want the Olympics? Isn't it important?

Posted by: rocks11 | October 2, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Gene, you're wrong.

If he hadn't gone, things would have been far worse for him for not trying (and seeming not to care). Second, if HE hadn't gone and just sent the First Lady, the IOC would have been insulted since the top dignitaries of the other countries were there.

In short, he did the right thing. I think it's Michael Jordan who looks REALLY bad in this. I actually don't think he would have made a difference in the outcome, but I think he needed to be there.

By the way, I'm glad Rio won.

Posted by: whodunit | October 2, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree. When Obama showed up with his oversized ego, his "international rock star presence" (per the Today Show) and his silly teleprompter, Chicago dropped out of the running.

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama.

The personality cult schtick is wearing thin. The One is becoming a parody except to the clueless.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if Michele hadn't gone on and on about what a "sacrifice" she was making by being over there, Chicago could have nosed out Tokyo for the bronze.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Everything Obama does is criticized by one group and praised by another.

Can't we stop with the silliness.

Obama did what he did to help narrow the trade deficit and give an economic boost to the Chicago area - nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wonderful about it either - but as one person said at least he tried.

Posted by: agapn9 | October 2, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This is first.
Someone opposed President Obama and Mr. Robinson did't call them racists.
Jimmy Carter, though, must think the IOC is racist organization.
Nanci Pelosi must be afraid of the IOC's anti-gay violence.

Posted by: jfv123 | October 2, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

¡Enhorabuena Río! ¡Partido, partido, partido!! Usted lo merece. ¡La esperanza I puede hacerlo allí para las ceremonias de inauguración! ¡Bien hecho!

Posted by: grannytoad19471 | October 2, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Rio! Party, Party, Party!!

Posted by: grannytoad19471 | October 2, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

For all the respect I have for President Obama, I have to say that I'm somewhat embarrassed for him. Not because he 'lost' the bid, but because it suggests he has (hopefully temporarily) lost his way.

First, to spend any time or energies on this bid with all the other more important things he has on his plate is misguided. Secondly, to think that the 'Obama brand' could win Chicago this bid seems unlikely and suggests he may be out of touch. Finally, the Obama I voted for would want Brazil to win this bid - the first South American country in history to win a bid to host the Olympics (as compared to the US record of eight hostings).

Posted by: JWHybrid | October 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

obama-mania is a memory trace at best eugene.

Posted by: Roark84 | October 2, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the opening ceremony in Rio.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | October 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If only President John McCain had made the trip, maybe with VP Palin. Today, we'd be invading Denmark AND Brazil.

Posted by: wilder5121 | October 2, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pitch was wrong. He emphasized Chicago's diversity - yawn. The IOC wants its games to run well. Obama should have said, I intend to be president throughout the preparation and the 2016 games themselves, and I will use the power of my office to make sure that my home city is an excellent host.

Still, I'm happy about the choice of Rio. Big sports events bring prestige but cost a lot of money, so this is no great loss to Chicago or the U.S. Rio, and South America, can make better use of the prestige boost, and they deserve it.

Posted by: pundito | October 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

jfv123 Are you cyber stalking Mr. Robinson? You're all over the place with no quality comments to add to the discussion. Just hurling what you think passes as insults to Mr. Robinson. If posters want to read lunacy, I'm sure we'd all read Glen Beck's book or something equally anti-intellectual. Such silliness. What time does middle school let out where you live?

Posted by: grannytoad19471 | October 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the opening ceremonies in Rio Either!! I know it's going to be Spectacular!

Posted by: grannytoad19471 | October 2, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Rio is the winner...Does not surprise me on bit....

Posted by: beeker25 | October 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

JWHybrid--bravo, couldn't have said it better. I am a huge Obama supporter but this never sat well with me for the reasons you stated.

Posted by: mygr8kidz2 | October 2, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey "dummypants":

Ms. Palin wouldn't have even known who Powell is.

And "decisive" vs. "overwhelming?" The latter is the way to the former under the doctrine.

So, shut up.

Posted by: rogied25 | October 2, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

actually the powell doctrine is "decisive force"

looks like you are in the same league with sarah palin as far as sketchy grasp of military doctrines go.

im surprised eugene. you're supposed to be SO much more educated than her.

Posted by: dummypants | October 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

That's a pretty low blow comparing anyone to Sarah Palin when it comes to intelligence. However, I'm guessing your judgment is not too good if you think this example somehow equates Eugene Robinson with that posterchild for the ignorance of the extreme right.

Posted by: stoplying | October 2, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I know these days a few million dollars is thought of as chump change but if the media (yeah right) put a cost on this trip it wouls exceed several million. How many "shovel ready" projects would that finance/ Probably about as many as HAVE been financed as actually shove ready from the trillions earmarked for "quick, quick, gotta act NOOOOW!"

Good for Rio but this detracts from the unimaginable corruption and radical fundamental remaking of what used to be the shining light on a hill for the world.

Posted by: theduck6 | October 2, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The IOC didn't fall for that hopey-changey thing "the Messiah" was preaching. I think Chicago would have had a better chance if Ditka made the sales pitch.

