Blame It on Chicago
Much ado (overmuch, in fact) the past few days about the International Olympic Committee spurning Chicago as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics. I really hate to add to the surplus verbiage already spilled on the subject, but here goes…
Right-wingers, of course, are using the incident to seize a rare opportunity by the scruff of the neck: for these battered ideologues, the rejection of Chicago is a clear signal that Obama, for all his talk about restoring the stature of the U.S. in the world, has fallen flat on his sunny face. I mean, if he can’t even persuade the IOC to favor his hometown with an athletic contest, how will he ever prevail in Afghanistan or save the U.S. economy?
Meanwhile, the left is shouting back and blaming the fiasco on anti-Obama rabble-rousers who rooted against Chicago. (Imagine conservatives hoping that an American city would lose! And it’s not even a blue-state coastal city! Racists, all of them!)
I have a better idea. Let’s compare cities. Chicago vs. Rio de Janeiro. The brownish-gray, big-shouldered, bustling metropolis on Lake Michigan… vs. the gorgeous samba-swaying playground situated amid soaring emerald-green slopes and crescent-shaped beaches. The city of Al Capone, Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and a lot of very tall, undistinguished buildings… vs. the sultry, sensory, heart-stopping urban paradise that brought us “The Girl from Ipanema.”
If you had to choose an Olympic site, which city would call to you? No-brainer, says I.
As the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen might have put it: I know Rio. I’ve seen Rio. Rio is a favorite city of mine. Chicago, you’re no Rio.