RSS
Obama's Olympic pitch
What's at stake as Obama travels to Denmark to lobby for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Games?
 

President Obama is gambling big on the Olympics, said Peter Baker and Juliet Macur in The New York Times. Obama is going to Denmark to make a personal pitch for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games, hoping to trump the presence of leaders from rival countries seeking the Games. "Crossing the ocean for a dramatic personal plea on behalf of his adopted hometown" could  pay off -- but it could also make Obama look "parochial," and it could also become "a major international embarrassment if the committee rebuffs him and rejects Chicago in favor of Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo or Madrid."

There's also potential fallout if Obama succeeds in getting the Olympics "for his Windy City cronies," said Michael Goldfarb in The Weekly Standard. "Brazil is an emerging regional power," and the "electorally-based leftism" of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is a critical foil to the "subversive leftism" being pushed by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. "I doubt if Lula and 200 million Brazilians would be too pleased if the Yankee colossus derailed their Olympic bid at the last minute."

Let's not exaggerate the importance of the decision, due Friday, on what city will host the Olympics, said the Chicago Tribune in an editorial. "We hope Chicago prevails," as "a positive decision would be a vote of confidence for this city." Still, it won't be the end of the world if some other city gets the Games -- Chicago is already a world-class city.

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week