Posted by: ArtVandalay | October 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

How is it egotistical for President Obama to go to Copenhagen to support an American city for the Olympics? Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Brazilian president Lula da Silva and Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and King Juan Carlos also joined the lobbying efforts for their respective cities. Just because the media goes nuts for him doesn't mean he expected Chicago to walk away a winner. Get over it.

Posted by: scout_wife | October 2, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

It was a case of "damned if he did; damned if he didn't". Maybe the real reason Chicago didn't win is all the negative energy being spewed before the vote. The IOC was afraid of another "town hall" scenario where the Opening Ceremony would be marred by people shouting and carrying Hitler signs and swastikas. I still don't understand all the opposition to EVERYTHING Obama tries to do. Lots of dumb people believing mis-information, especially on health care reform. Only the extremely rich should be against Obama's plan, as they are the ones who are going to see any tax increase. I guess I didn't realize we had so many rich people in America. And the opposition to increased spending comes 8 years too late. You should have complained back when W. started spending on his wars.

Posted by: DelRonin | October 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

President Obama did the right thing. I felt Rio would win because of the history of no games. Give Chicago credit for trying. I've always said "NOTHING BEATS A FAILURE BUT A TRY"!

Posted by: classicskins | October 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The thing is, Obama-haters would have found fault with any action or outcome:
1. He goes, we get the Olympics: People will say, "How can we afford the Olympics when our economy is in peril? Shame on Obama for sacrificing our money for his liberal home town!"
2. He goes, we don't get the Olympics: See above
3. He doesn't go, we don't get the Olympics: People will say, "Shame on Obama. If he had gone, we could have gotten the Olympics! He's so unpatriotic and doesn't care about our country. It's probably because he wasn't born here."
4. He doesn't go, we get the Olympics: People will say, "It's because he didn't go that we got the Olympics! Take that, Libs! Oh, BTW, shame on Obama for wanting the Olympics when the economy is in the toilet!"

Obama-haters will make every problem about him, no matter the action or outcome. Truth is, Rio was always going to win--and should have. All the other countries have had the Olympics; ours was only 13 years ago. That whole CONTINENT has never had them. Go Brazil! Can't wait to see what you can do.

Posted by: sunny617 | October 2, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

First of all, South America has never had the game before. Second, I wonder if the new premier of Japan and the Prime Minister of Spain are being blamed for not winning. And third, why should the US always win, even if someone else, as in the case of Brazil, deserves the game? I guess this will be Fixed News and the rest of the lunatic right numero uno subject now. Can we get on with healthcare reform? Oh no, I's no longer a healthcare reform. It's the Marx Baucus Bailout to the Insurance Company Act of 2009 now.

Posted by: fgerald0204 | October 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Outside of the leftist water carrying media bubble echo chamber, Obama mania is dead and buried, Gene. His problem in Copenhagen, however, was the absence of ACORN, and the Black Panthers. He couldn't stuff the ballot box with fraudulent votes, or use muscle on the committee..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

grannytoad19471 - they speak Portugese in Rio

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"The International Olympic Committee likes a little humility, and -- almost by definition -- no POTUS can be convincingly humble. The first lady would have had a better shot on her own."
Michelle Obama display humility? Man, I'd love to see someone tell her that. Better bring a dictionary. A small one that won't hurt so much when it gets crammed up, well, somewhere.

Posted by: csa12261 | October 2, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't feel any schadenfreude for Chicago not getting the Olympics. It would have been a boost to the local economy and a great thing. It's amazing all the people who are against improving a cities status, sports capabilities, and job situation.

And it's amazing the numbers of people who will turn any event into a criticism of our President.

I put on my analyst hat before it happened and thought about it. Guess what, The Southern Cone has never hosted an Olympics. Guess what else, we hosted several Olympics recently and the Olympics Committee is supposed to consider these things.

Obama's plug for the Olympics didn't hurt Chicago's chances. I don't think this was personal. It was just Rio's turn. It doesn't hurt that the current Government of Brazil behaves well (though that has never stopped the Olympic Committee before -- recall Berlin in 1938).

We never were really in the final running. And truth be told, if I were on the Olympic Committee I'd have said "well maybe next time..." as well. That is what Judgement is about.

Posted by: chris_holte | October 2, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

By the way the only people talking about "Obama Mania" are critics of this administration and shrill right wingers. That was Shadenfreude Robinson. That was an "after the flag hit." I thought you were better than that.

Posted by: chris_holte | October 2, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Why is it now that everyone wants to put the blame of not getting the 2016 bid on Obama. Can't you see how arrogant our own mayor Daley is? Even the Olympics Committee saw it....he has taken advantage of the city workers, demanding cutbacks and days off, has eliminated Meigs field, purchased Michael Reese Hospital, demolished the CHA housing. When does he think his arrogance would end? Ha, "take your ball and go home, Mr. Daley". It ends with the disappointment of not hosting the 2016 Olympics. Not even, Oprah, Michelle or Obama could carry this one for ya. What you gonna do with Michael Reese Hospital and what are you going to do with all of that money you have stashed for the Olympics? Huh?

