October 2, 2009

Should Chicago get the 2016 Olympics?

Is it possible to analyze this without thinking about wanting Obama to have a success/failure?

113 comments:

John said...

No, only because the level of fraud and corruption will be on a staggering scale.

MadisonMan said...

It's unfortunate if that's the case.

Even though it would be in Illinois, I'd love to see the Olympics in Chicago -- with bike races going right down Commonwealth Ave in Madison. How cool would that be? I won't be rending my garments, however, if it goes to Rio.

rhhardin said...

It will give cover for enormous payoffs back to pols in Chicago.

Obama is for it.

rdkraus said...

Not anymore (since he and M went over there to pitch it).

Kirby Olson said...

It's all about payoffs, as RH Hardin said. It will also allow O to set up another huge new bureaucratic machine like ACORN outside of governmental control through which he can launder money, and build his dynasty.

The war in Afghanistan needs more attention. If Obama gets the Olympics, he will completely forget about foreign policy, which has few personal payoffs.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Has any other President personally lobbied for getting the Olympics? I'm asking because I don't know. To me it seems to be a bit of a waste of time. I mean considering the state of the economy and unemployment rising, and the war in Afghanistan, Iranian nukes, health care...

Sloanasaurus said...

I was hoping that Chicago would get it until Obama went over there. Any success by Obama anywhere strengthens his hand in passing disasterous legislation such as cap and trade or health care reform. Of course if someone could argue as to why an Obama success here would decrease the chances of those other things passing I would be all for an Obama success here.

Politically, I think it was stupid for Obama to go. He has more to lose than to win.

From a purely selfish point of view, it doesn't really matter if the Olympics are in Chicago or Rio since I will be watching them on TV and both are in roughly the same time zone.

Sloanasaurus said...

Employment up to 9.8%. Job Losses still high. All we have heard out of Obama the past few months is Olympics, Health care and appeasing dictators.

Obama is fiddling while Rome is buring.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Has Michelle taken any prisoners yet?

Donna B. said...

Is it possible for Chicago to win the Olympic bid without it being considered a major success for Obama?

If it were another U.S. city bidding, would it be such a big deal?

It doesn't surprise me in the least that Obama led a presentation "heavy on emotion and light on details" as that seems to be his favored approach to most everything.

AllenS said...

I quit watching the Olympics in 1988 when the Jamaican bobsled team and the ski jumper from England Eddie "The Eagle" showed up.

Maguro said...

Hell no. It'll be a big giveaway for well-connected construction companies and the taxpayers of Illinois will pick up the tab (as usual). Go Rio!

bearing said...

The funny thing is, I hadn't even thought about it in relation to "Obama wins or loses."

I wish it would result in exposure of corruption, because I like Chicago a lot and I wish it was better.

Kylos said...

I'm going to be a bad American by saying this, but, no, my opposition to Chicago Olympics has nothing to to do with my opposition to Barack Obama.

Rather, I think it's about time we share the Olympics with other nations. Since 1960, we've hosted the Olympics about once per decade. There are six Olympics every decade, but I'm pretty sure that there are more than six nations that could reasonably host the Olympics within any given decade. This is supposed to be a truly international event; let's share a little bit.

AllenS said...

If Chicago gets the Olympics, the five circles will have the faces of Barack, Michelle, Daley, Emanuel, and Ayers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

LMAO AllenS!!

Mark O said...

I suspect that the amount and nature of the bribes in the hands of the Committee members as a result of Chicago style campaigning will make Salt Lake's puny offerings seem like bad tipping at a restaurant. That's not to say that Japan and the ever drug-driven Brazil cannot bribe with the best of them. Indeed, I understand from some players in these things, that Japan is far and away the best.

The inside information must have indicated Chicago was losing out because a few weeks ago Obama said he simply could not go. When Obama talks and money talks, money wins.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Hopefully they wont get it because it will ruin their finances.

There, an Obama free analysis!

downtownlad said...

Looks like Ann's commenters hate America.

PoNyman said...

