Commenter Steverino asks:
I’m wondering just what relations the Bush admin had with the IOC to begin with.
It’s very convenient to blame Bush for this, and I expect that will be the talking point for this issue.
Of course it will. But it is a point without merit. There are several reasons the US didn’t get the bid. But I think the primary reason was it was simply Brazil and South America’s turn. IOC president Jacques Rogge, speaking of the Brazilian effort said, “There was absolutely no flaw in the bid.”
As for the American bid, and speaking of Barack and Michelle Obama, French IOC member Guy Drut had this to say:
“He didn’t do too much. Michelle Obama was exceptional.”
In fact it appears that President Obama’s visit may have been counter-productive:
Drut said “an excess of security” for the Obamas unsettled some of his committee colleagues. He complained that he’d been barred from crossing the lobby of his hotel for security reasons, and he grumbled that “nothing has been done” to resolve the financial disputes between the IOC and the USOC.
“This morning the city was closed because of Barack Obama,” he added.
Note the other point in the comments of Drut – financial disputes between the IOC and USOC. Never a good thing when trying to get another Olympic games in your country.
But it appears the “excess of security” may have not been well received by a number of the delegates.
And, there was this:
Former IOC member Kai Holm said the brevity of Obama’s appearance — he was in and out in five hours — may have counted against Chicago.
“Too businesslike,” Holm said. “It can be that some IOC members see it as a lack of respect.”
A sort of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation. Had he not showed up, I’m sure IOC members would have seen that as a “lack of respect” as well. Of course that didn’t stop them from flocking to Obama for pictures during his 5 hour stay.
And last, but certainly not least:
[T]he IOC’s last two experiences in the United States were bad: the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics were sullied by a bribery scandal and logistical problems and a bombing hit the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
So, excess security may have caused many IOC members heartburn, some felt the president’s short stay showed a lack of respect, his pitch seems to have fallen flat, the IOC and USOC have financial disputes, and the previous two experiences with Olympic games in the US were not the best experiences for the IOC.
Plus it was just South America’s time!
But Bush – huh uh. Roland Burris notwithstanding, the failure of the bid seem to have had zip to do with him. Unlike Democrats, the rest of the world seems to have accepted that Bush is gone.
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Senator Roland Burris has never reminded me of someone of towering intellect. Instead he’s always hit me as a two-bit hustler who got lucky. Real lucky. Lucky enough to be in the right place, with the right connections to be the compromise candidate of a governor under fire to name a successor for a Senate seat Burris could never win on his own.
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.
First, Obama’s speech was not “an unprecedented pitch” and secondly, Chicago’s loss had nothing to do with Bush. Or Obama. As it turns out, it might actually have had something to do with Rio, for heaven sake.
I guess Burris had to fall back on blaming Bush because he couldn’t find an easy way to accuse the IOC of racisism.
What a grotty bunch we have leading this country – on both sides of the isle.
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The city didn’t even make it into the final round of voting to host the 2016 summer Olympics. Tokyo went down in the second round of voting – another surprise as that city was deemed to have the worst chance of getting the games.
There was speculation that this was a done deal or President Obama wouldn’t have put his presidential prestige on the line as he has. However, to be fair, heads of state have been part of the winning delegation for a number of the past Olympic games and it has almost become expected they attend if they’re in the final 4 cities.
I think, however, the biggest surprise is Chicago didn’t even make it through the first round of voting.
I’d like to see Rio get it, but my money is on Madrid (because of Spain’s Juan Antonio Samaranch, former head of he IOC – or as we in Atlanta derisively called him “Juan Antonio Hamsandwich” (what a putz) – a reward from the IOC for service – just watch).
UPDATE: It’s Rio! Good (same time zone – no delayed broadcasts).
UPDATE II: It’s the “conservatives” fault. Well hey, they have to blame someone, and since Bush is no longer available, “conservatives” will do. You can’t help but appreciate the irony of Think Progress lecturing anyone about “root[ing] against America” though.
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