Posted by: bernita117 | October 2, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh please! The right wingers would have been blaming him for NOT going if he didn't go and Chicago lost. Who gives a flying flip what they think? I'm glad that Obama was willing to at least try. As much a I love Chicago, I think Brazil deserves the Olympic games. Brazil will achieve super power status this century, they've never had the games, they are beautiful and they know how to PARTY!! I will be there!

Posted by: PepperDr | October 2, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations RIO! Good job!

Posted by: mihalick | October 2, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Chicago got less than a quarter of the 90 IOC votes. Think about it. The One and his entourage spend an entire day and many millions of taxpayer dollars traveling to Denmark and they get less than 23 votes.

Doesn't Obama have anyone on his staff who can give him good advice? It's no wonder the hope and change thing isn't working out.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

eugene, when you write about dems you get some cred...
when you write about Republicans, you lose whatever cred you earned...
stick to what you know, always go after the dem...
at least then it will be honest reporting...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 2, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Mr. Robinson.

Politics aside, do you really think IOC officials wanted to hear about how mrs. obama's father was her hero....etc... I mean, really, one has to come across as professional and factual - not as wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Did they really think that just by showing up it would automatically be theirs? I think they did!

Posted by: joseelarocque | October 2, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

on the hills surrounding rio are shantytowns, cardboard houses one after another that will be torn down and their occupants driven from rio for this event...
the misery that this event will generate is nothing compared to the money they will spend in a country with so many poor...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 2, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

By going Obama probably gave Chicago best shot it might have had. He tried. It may have been too much, but he tried. The revenue probably would have benefitted the entire country, red and blue states. The US has hosted many Olympic games, however. Brazil has been an economic powerhouse of late and -- let us not forget -- the US currently isn't exactly seen as a beacon of truth, justice and the "American way" (renditions, detentions and enhanced interrogations). There's enough "blame" to spread around, if one wishes to do it. Good luck Rio.

Posted by: VirginiaReader1 | October 2, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the man you wished your wife looked at you as! You will never be him so keep hating and stay tune because Obama isn't going anywhere baby. Congrats to Rio... beautiful place, Obama and Michelle keep doing what you do. There is always going to be some good and bad talk no matter what. Keep trying until you succeed. emmet1 take your mask off boo, we know who you are....a ******!!! : )

Posted by: t_harris1 | October 2, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Most international groups will poke a stick in the eye of America when they get a chance. It's all social politics and petty envy.

All the more reason to never let the "International Court" have any sway over American justice. That would be a disaster for America.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 2, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Evidently people are getting tired of the Messiah and not only in America. " Comments like these have become funny considering it takes someone who doesn't read or comprehend to make them. The most recent international poll done within the past two months shows that favorable opinions towatds the U.S./Obama have tripled since he took office. His ratings are improving and they're still very strong in the U.S. So your assertion is childish. The IOC wasn't blind to the fact that half the people in Chicago didn't even want the Olympics there. Moreover, the wingnuts-libbies and other extremists have been doing so much in your face stuff the last few months, we hardly give the world the impression we're hospitable. The IOC wasn't going to put the Olympics in the middle of Rudeville!

Posted by: rrau22 | October 2, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What's so complicated - Obama is an imbecile.

Posted by: birvin9999 | October 2, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"the US currently isn't exactly seen as a beacon of truth, justice and the "American way" (renditions, detentions and enhanced interrogations" - VirginiaReader1
Oh. So this too is Bush's fault. Yeah, that makes sense. I think Dick Chaney has something to do with that whole one sock goes missing from the pair every time I do a load of laundry thing.

Posted by: csa12261 | October 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

birvin9999, should be birvin6666, If Obama is a imbecile so is your mother and father for living in AMERICA!!! Get job and life sucka..............

Posted by: t_harris1 | October 2, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

What an embarrasing debacle.

Just about every Obama policy pitch and doctrine is getting clubbed.

Now he can't even convince the IOC to send the olympics to Chicago.

I hope he at least kept the house coat and the pillow mints from the hotel, otherwise the trip will really have been a total waste.

And who pays for the cost of Air Force 1? Should the Feds send a bill to Chicago?

Posted by: krankyman | October 2, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Obmam's self love is catching up with him.

Maybe now he will stay home, maybe now he will stay off the networks and maybe now he will do something MEANINGFUL about crisis level unemployment, the housing crisis, rethink his goofy healthcare reform to provide coverage for Americans who can't get or can't afford health insurance and just, generally, get his act straightened out.

Posted by: tponcary | October 2, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"Everything Obama does is criticized by one group and praised by another."

true that.

Posted by: mikem1 | October 2, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Chicago and the weather there is not good for the Olympics, unless it's the winter olympics in which case it would still be too cold and too windy to enjoy.

Hurray for Rio, home of Epanema Beach!