I think the opposite question could be asked also. I believe only one Olympics in quite a while has actually made money, the rest have been money pits. Greece, from what I understand, was devastated. So could there be people hoping that Chicago gets it so that they could enjoy another Obama money hole?
Personally, I find pleasure in watching events that I rarely find elsewhere and that has been happening less and less over time via the tube. The olympics of late just hasn't been appealing. Though with ESPN360, if that juggernaut can get into the action that might all change.

wv: thype. Ouch, ouch, I've pulled my thype muscle.

Matt said...

No. As a Chicago taxpayer, the last thing I want to do is inject more of my tax money into the Chicago corruption machine so that Daley and his cronies can get richer by building a velodrome in Grant Park.

No city has ever made money hosting the games. The only benefit, if there is any benefit at all, is to raise that city's world profile. Chicago's world image is doing just fine (deadly beatings of teens by teens notwithstanding). The last thing this city needs is more debt.

If you ask me, Rio deserves and will be selected to host these games.

Sloanasaurus said...

Looks like Ann's commenters hate America.

If Obama's vision of America comes true, then sadly many including myself will no longer see America in the same way and the rapid decline of America will begin in earnest.

I support the America that the founders wanted. The America where freedom was first. In Obama's America, freedom is second or third or fourth.... behind stuff like free health care.

For now, Obama has not yet been successful and American virtue still thrives.... for now.

Tibore said...

"Is it possible to analyze this without thinking about wanting Obama to have a success/failure?"

Actually, yes. My thoughts are on whether Mayor Daley is a success/failure. While I'd love for the population of Chicago to experience the Games, I'd hate to have to subject both them and the Olympic committee to all the classic money appropriation machinations that Chicago politicians are famous for. Last thing Chicago needs is some incoming money that can allow Daley and his ilk the opportunity to turn what should be an event for all into some personal pet project for the political machine's vanity.

Yes, I am coming out and saying that I don't think the Chicago government would end up wanting the Games for the benefit of the citizenry. What benefits that would accrue - fixing up the El stations and streets, for example - would be real but nothing more than incidentals towards burnishing their vanity. And bluntly put, Chicago's city hall doesn't need the games as an excuse to do that; all they need to do is actually exercise their basic responsibility and fix El stops/streets because they're supposed to.

Again: The key words here are "pet project". Don't tell me that Daley and his cohorts would view it as any less than that. People can call me cynical all they want, but this cynicism is borne of observation of that Mayor and his bunch. Call them Tammany-lite, for that is what they have become.

michaele said...

I'm more persuaded by the argument that it's time for South America to get to host an Olympics. I'm sure Rio would put a lot of passion and creativity into their ceremonies and it would be more like China's. I mean, really, think about it...what would the opening ceremonies that should reflect local culture look like for Chicago...youths on a rampage with 2x4's hitting other youths on the head? The United States shouldn't be a hog and Obama just recently reminded us that "no nation can or should try to dominate another nation" or "try to host the Olympics more than our fair share." OK, poetic license on the last quote.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Looks like Ann's commenters hate America

I guess you're starting to rub off on us DTL.

Lyle said...

Personally, I'd like for every city to get it. Chicago would be a great place to have the games, however no South American city had ever held the games. After this summer, the World Cup (a younger competition) will have been on every continent, actaully beating the Olympics to this.

Rio and Brazil simply deserve it more. Chicago can host it another time, but it won't be particularly special. Having it in Brazil would be special and more in the Olympic spirit, I think.

garage mahal said...

Br-a-zil! Br-a-zil! Br-a-zil!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well President Shortpants does say we need to be a more humble nations so its really only fair a less prosperous nation like Brazil should have a shot at it.

muddimo said...

I like Chicago a lot, but this just doesn't seem like the right time. The corruption would be immense, would draw in our President and, frankly, Chicagoans don't seem that thrilled by the prospect. Maybe next time.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Yes, it should. That is, I mean that I want it to.

Any time an American city gets the Olympics, I think that's a good thing.

