Saturday, October 3, 2009

"The Ego Has Landed"

I'm not sure if this headline originated with Rush Limbaugh or whether he was quoting someone else but it gave me an immediate chuckle. His O-ness landed in Copenhagen yesterday with an extraordinary taxpayer-supported entourage (cost estimates for the excursion range between $1 and $2 million), presumably to ice the deal for the 2016 Summer Olympic games for Chicago. From all reports, it was a lay-down. The NY Times editorialized that the bid was 80% in the bag. All Obama had to do was tip it over the top and tote home the prize.

But the inflated expectations and hopes were snuffed in a hurry with the gale of a first-round elimination for the Windy City. The shock and awe on the faces of Second City hopefulls was as palpable as that of the Republican Guard on launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

So let's consider this rationally: The President and his O-sciples seem quite convinced that the power of his personality and presence combined with the eloquence of his oratory and the supremacy of his ideals are sufficient weaponry to bring any adversary into line. And why not? His chant for "change" and histrionics of "hope" certainly entranced independent-thinking Americans into obeisance during the recent campaign.

But reality is harsher. Now, one might give Obama credit for the attempt. He took an enormous risk and if correctly calculated and productive of a winning bid, could have stiffened his softening prowess with the American electorate. What a photo op! But there was a lot at stake. A misfire might emasculate the cocky Chief's swagger even more.

Obama thrust home only to find that his steel was neither sturdy nor sharp enough, not only to carve out the victory, but to stave off a cutting rebuke from the IOC. Who can rationalize that Chicago's humilating first-round elimination was anything less than a deliberate political swipe at America and its First Executive?

Obama's decision to go to Copenhagen was rational if A) He had solid reason to believe he would prevail or B) He had political debts to pay to his Chicago election machine. But here, too, is the rational fact: If A, the President was either seriously misinformed or shamefully naieve. If B, he was commonly political or fundamentally corrupt. Neither is complimentary but you be the judge.

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