Posted by: lindalovejones | October 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Remember, it's the IOC - evidently Obama didn't bring enough bribe money with him. need to spead some college funds for their kids around and free vacations an all that to play.

Posted by: sux123 | October 2, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Bill Bennett, Republican spokesperson, said that he hoped that Rio got the bid because the people of Chicago were fat and not that great to look at vs. the beautiful people of Rio. He got his wish. Is this negative outreach of the Republican party working for them? I would like to see the recent poll numbers of the Republican House and Senate members. How are they doing nationally? Up to 30% yet? Does anyone actually report on this stuff anymore or just keep reporting their negative talking points? How's this doomsday strategy working for them and is it getting new members in their party? Talk about death panels. According to Bennett, not only do you have to be healthy to survive in America according to the Republicans, but you better be attractive, too! I bet that they have "ugly camps" where they send people who they deem unacceptable eye candy. Probably wives.

Posted by: mawheelz | October 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, I think Rio would provide cuter cheerleaders for the women's beach volleyball competition than would Chicago. Ultimately, Chicago has no mountains and won't be anywhere as photogenic as Rio. I can see athletes trying harder just to go there.

Posted by: roadworrier | October 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Quote from the ever-bloviating Axelrod: “All he really lost was some sleep, and he was more than happy to do that.” It's sad he lost some sleep. How much money was wasted for this trip? The American people only see Air Force one, which costs millions for a trip by itself. What they don't see is the support aircraft (military) and all of the other logsitical assets sucked up for POTUS travel. This had to have cost the taxpayers in the tens of millions. And, I believe the hard push by the Obamas had a total opposite effect of the intended outcome, which was to turn off the voting committee vice wow them with the mere presence of the Obamas. Nice.

Posted by: stonecoldbev | October 2, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It's always disappointing to see the deception campaign used by Reagan Republicans. The well named "dummypants" tried to indicate that Powell was misquoted in overwhelming force. S/He is either lying or ignorant. From an interview with Wolf Blitzer on September 1, 2001, Mr. Blitzer asks the question of Secretary Powell about the Powell Doctrine:

"Over the years since your experience as a young officer in Vietnam and during the course of your more subsequent experience, you have come up with what is called The Powell Doctrine: a defined mission, overwhelming force, exit strategy."

Secretary Powell did not refute that definition, and he went on to define it:

"MR. BLITZER: Overwhelming force. What should that require?

SECRETARY POWELL: It requires political, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial and military effort -- all coming together in a campaign. And nobody should think this is going to be we go in and it's over in two days and we're out. This is going to change the way we do business. It's going to change the way we go about our daily life here in the United States. It is going to require a greater emphasis on homeland defense so we can defend ourselves against those who, notwithstanding our best efforts overseas, are still trying to get into the country to hurt us. And so we should see this as a long-term campaign, and do apply decisive force to it. And that force isn't just military force; it's all the elements of national power that are at our disposal."

Clearly, Secretary Powell uses the term "overwhelming force" as an acceptable quote. Dummypants would try to point elsewhere, just like the Republicans poiting at the $787B to be added to the debt by President Obama for stimulus, while ignoring the $11,500B added to the debt by Reagan, Bush I and Bush II in tax cuts for the rich. It's just abject hypocrisy.

Posted by: s-maloney | October 2, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Glad to read your congratulations to Rio!

Those morons at the White House should learn some manners.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | October 2, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rrau22 " The most recent international poll done within the past two months shows that favorable opinions towatds the U.S./Obama have tripled since he took office."

Were North Korea, Russia and Iran included in that poll?

Who cares what other countries think? They only care about their best interests, as should we.

Posted by: garrett4 | October 2, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Rio is deserving.

That said, I think it was probably Oprah who was just too much for the IOC. Talk about no humility!

Posted by: fmjk | October 2, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Let Rio party!

The big hangover will come when the bills for the stadiums, infratructures, and venues come due!

Instead of wasting moneys on these things, the USA can and should use the moneys to rebuild our failing bridges, roads, water and sewer systems, mass transit, high speed ground rail systems, etc.

Be thankful the rest of thr world hates us enough to vote no to the USA!

Posted by: wj_phillips | October 2, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

adrienne_najjar Thank you darling. Granny tries don't you know?

Posted by: grannytoad19471 | October 2, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Should've just bribed the committee. The fragrant grease never goes out of style.

Posted by: washpost-contact | October 2, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it simply arrogance….

the media (earlier before the IOC voting )
touted that Chicago is the forerunner with Rio…and yet Chicago was the first one booted out…

I might say it must be racism…plain and simple….or better yet.. it is Bush's fault…or Sarah Palin's or the republicans

Posted by: johnrick | October 2, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"I told you so"? Gene? Really?

I look to Republicans for idiotic commentary, not you.

Congrats to Rio! I might just pay them a visit if I can find a hotel for less than $1000 a night.

Posted by: hoos3014 | October 2, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The Olympic loss is on Pres. Obama, *Now let's hear some of the G(reedy)op haters admit the multitude of bush/cheney's traitorus scandals, like the preemptive Iraq war for oil and corporate crony contracts based on lies.