About the president lobbying for it -- well, it's his adopted hometown. It'd be shocking if he didn't, and it's not like other countries' heads of government don't do what they can for their countries' bids. (There's a clip up on Youtube of Putin giving a speech to the IOC about Sochi's 2014 bid -- in English.)

And it gives President Obama something to do that lets him not think about possibly faceplanting on health care reform.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Seriously though has any other President took off with the First Lady to lobby for bringing the Olympics to a US city?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Isn't this a job for Secretary of State Hillary!

What is she doing with all her time since she doesn't seem to do be doing any actual foreign policy work.

Other than yelling at African college kids that is.

muddimo said...

"...what would the opening ceremonies that should reflect local culture look like for Chicago...youths on a rampage with 2x4's hitting other youths on the head?"


Yeah, that occurred to me too. Let's just say the timing isn't right this time around.


wv = coidermi: Japanese fish skins. Make great cowboy boots.

MJ said...

Of course. Public support for sports is a net loser which benefits (a) the sportsmen, and (b) the politicians / bureaucrats who can then tout this "achievement". John Moag, former head of the Maryland Stadium Authority is a prime example of this. He spent public funds to build stadiums for the Ravens and Redskins. His agreements included ridiculous sweetheart clauses such as the teams getting the gate revenue for events not involving their teams (while not paying to use the stadium even for their own games). He also led a bid to win the Olympics for Baltimore. Afterward he started his own consulting business counselling cities on how to win such bids. So he spent public funds to advance his own career.

I've been against this bullshit spending for decades, but now that Obama is for it my position is somehow magically transformed to be about Obama? Get serious.

The same analysis applies to Jimmy Carter's idiocies. People were against government controlled healthcare when the Clintons wanted it. But now because Obama wants it the people who fought the Clintons on it are magically transformed into racists? Only liberals reason this way, which is why we should ignore them.

Big Mike said...

Is it possible to analyze this without thinking about wanting Obama to have a success/failure?

I'd like to think I'm against it for the practical reason that the local citizenry don't seem to be very much in favor of it.

@Mark O, those goody-goody types in Salt Lake (not only do they not snort coke, they don't even drink it!) were amateurs and easily caught. Now Daley and his aldermen, they're pros. No way they'll get caught.

WV: untedium -- perhaps they mean "excitement"?

TRO said...

I'm pretty sure LA was the last city to come out well after holding an Olympics. That was when private sector endorsements put a lot of money in the city coffers. Since then no city has done well. Atlanta is still paying off debt.

The short term would be good because a lot of construction jobs would be created there, but only at the expense of higher taxes in the long run.

Not to mention that there will be graft on a scale unheard of, save for as someone else mentioned, perhaps the Japanese.

BTW, I haven't watched the Olympics in years. Too many sentimental back-stories and not enough real sport. Plus without the Soviets and East Germans and the professionalizing of the games, who the hell really cares anymore?

Paddy O. said...

"No city has ever made money hosting the games."

The Los Angeles 1984 Olympics ended up with extra money. About $250 million.

Oh, and I support Rio. Even though I love Chicago, the corruption argument, the recent beatings, etc. the summer weather, make me think it's not an ideal place.

Plus, American Olympics seem to be all about product placement and the usual American crappy entertainment culture. Brazil would offer something unique and different, as we don't get a lot of Brazilian cultural coverage.

Personally, in regards to Obama, I would like Chicago to lose and Honduras to win.

k*thy said...

Selfishly, I'd love to have it go to Chicago - I would take time off and go in a second.

k*thy said...

Selfishly, I'd love to have it go to Chicago - I would take time off and go in a second.

jag said...

No, this can't be divorced from the President b/c he inserted himself into the process. Of course, he inserts himself into EVERYTHING.

Mark O said...

Big Mike:

If you look at the history of the Salt Lake bid and the failure of all legal action, you will see that it was an effort by the Mormon Church to put Romney in a high profile position as a prelude to running for president.

While this is not so good a theory as the grassy knoll, it actually has facts to support it.

garage mahal said...

Well President Shortpants does say we need to be a more humble nations so its really only fair a less prosperous nation like Brazil should have a shot at it..

