Quotes of the day

“‘The intelligence that we had from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Chicago bid team was that it was very close and therefore well worth our efforts,’ said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House advisor. ‘The message was that … a personal appeal from the president would make a huge difference.'”

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“To hear Obama insiders discuss it, the president was just too competitive not to make the trip. ‘Whether we tried or not, we owned it,’ said one senior White House aide. ‘But you know how competitive he is. If we got a shot, he wanted to take it. The Chicago folks definitely made it known that they wanted him to come. But the decision was his. He felt if he could go and make the case and promote the country and Chicago, he was going to do it.’…

Within a week, that position was beginning to change as Mayor Daley pressed his case for a presidential pitch, which would put the country’s leader alongside his global counterparts. But according to White House officials, there were two factors even more important than the influence of Daley: the White House was already engaged, and the president himself liked the sporting challenge.”

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“Arrogance. Good ol’ American arrogance.

Instead of dedicating three days and nights working the IOC members, as we hear Tony Blair did for London in its successful bid for 2012, President Obama figured all he had to do was show up for a few minutes here at Bella Center after an all-night flight on Air Force One.

He had normally blasé media types pressing their noses against the windows of this sleek convention center just to get a glimpse of him stepping into his flown-in Cadillac. His very presence shook down the tight schedule the IOC usually likes to keep. His very name peppered the cacophony of unfamiliar languages all over town with little hints of recognition.

But Obama was long gone by the time his ripple factor had flattened out.”

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“Here’s what I would like to talk about in all this: The First Lady and her husband made terrible presentations to the IOC! In retrospect, it makes complete sense that they got the boot in Round 1.”

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