Posted by: jama452 | October 2, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Gene, your points are well taken, all.

What continues to amaze is the response to such innocuous comments - the volume of vitriol being thrown by frothing neocons at the mere mention of Obama's name.

It would appear that anyone who writes "Obama [verb] [predicate]." is bound to get a torrent of foaming-at-the-mouth invective aimed at Obama, laced with accusations of vicious acts, and predictions of imminent doom for the country, the American Way, the world.

It was a trip to Holland, for God's sake.

Please, people, get a life!

Posted by: tomasidaquino | October 2, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I applaud the president's supportive efforts and Chicago's privately-financed 2016 bid as the best bid submitted. This could be more of an IOC snub of the USOC who are bickering over broadcast revenue sharing.

While the decision was disheartening, the IOC cannot be expected to make the best or most predictable decsion:

"... two University of Chicago professors, John Mark Hansen and Allen
Sanderson, in a Forbes magazine article earlier this year applied game
theory to the Byzantine IOC voting procedure and came up with an
incontrovertible result: The system could not be more arbitrary and
unpredictable if a committee of Roman Catholic cardinals, Democratic
ward committeemen, Vladimir Putin henchmen and Iran's Guardian Council
worked together to make it so." (David Greising, Chicago Tribune, OCT 2)

We are still the USA to most Americans so let's get behind the next American bid for 2020. Hope it is Chicago.

Posted by: h123 | October 2, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the man you wished your wife looked at you as! You will never be him so keep hating and stay tune because Obama isn't going anywhere baby. Congrats to Rio... beautiful place, Obama and Michelle keep doing what you do. There is always going to be some good and bad talk no matter what. Keep trying until you succeed. emmet1 take your mask off boo, we know who you are....a ******!!! : )

Posted by: t_harris1 | October 2, 2009 3:22 PM
I've never been called a ****** with three exclamation marks before. I assume the ****** stands for "genius", so I'm deeply honored. My wife thinks Obama is an egotistical little fool, so, no, I don't wish she looked at me the same way.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Damn! like I said they should have taken Mark Sanford as a sidekick for the Brazilan Cha,Cha effect-ummm Mama!!! Bet that would have bought the house down-yes indeedy. Rio-umm high crime for that Olympics--talk about crime in Chicago? Check crime in Rio.

Posted by: Scar1 | October 2, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, Chicago missed a great opportunity but, it is not the last chance to build up city and the Nation.

It is hard with so much negative energy but, God is able so, to the Obama family-the Lord is still on the throne. Just when the Republicans and opponents think they have it in the bag-things will not be as they think-bet that!!

Posted by: Scar1 | October 2, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Mmm, mmm, mmm. Barack Hussein Obama. Embarrassing our country and over his head.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | October 2, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The danger in reverencing celebrities is that you get linked to reprobates like Polanski.

Obama would be wise to evalate his fascination with Hollywood personalities. Bowing to Letterman with regular appearances demean the office - especially after recent news.

Going on a boondoggle to Copenhagen is great if you know winning is hugely in your favor. President Obama and entourage may have enjoyed the trip, but certainly not the results.

"Not only Rio, but South America deserved it. For me, it was a big victory." -- Brazilian football great Pele.

Posted by: 2009frank | October 2, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

We can 'get over' people disagreeing on Obama when Kool-Aders like you stop saying idiotic things like this:

"Obama did what he did to help narrow the trade deficit and give an economic boost to the Chicago area"

Obama wanted the Olympics because he wanted to payback some of his corrupt cronies. Olympic presence does not help communities, it helps big business owners who setup the land, lease, and construction deals. All of these arenas are spectacularly corrupt in Chicago.

This is why the vast majority of Chicagoans did not want the Olympics. They knew it wasn't for them. It was Chicago politics as usual.

It amazes me that people still delude themselves into thinking "Oh, Obama? He's the ONE HONEST POLITICIAN. He's just a GOOD GUY trying to DO RIGHT." Have you read anything about him? About how he won his Senate seat? About his vast array of shady associates and his crooked business ties? Even without including his inept, corrupt, perpetually dissatisfied wife, the man's story is shameful. The only thing more shameful is that people like you were so deluded that you made him President.

Now we're all paying for your naivete. Thanks, Chet.

Pity he doesn't have as much time for his generals. Guess they don't have the $$$ to give him sweet kickbacks and real-estate deals.

Posted by: newage_lightbulb | October 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"It was a trip to Holland"

Denmark...Copenhagen is in Denmark

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | October 2, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama's trip to Copenhagen couldn't possibly be as much of a waste of time and energy as all the columns and comments about it! And with all that he has on his plate, a few hours in Copenhagen should refresh his soul and give him a better perspective on all the other items he has to deal with.

Posted by: rps1 | October 2, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

birvin9999 You're calling president Obama an imbecile? Are you confusing this president with the last one????? Are you on dope or dog food? LOL!

Posted by: grannytoad19471 | October 2, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Looking back on the whole thing, I don't think Chicago ever stood a chance. The President gave it his best shot. Good on him.

