As to the actual decision to have the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro,I say Good for them. Brazil has worked very hard as a nation to achieve energy independence, no small feat, among other advances. And the Olympics have never been held in South American before, so this is historic.
What else was historic was for a US President to go lobby to get the Olympics. And that turned out to be a big waste of his time and our money. We were paying not just for the President to take Air Force One, but his wife to take Air Force Two, with Oprah in tow, all on a failed mission. Perhaps they though the new Olympic Rings were going to look like this if they did:
Ahem. Hey, you know you wouldn't have been surprised by that, and neither would I.
Let's just look at the cost of this little misadventure. You may not be aware that when the President travels, it isn't JUST Air Force One that goes places. Nope. It also involves C-17s carrying limos, equipment, staff, all of that. It is a VERY expensive enterprise:
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.
Uh, yeah. In other words, a gazillion dollars.
Second while there, Obama managed to fit in a BRIEF meeting with General McChrystal, he who has been charged with oversight of Afghanistan:
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.
WOW - 25 whole minutes?!?! Holy schmoley, where DID he find the time?!?! Freakin' spare me. He still hasn't made up his mind what the hell he is going to do in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, our soldiers continue to die there, 5 of them today, while Obama hems and haws on what to do.
Way to get your priorities in order, President Obama.
And finally, a point made by Larry Johnson in his post, "Barack Obama, Surrender Monkey?" That is this: you do NOT send someone like the president into a situation expending his credibility capital when you do not know for certain what the outcome will be. It is, in Larry's words, "clueless and feckless." Amen, brother. You got that right. But clueless they are.
As an aside, I might add so is Michelle. This is in the "You Gotta Be Frikkin Kidding Me" camp. Michelle, in her plea to the IOC, spoke of her youth, watching the Olympics with her dad, sitting on his lap as they watched all of these great athletes win their gold medals. Okay, nothing wrong with that. Until she included Carl Lewis. Just think about that for a moment. That would have made her 20, hardly a little girl. Perhaps the IOC is better at math than she gave them credit for being. Just a thought.
And now, in recognition of Rio de Janeiro winning the 2016 Olympics, I leave you with this:
And don't blame me when it gets stuck in your head for days!