October 8, 2009

Olympian Sized Platitudes

Vindication? Expect some Olympian sized platitudes for Obama from the IOC.

Let's face it - President Obama's speeches to the International Olympic Committee were a complete flop. Rio was always the prohibitive favorite. The speeches by Obama et al. were not likely going to change the decision of the IOC. But the stinging slap in the face was the fact that Chicago was the first city eliminated from contention. If that was as a result of the Obamas' shared sense of self-importance (George Will noted that they averaged about 1 "I" or "me" per sentence in their collective speeches. How many mentions of Chicago?) or it had nothing to do with it is unclear.

What remains clear is that the speeches were failures. But don't be surprised if you see the Obama's vindicated by the IOC. They slapped The President pretty hard and it was for one of the two reasons mentioned above. (1) They perceive him as weak and they don't care about the impact of their decision. In fact given the first round dismissal, they likely deliberately sent a message. You are too self absorbed - this is supposed to be about us. Or (2) they were still mad about what they perceive as an arrogant American past and President Obama was the convenient outlet for their venting.

The former case is more likely the truth. Certainly there was no level of respect in the action either way. But the IOC will, in a sense apologize. Like a guilty abusive spouse who realizes they've been bad, they will offer some platitudes to Obama.
I would expect some of the "highlights" of the speech to show up in some Olympic video montage promoting the common good of man. Perhaps Obama's lines along the same topic. Don't expect it next week, but as the 2012 Olympics draw near, expect to see it.

It assuages the IOC guilt, it promotes their brotherhood of man brand image and the timing, couldn't hurt Obama's re-election bid later that same year. See, they'll imply, we really are sorry.

I wonder if Obama will buy that line. Based on his track record, I'm thinking yes.

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