Posted by: whodunit | October 2, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I got a prayer for some folk. All those who have just said no and no and no...just when ya think everything is going your way-look out!! It is easy to criticize but, when you think you can step in the shoes and they don't fit-hopefully some of us will be happy. You all wanted the economy fixed and things bought into some order then, just toss Obama to the side-really? Wait until you see what is ahead for 2012!!! It will be like you won't believe. Sometimes you can want and get exactly what you really did not want-won't that be a kick in the romp for ya!

I am proud Michelle and Barack and all who tried. Ya know sometimes one thinks they have a winner but? Rio-oh what a strange tide that will bring for sure.

Posted by: Scar1 | October 2, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

rps 1 -Obama's trip to Copenhagen couldn't possibly be as much of a waste of time and energy as all the columns and comments about it! And with all that he has on his plate, a few hours in Copenhagen should refresh his soul and give him a better perspective on all the other items he has to deal with.


True. He needs another vacation. He never gets to go anywhere. Him and Michelle never get out, never get to go on dates. He never gets to go to Camp David or New York or Europe or Cairo or anyplace. He's always so incredibly busy reading the teleprompter. So yeah, let's give him a $10 million 6 hour respite for his soul.

Posted by: bandmom22 | October 2, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing. What was really embarassing was the million moron march, and other hateful right wing antics of the past month. I think I'll write a big article about how humiliating it is to live in a country of loud ignoramuses whose voices the media favors over all others. The world is watching you put Hitler's moustache on your President's face, and wondering how weak we are, since you show no respect for your democratically elected leader.

Obama is very popular the world over, as well as in the USA. This lost Olympic bid is no big deal, but the glee of the right over Obama's so-called "failure" is petty and repugnant, if not unpatriotic. It is also louder, unfortunately for all of us.

Posted by: MichIndependent | October 2, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Gee what a sad day for America and Michelle! America doesn't get the opportunity to spend another X billion dollars in prepping Chicago for the Olympics (have to keep up with the Chicoms don't you know?) and poor ole Michelle suffered so much from her martyrdom and sacrifice--- all for her people. (And just think about Michelle's garden on the White House lawn--left unattended ---watering and weeding and fertilizing. Poor little plants --left as orphans. By the way when was the last photo-op printed in the Post after the first one some months ago that is?

Barack better get off the plane (and his "spiffy ride") and get the hell back to his office and do some work.

America is now a second class country and we need to tailor our new commitments accordingly.

Posted by: AmericanInterestsFirstandLast | October 2, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

ioc thank you for making the best decision.this president's effort are best served when health care reform is passed and the school children of chicago are safe from daily gun fire.
chicago did not need to bring more attention to the corruption of it's politicians and the highest taxes in the country.i can go on but the old adage "take care of home" comes to mind and chicago needs lot's of care, not olympics.
go rio!

Posted by: ninnafaye | October 2, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been having a hard time of it. I hope he finds a way to focus his efforts, but I'm beginning to feel we chose the wrong guy for a tough job.

Posted by: georgejones5 | October 2, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Dummypants' "speak with authority to hide your ignorance" tactic fits perfectly with the fact-free cluelessness of what's left of the Republican party.

Dummypants could not refute a word of what Robinson had to say, so he tried to undermine one minor point. And Dummypants FAILED at that.

A simple trip to Wikipedia disproves Dummypants in Powell's own words that the Powell Doctrine is "overwhelming" force, saying "every resource and tool should be used".

Republicans have lost their grasp on facts- embracing fact-free lies like birtherism, creationism and death panels. They think if they repeat lies loud enough, their lies will be believed.

But now that the Republicans have wrecked the economy, their lies are only believed by the Dummypants' of the world.

Posted by: wpforumtroll | October 2, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I think that I will have to fly down there before the Games. I would not fly to Chicago unless I was tied up and kidnapped. I hear that Rio has a very liberal red light policy! I think that I will have to go see for myself! I thought that Belize was the best but we shall see. There is no aphrodisiac like youth! And in Chicago all they have is njqqers. And no one but other njqqers want them.

Posted by: Dionysis | October 2, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Powell Doctrine: Do we have a clear attainable objective?

We came in last place. Who thought that winning was an attainable objective?

Posted by: GEAH | October 2, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Obrigada Eugene.....
Come to Rio you too!!!

Posted by: huntyrella | October 2, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, by obliquely criticizing Obama you've put your pulitzer on the line, which you earned by laying you remaining journalistic integrity at the feet of the messiah during the campaign. Kindly get back to singing hymns else someone from the whitehouse might grace you with a short and unpleasant visit.

Posted by: NoWeCant | October 2, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy for Rio! I agree with Mr. R to some degree. BUT, please give this some thought! This wasn't an effort to hurt the country but to help it. Some are knocking President Obama simply for trying. America is suffering financially - unemployment at 9.8%, bankruptcies galore, businesses dissolving, bank failures, on and on. Winning the Olympic bid would have benefited not only Chicago but many American businesses could have used the income generated from this mammoth sized event. Banks, airlines, hotels, restaurants, tourism, cleaning services, clothing industries, to name a few - -all would have been overjoyed to get this extra income. Many are so bent on criticizing President Obama's every move that they never see beyond their noses.

