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. By then, Brazilian President Lula da Silva was wowing the room with his avuncular, rumpled flair.