Probably true, as I can’t think of any reason why Obama’s presence would have actively hurt their chances (although a Sun-Times columnist did rap him earlier this afternoon for an uninspired speech). If having him show up and give his shpiel wasn’t enough to put the city over the top, it stands to reason that nothing was. But, er, how come no one in the White House was bright enough to figure that out beforehand and advise him not to go, then? Says CNN’s Olympics expert of the IOC, “I don’t think they could have cared less if Obama showed up or not.” No one thought to clue Axelrod into that possibility before the plane took off from D.C.?
Meanwhile, an interesting point from Politico about whom Obama was really representing in Copenhagen:
Earlier this week, The White House flatly rejected the notion that Obama’s Chicago ties played any role in his decision or his support for the U.S. bid for the games.
“If it had been Los Angeles, I think the notion that the President would have done less because it was a different U.S. city just doesn’t hold a lot of water,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted earlier this week.
Some analysts find that claim impossible to believe.
“There’s no question that this whole exercise would not have happened had it not been Chicago. I can’t see him doing the same thing for Seattle or Sheboygan,” said Stephen Hess, a professor at George Washington University. He noted that Obama’s pitch for the city was deeply personal.
Me neither. Anyone think he would have fueled up Air Force One for New York or Miami, say? If not, then how was this some big gesture on behalf of an American Olympics bid rather than a Chicago bid, specifically? In fact, I’m not even sure it was a “Chicago bid” given the ambivalence inside the city about bringing the Olympics there and the very real possibility of tax hikes and layoffs to pay for everything. What it was was a Daley bid, which explains why, according to Chuck Todd, Daley worked every crony connection he had in the White House to get the city’s favorite son out there on his behalf. Bear that in mind the next time you see a liberal crying crocodile tears over how “un-American” it is to chuckle at The One’s failure today. He went to Copenhagen to do a favor for his corrupt hometown political machine and he flamed out big time. Boo hoo.