Posted by: chatterbox3 | October 2, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's going to snow tomorrow. I have now agreed with Eugene twice in one year.

Posted by: EliPeyton | October 2, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, other nations' leaders went to Copenhagen, so I guess Obama had to go. But you are right on about 'bigfootedness'. I think the World (like me) is feeling a bit of Obama fatigue. He's everywhere! Every question and event doesn't need his eloquence. He is diluting his influence and maybe, as you suggest, in this case he actually hurt the case for Chicago. Though I believe Chicago had a weak case to start out with. I think the Chicago locals are a bit full of themselves and believed their own BS too much. Political bullying may work on the local level in Illinois, but it won't play on the world stage.

Posted by: gjhinnova | October 2, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"What was really embarassing was the million moron march"

... all of the people on 9/12 were better-educated than you.

"and other hateful right wing antics of the past month."

It's hilarious what qualifies as 'hateful' now. A peaceful march that left the capitol cleaner than when they arrived is now 'hate'. How can you convince yourself of this nonsense?

"The world is watching you put Hitler's moustache on your President's face"

Ahh, it's by LYING. See, we all know that the Hitler mustache posters were from the LaRouche group - a far-LEFT group to whom nobody pays attention.

We also know that the actual, mainstream, normal left spent 8 years putting Hitler mustaches on Bush's face, calling him Hitler, and openly pining for his assassination.

But lefties don't care about facts.

"as well as in the USA."

Actually, he's lower than 50% now. I imagine your delusional status will only increase as he continues to plummet.

Might I suggest you grow up, educate yourself, and not invest yourself in a con man next time. Anyone who spent five minutes investigating this inept chump with a nice preacher voice discovered how unqualified he was and how destructive his presidency would be. We tried to warn you, but you're just too childish, too star-struck, too in love.

People like you don't deserve the right to vote. Voting requires an INFORMED electorate, not reading Tiger Beat Time Magazine and swooning over dreamy pecs and leg tingles. Go watch Twilight a few more times, and stay out of politics.

Posted by: newage_lightbulb | October 2, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

It's hilarious and sad to read people here complaining about the so-called Obama cult when for eight years we had to hear about how brilliant Bush was, how decent and moral, how organized and clear-headed, how he ran meetings on time and wasn't that amazing, how he was also just a regular guy, oh and he was also sent by God to save us from everything in the world that was a threat. How short Americans' memories are!

Posted by: LevRaphael | October 2, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

When I heard that South America had never hosted the Olympics, I knew they would get it, regardless of what Obama did or didn't do. The Olympic Committee made the right decision. This isn't about Obama or the U.S.

Posted by: ggwalt | October 2, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson: why are you wasting time a story that is attractive to the nattering nabobs of negativism who would critiize the President if he didn't go and criticize the President if Chicago was chosen.

It is not even a tempest in a tea pot. It is a story for small, negative and hateful minds.

Why, Mr. Robinson, did you join the kindergarten melee.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | October 2, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Copenhagen trip wasn't cheap
(AP) – 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's failed bid to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago cost more than a bruised ego.

Taxpayers shelled out probably $1 million or more for the president, his wife and others to fly to Copenhagen and back to woo members of the International Olympic Committee.

A 2006 congressional study pegged the cost of flying Air Force One at $56,518 an hour. The Pentagon recently said it cost $100,219 an hour to fly the huge, reconfigured Boeing 747 without Obama aboard. The Pentagon estimate included more costs for support needs, such as maintenance.

At those rates, the president's 14-hour trip to Copenhagen and back cost about $790,000 to $1.4 million.

However, presidential travel requires additional spending, especially for security personnel and equipment. Also, first lady Michelle Obama and some administration officials traveled to Copenhagen at public expense ahead of the president.

The Copenhagen trip was not devoted entirely to the Olympics bid. Obama spent 25 minutes conferring with Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, his top Afghan war commander. McChrystal had been in London for a speech, and he made the relatively short trip to Denmark to meet with Obama.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | October 2, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

what Mr Robinson said,probably, has some validity; however, the divisive politics of
of the current body politics of the USA with
all of the extremism, hatred, racism, plutocracy, social darwinism, classism, etc
that is shown nationally and internationally
probably had a lot to do with the rejection.

Posted by: blacknight1 | October 2, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama and that wife of his have turned out to be a complete embarrassment for America.

Posted by: EnoughISEnough | October 2, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The Brazilian contingent reportedly had a presentation that was much better than any of the other finalists, and Brazilian President Lula made a compelling speech. Maybe the US Olympic committee should have worked on a complete presentation and not depended so much on personalities. There also seemed to be a belief that it was time for South America.

That said, the Obamas might have focused less on themselves in their presentations and more on why Chicago was the best site.

