Obama wrong on the Olympics

As a US citizen, I have to say I think it is completely wrong for our president to use public resources to support the bid of his hometown, Chicago, to host the 2016 Olympics. He’s especially wrong to do this because, before he intervened, the main contender was Brazil.
The US has hosted the Olympics numerous times, including in recent years. South America has never hosted an Olympics. Brazil is a significant, upcoming country on the world scene. In recent years it has also pursued– and won– a significant case in the WTO’s arbitration system against the US government’s continued provision of subsidies to cotton farmers that have wiped out the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers in Brazil and other low-income countries.
Why on earth would Obama– who claims he wants to build better relations with the rest of the world– want to pit the prestige of the US presidency against Brazil on the Olympics issue? Why couldn’t he simply have let the decision take its course, or even, given a small boost to Brazil’s bid in some way?

7 thoughts on “Obama wrong on the Olympics

  1. pangloss

    The good news is that Chicago has been dumped in the first round of voting which likely says that the IOC – counter to my usual impression of the group – have some real sense. Good for them, for once. I hope it is Brazil. Obama meddling in small time matters is just baffling, sort of like his endless lectures to have-nots to buck-up and pretend they are multimillionaires.

  2. bb

    Fantastic that Rio won it. Fantastic that Chicago got knocked out first!! Woulda been a travesty had it got it on the Obamas’ coat-tails. Fly in, be charismatic, apologise for the US having been so rotten to everybody and then jet out again! Pathetic. Long overdue reality check for Mr and Mrs Obama. Reminds me of when Beijing lost to Sydney and also how Obama is not a patch on Tony Blair.
    And how Rio will rock!

  3. JohnH

    Professional sports owners are professional leeches. The example of Los Angeles makes that clear. For years, football owners have shunned one of America’s most lucrative markets, simply because the public won’t shell out the big bucks the owners feel they’re entitled to for stadiums, etc.
    It’s a pitiful sight to see Obama stoop to begging for such leeches.

  4. Alexno

    The general point here, on the political level, is that Obama commmitted himself to something, but didn’t make the effort to carry it through.
    Tony Blair, detestable though he is, and pointless that the effort was, nevertheless put in a big effort to gain the 2012 games, and succeeded.
    I regret that I am still waiting to hear of a comparable effort from Obama.
    It is as though he thinks that being president, everyone will obey. That view is naive.
    I hope that he will learn; otherwise we are in for a one-term presidency. Which seems to me the most probable at the moment.

  5. Joe M.

    You’re point doesn’t make sense. Olympics are a cost drag on an economy. they end up money losers. why would we think it is fair to inflict that on a poor country like brazil?
    Even if it is bad form to fight for something brazil wants, they are wanting it at their own detriment (except some national pride or that nonsense).
    the rich countries should host the olympics. they are only 2 weeks long, and they cost billions of dollars. what a waste.

  6. Titus

    Agree with Helena and other posters. The Obama trip really irritated me and I am glad he was soundly rebuked and hopefully humbled.

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