The ultimate irony in sour grapes since the French lost a wine contest in the mid-1970s to California. What White House has ever indulged in more elbow-throwing for its pet causes than the Obama White House, after all? Just this week, we heard from a Democratic challenger in the Colorado primary that revealed an attempt to buy him out of the race with a position at USAID. Complaining about politics from this White House is like the Yankees griping about being put at a disadvantage from the free-agent system.
And yet, here we have David Axelrod, attempting to recover from the dumbest political gaffe of the administration by blaming the very international politics Barack Obama tried to exploit:
Top White House adviser David Axelrod says “politics” played a key role in the International Olympic Committee’s decision to reject President Obama’s appeal in support of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.
In an interview moments ago on CNN, Axelrod said, “I don’t view this as a repudiation of the president or the first lady. I think that there are politics everywhere, and there were politics inside that room.” Axelrod said that a former head of the IOC was leading Madrid’s effort for the games, and others involved in other Olympic bids also had connections with the IOC. “As with any process like this, there are all kinds of crosscurrents in the room, there are relationships,” Axelrod said.
Asked for details, Axelrod said, “I’m not suggesting anything nefarious…I’m not suggesting anything untoward happened. There are politics around every process, and there were here as well…There were relationships that paid off for some of the other cities.”
Why did Obama go to Copenhagen in the first place? He and his staff thought that he could use his supposedly tremendous international popularity to bully the IOC into picking Chicago. Now they’re complaining that the IOC had other politics to consider, and that somehow that was unfair.
Boo fricking hoo.
Why did the White House put the prestige of the American presidency on the line for the 2016 Olympiads in the first place? Even Al Gore seemed taken aback by that earlier this week, and warned that Obama had better not come back empty-handed, lest he look like a fool. They seem to have an inordinately high opinion of their own influence on world leaders and organizations, and Obama apparently has no one to whisper Sic transit gloria in his ear when he embarks on these triumphs.
In short, this debacle closely resembles Greek warnings about the crippling nature of hubris. What an embarrassment.
Update (AP): Here’s more spin this afternoon from Axelrod, mindlessly droning, as he must, that of course The One would needlessly stake his international political celebrity on this humiliating clusterfark all over again if he had to.