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Saturday, October 3, 2009

He's junior varsity-league, still learning on the job.

OK, so it wasn't health care, climate change or war. Still, President Barack Obama's high-profile failure to win the Olympics for Chicago could feed negative narratives already nipping at his heels — that he's a better talker than closer, more celebrity than statesman.
And this could hamper his efforts on the weightier issues.
Despite Obama's fabled charm and powers of persuasion, his in-person plea for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Games fell flat. It was a hugely embarrassing defeat. His adopted hometown — considered a front-runner heading into Friday's voting — didn't just lose, it took last place, shocking nearly all by getting knocked out in the first round while the remaining three contenders moved on.
The defeat could soon be a distant memory, and may never be more than a quixotic-blip trip. But if, for whatever reason, bigger losses start piling up in Obama's corner, his performance in this case could be regarded as emblematic.

• He doesn't have what it takes to close a deal.
The why-Chicago-lost story has many contributors, with Obama's last-minute flight to Copenhagen for an emotional appeal probably among the least of them. Regardless, he is now tied inexorably to Chicago's defeat, and that verdict isn't good.

• He's too casual with the use of his own time.
This White House has been drawing questions about its tendency to turn to Obama as its only closer, with not much of a bench. Other White Houses have been more judicious about deploying their most precious resource, the president — doing so only when really needed, and usually only when they know they can win. This reduces the chances of overexposure reducing his effectiveness.
It might have been wiser to know more about the vote count before he boarded Air Force One. In hindsight, there was plenty of reason to doubt Chicago's chances.

• He's junior varsity-league, still learning on the job.
The votes of IOC members are notoriously hard to count ahead of time. But so are those in the U.S. Capitol. Will Obama do as poorly predicting how health care votes are leaning in Congress, and make similarly ill-fated strategic decisions as that long and complicated debate unfolds through the fall? (By AP. See full story at Yahoo News

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Were you aware of this?

Did ya’ll know anything about this?

The process began with the creation of the White House office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport in February. The office has a broader brief than winning the Olympic bid for Chicago; its stated goal is to promote Olympic values and promote youth participation in athletics. But its most important mission—spurred by several people with strong ties to senior White House staff—was to ensure that the U.S. put the same kind of high-level political muscle behind the American bid for the games that other countries around the world did.

That support found its strongest voice in Valerie Jarrett, who heads the White House Olympic office, and is both a close friend to the Obamas and the president’s senior adviser. Jarrett had once worked for Mayor Daley in Chicago, and recruited Michelle Obama to work alongside her there. So it made perfect sense in the original plan for the First Lady and Jarrett to represent the White House in Copenhagen.

Game over, home team lost: the U.S. won just 18 votes in the first round of IOC voting, and was knocked out in the first round. And suddenly the president was being pummeled by the right for a frivolous use of political capital—especially in the Weekly Standard, which not only blasted Obama for his failure, but anticipated that the mainstream press corps would not take the defeat seriously. “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,” wrote Fred Barnes.