Bozell Column: Obama's Olympic Arrogance
In the category of "intentional misunderstandings" about the political fiasco over the 2016 Summer Olympics, liberals win the gold medal. Cheers and laughs broke out in conservative offices and radio studios on the morning of October 2 when Chicago’s bid came in dead last. This was not an exercise in behavior so flagrantly unpatriotic that it’s almost like a flag-burning indoors. It was rejoicing over a come-uppance for the massive, media-enabled egomania of the Obamas and their team of so-called political geniuses inside the White House.
As the Drudge Report and Rush Limbaugh put it: "The Ego Has Landed."
Let’s not kid ourselves: The embarrassment over Chicago finishing dead last in Copenhagen was also felt by the multitude of Obama promoters in the media that almost unanimously jumped to the supine conclusion that victory for Chicago was assured once the president announced his plan to bless the International Olympic Committee with his presence.
The reports of the president’s trip led the nightly news on ABC, as anchor Charlie Gibson breathlessly announced that "no president has ever made such an appeal," but "the president decides to travel thousands of miles for a last-minute personal pitch." CBS substitute anchor Harry Smith oozed: "The Olympic motto is 'swifter, higher, stronger.' Apparently, President Obama is taking that to heart."
Over video of their hero Obama fencing, NBC reporter Savannah Guthrie gushed: "From his candidate days to earlier this month on the White House lawn, where he picked up some pointers on fencing, the President has established himself as a kind of Olympics super-fan." The buzz in Chicago was Obama’s trip, she said. Everyone there was thrilled. "Sending our top guy over there to make the pitch is the right thing to do," said one woman. "Much more optimistic. I already felt pretty optimistic about it, but I think now more than ever we have a very good chance of getting the games," said a man. NBC is the network for Obama "superfans."
From there, the gush only grew in intensity and sweetness. CBS anchor Katie Couric said the Obamas and Oprah Winfrey were leading "Chicago’s Olympic Dream Team." NBC morning anchor Natalie Morales exclaimed "It doesn’t get any better in terms of PR blitzes than this."
Then there was reporter Yunji de Nies on ABC, who was so enthralled by White House spin that she passed along the "dream team" mantra and everything else the Obamas wanted to float. Her most servile claim? That Michelle would be talking about her own personal story of growing up in Chicago: "We’re told there won’t be a dry eye in the house by the time she’s done."
Ouch. See what I mean by embarrassment? These "experts" are going to need blow torches to remove the egg from their faces. And that’s what has the conservative camp howling in laughter.
And it’s why the Left is enraged in turn. As far as they’re concerned, opposing Obama is unpatriotic. Laughing at him – well, that must be treasonous. Yes, these are the sentiments from the same crowd that spent eight years hurling invectives at and falsehoods about George Bush.
But don’t take my word for it. Consider the sentiments of MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, who blamed Republican negativity for Chicago’s defeat, and then truly lost control of his mental faculties: "They only support America when it's good for their political agenda. What the Republicans did, I think, rivals Jane Fonda sitting on a gun in North Vietnam."
An American actress sitting with an anti-aircraft gun that shoots down American pilots is now comparable to laughing at the failure of Obama’s vaunted oratorical gifts.
When Chicago lost, these same "news" networks proclaimed unanimously that the American bid lost "despite" or "in spite of" the "high-powered, star-studded" speeches. None of them could imagine the notion that the Obama speeches may have actually soured people on Chicago, or even left the vote unmoved. The Obama charisma is like a dogma of the Democratic faith that cannot be doubted.
At the end of CBS’s "Face the Nation" on Sunday, anchor Bob Schieffer sneered at conservatives that "the world did not end Friday....When I drove in this morning, theWashington Monument was still standing." Schieffer did not grasp that this was the conservative argument: the whole trip was, in historical terms, frivolous, and self-indulgent to boot.
In the fiasco’s aftermath, NPR’s Juan Williams explained that the Obamas felt a Chicago Olympics would be a great "bookend" for their second term, and that their racial appeal would lead the African nations to vote for America. Assuming Obama’s going to sail to a second term could be just as wrong as assuming the Chicago Olympics bid was in the bag.