I'm still curious about why the Obama people would take the political risk to send him over for such a short visit that apparently was viewed with suspicion because he wasn't even staying for the vote.

Posted by: annetta3 | October 3, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

It is all Obama all the time. Five Sunday newscasts; Letterman and every opportunity to be seen and to speak (from his teleprompter) Perhaps the member nations of the IOC notice, as we do, that this narcissistic man has to be front and center all the time and that is not what the Olympics are about. I don't think Chicago would have been selected had he not gone but this is just one more example of Obama's arrogance. No doubt he thought his "charm" could seal it for Chicago.

Posted by: Kansas28 | October 3, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad all of Daley's and Obama's crooked machine buddies aren't cashing in on the Olympics.

Posted by: bug45 | October 3, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Unlike the American news media ..the Olympic committee wasnt impressed with the Obama much like those in Moscow who didnt faint at the sight of our dear Barry.... perhaps they read about al lthe violence in Mr Obamas Chicago. Why dont you write about that Mr Robinson or dont you cover black on black crime ? Maybe you foolishly believe what the rest of the media tried to shove down our throats - that the election of Obama will make young black men change and stop committing so many crimes because they will now havea role model in Obama. Ameria is finally awake now and having buyers remorse. Congratulations to Rio- the Committee members saw right through the greed of the Obama entourage and they made the right decision.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | October 3, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives are doing a victory dance, singing and laughing and saying:

"America lost! America lost! Hooray for Brazil!!! Go Rio! Rio's the best! Obama's an ol' stoopidhead!!!!"

Posted by: Krisipuu | October 3, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

JUNGLEJIM123 wrote:
The Committee members saw right through the greed of the Obama entourage and they made the right decision.


No, actually they saw right through the greed of the King Carlos of Spain and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama entourages.

Posted by: Krisipuu | October 3, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Now is the time for the mainstream media to show it’s not totally in President Obama’s pocket. The Washington press corps will never fault Obama for pushing hyper-liberal policies in a moderate-to-conservative country. Ideological criticism by the press is reserved for Republican presidents.
But the media is faced with three facts as a result of Obama’s embarrassing failure in Copenhagen. 1) The failure itself. 2) The incompetence. 3) The lack of persuasive ability. There’s nothing ideological about any of these items....

The issue here is one of incompetence. Somebody -- maybe more than one person -- didn’t scope out the inclinations of the IOC’s voting members adequately or utterly misread how a personal appearance by the American president would be received. Imagine if something like this occurred on a national security issue. Then the media would demand accountability. The Olympics issue is hardly as consequential, but that shouldn’t inhibit the press in seeking accountability....

The thriller in Copenhagen was not just a test of Obama. It’s a test of the media’s willingness to cover the president professionally and honestly when he stumbles. A love affair with a president should have its limits. Fred Barnes

Posted by: kohnfjerry | October 3, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

kohnfjerry wrote:
"But the media is faced with three facts as a result of Obama’s embarrassing failure in Copenhagen."

Obama wasn't the only embarrassing failure in Copenhagen.

Think about poor Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and King Juan Carlos, who went to Copehagen, too.

They're probably being pelted with rocks by angry citizens right now.

Posted by: Krisipuu | October 3, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse


Gene we generally disagree, but hubris will get get a person every time.

My hat goes off to David Axelrod for being one heck of a propogandist (his company did the PR work on Chicago 2016), I mean PR guy, but the the world just told his Hinda55, King Obambi, "YOU LIE!!!"

Instead of looking in retrospect at the team they sent (Oprah Windbag?? Arne Duncan?? Who are these people kidding?), Michelle Obimbo???), they'll balme Bush, America or concot some crazy story and put i through the "Main Stream Media."

The imnportant thing is that at least the PR firm, owned by David Axelrod, got it's money, up front, so he can afford to be magnanimous at the expense of Chicagoins.

Oh yes, I guess that there won't be under-aged hookers from Central America, allegedly brought in by ACORN (there's an excuse) or that people will have to sit in their Obama-villes, since the Olympic Village housing, isn't hoing to become the Valerie Jarett Center for enabled losers who refuse to get educated or get a job, but instead, how thugs instruct honor students on how to be on the receiving end of a railroad tie. Maybe the unions wanted the construction jobs? Darn, we all know how EXPENSIVE union labor is.

Well, King Obambi has blown his political capital and I have to observe that between Pelosi and Reid "inviting" (more like sucker punching) King Obambi to make a speech before both houses of Congress and King Obambi's hubris and ego going into overdrive, he has met his Waterloo in Copenhagen.

If the Republicans put up a Reagan Conservative, I see the same Electoral College results from the 1980 Elections, no matter how much sunshine David Axelrod can pump into the system.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | October 4, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

If anything, the Obamas are not stupid.
I wonder how they will analyze their dimishing star power and what actions they may take to "change" themselves - to counter their own self inflicted loss of credibility.

Posted by: sally62 | October 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

To quote the president, "... don't meddle." Mr. Prseident, we need jobs and economic growth. You seem focused on "meddling" in everything else.

Posted by: EvreeMan | October 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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