You root for Brazil with your little yellow green and blue flags with your fellow America haters on the Right. Me, I'll stick with Old Glory. Red, white, and blue baby. The colors that never run or fade.

prairie wind said...

I'd like to keep Obama off the world stage as much as possible. No telling who he would bow to next.

former law student said...

Chicago has the venues: five major universities, two MLB parks, Soldier Field, United Center, Rosemont Horizon, a lake for sailing, lagoons for boating, etc. etc. It has hotel rooms enough to house the biggest convention crowds.

About the only thing it lacks is an Olympic Village. As Munich showed 30 years ago, with clever design, such a structure can easily be turned into apartments once the games are over.

Another thing to consider about Rio, though: Unlike the 2000 Sydney Olympics, any Rio Olympics could be held during the Northern Hemisphere summer, because Rio's temperatures vary little throughout the year.

But why penalize Chicago for the Northern Hemisphere-centric IOC of the past?

Montagne Montaigne said...

I want Rio to get it too, but any justification for that on the basis of the recent gang murder in Chicago is beyond ridiculous. Seriously, how are people so oblivious to what's happening in the world? Don't have the olympics in Chicago because of violence, have them in Rio???? Do you know anything about Rio or Brazil?

Henry said...

Only if the Cubs win a world series first.

k*thy said...

Sorry for the double-shot, didn't see that coming. To continue - I suspect it'll go to Rio and that wouldn't be so bad, as the time zones would provide more live coverage. Way better than tape delayed... And as for Obama, he'll get the blame either way. I couldn't actually care less.

former law student said...

I'm pretty sure LA was the last city to come out well after holding an Olympics.

Good for them.

Had they only built (or rebuilt) a replacement for the crumbling Coliseum they would have an NFL team today.

former law student said...

Don't have the olympics in Chicago because of violence, have them in Rio????

The homicide rate in Rio is twice that of Chicago's. So base your argument on the relative scantiness of the bikinis the locals wear.

In summer, Rio is one hour ahead of Eastern time.

MadisonMan said...

If Chicago does get it, will the US Atty's Office hire more people? Will the FBI?

Would an olympics in 2016 influence the Presidential Election held later that year? You betcha.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You root for Brazil with your little yellow green and blue flags with your fellow America haters on the Right. Me, I'll stick with Old Glory. Red, white, and blue baby. The colors that never run or fade.


Now don't be like that garage. President Shortpants said we need to be more humble right? I mean we're not the center of the universe and all that. Its not all about you garage.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't have the olympics in Chicago because of violence, have them in Rio???? Do you know anything about Rio or Brazil?

I know they have a big party down there and the chicks walk around wearing thongs.

Do that have universal health care? That should be a plus.

TRO said...

"You root for Brazil with your little yellow green and blue flags with your fellow America haters on the Right. Me, I'll stick with Old Glory. Red, white, and blue baby. The colors that never run or fade."

LOL Thanks for that laugh. The left actually rooting for America. Wonders never cease.

AllenS said...

Every once in a while, you really crack me up, garage.

WV: alatips

Cotton swabs on the end of a little stick that you use to clean your.... let's not go there.

Fred4Pres said...

I know there is sympathy for third world countries getting the Olympics, but Brazil can do a far better job than Chicago.

TRO said...

"Had they only built (or rebuilt) a replacement for the crumbling Coliseum they would have an NFL team today."

True but it really looked cool during those games.

ark said...

Yes it is possible to answer the question without caring about its effect on Obama.

All you have to do is note how often cities that host the Olympics wind up having to go into huge debt in order to do so, how inconvenient it is to live in a city that is hosting the Olympics while the games are in progress, and how little the residents get in return--except for the lucky few who happen to own property that they can rent out at enormous profit that they did nothing to earn. Who happens to occupy the White House has nothing to do with these matters, and I think that they are enough to be decisive to anyone willing to think clearly about them.

Hoosier Daddy said...

LOL Thanks for that laugh. The left actually rooting for America. Wonders never cease.

Don't be fooled. The only time you see the left cheering on the red, white and blue is when they set it on fire.

Invisible Man said...

Simply WOW! I'm not sure even liberals at their height of anger would root agains the fricking Olympics just to get W back. Derangement seems too nice of a word for your posters Ann. People should definitely come here for a reasoned, rationale debate.

And of course.
Why do you ceommentors hate America?

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

But it's really cool, having the Olympics.

USA! USA! USA!

Don't know how much it affects elections.

We had the winter games in 1980 -- Carter still got spanked. We had the summer games in 1984, and Reagan trounced Mondale.

Only constant: "Reagan pwns!"

As for Atlanta in '96 -- best forgotten.

garage mahal said...

Brazil murder rate similar to war zone

BRASILIA, Brazil - More than 150 Brazilians were murdered each day last year on average, putting Brazil on a par with some war zones in terms of its homicide rate, the Justice Ministry said today.

Some 55,000 Brazilians died of homicide in 2005 - a few thousand more civilians than in three years of war in Iraq, according to leading estimates.
.

This is the country the Right is rooting for to send our athletes to? This is the model country the Right looks up to now? That's nice Hoosier. If we're ever at war with Brazil, and I'm in a foxhole with you defending the Heartland, I have to worry about you just jumping over to the other side with the enemy? Great, just great.

Dave said...

No, this can't be divorced from the President b/c he inserted himself into the process. Of course, he inserts himself into EVERYTHING.

Except Afghanistan.

I vote Rio for reasons of social justice. It also would serve Garage right for his American imperialist attitude.

Synova said...

I don't think of it in terms of Obama's success or failure, but I think that he probably does.

Like others I'm not convinced that getting the Olympics is an automatic economic gain. The prestige is important, of course, and having the games "local" means people can go see them in person.

In a way I see it a bit like military base closings (but in reverse). Everyone wants their own base kept open, which is understandable. But in the end the purpose of the bases (or the Olympics) isn't to serve a particular city and decisions need to be made on merit. I would really admire a politician willing to look at a military base and admit that while it would devastate the local economy to lose it, the right thing needs to be done and intelligent decisions about what is best for military operations need to be made, even if the decision is a difficult one.

So the arguments for Rio make a lot of sense. We can be partisan about the USA or Chicago, but from a objective viewpoint of the Olympics and their purpose... maybe it really ought to go to Rio.

Paddy O. said...

Had they only built (or rebuilt) a replacement for the crumbling Coliseum they would have an NFL team today.

Why would we want an NFL team? And I say that as a football fan.

Pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a stadium to suck up to the owners of NFL teams, to maybe get another Al Davis,or the original, back. No thanks.

The people of Los Angeles have repeatedly made clear that we'd like to have an NFL team, but aren't going to pay for the privilege. We already have one of the largest television markets. We just aren't going to throw public money to help build luxury boxes so the rich can continue to entertain the rich.

We have the Staples Center for that, after all.

Plus, USC and UCLA football.

Who needs the NFL? Let them beg us to come back.

That's the attitude that makes a profit of public sports

TRO said...

"Simply WOW! I'm not sure even liberals at their height of anger would root agains the fricking Olympics just to get W back. Derangement seems too nice of a word for your posters Ann. People should definitely come here for a reasoned, rationale debate."

You're missing the point as liberals often do. Most of us don't think getting the games would be good for America. Yeah, it would be good for Obama and all his corrupt buddies in Chicago, but America or the people of Chicago in general? No so much.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Simply WOW! I'm not sure even liberals at their height of anger would root agains the fricking Olympics just to get W back. Derangement seems too nice of a word for your posters Ann.

Well at the height of their anger, liberals were openly cheering for our defeat in Iraq.

Well in all seriousness Invisible, it sure seems like the folks in Chi-town are pretty evenly divided over having the Olympics. Considering its a Democratic town I suppose that supports the theory that Democrats are anti-American and don't want it to succeed.

ricpic said...

I'm for anything that makes Barry a billionaire.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If having the Olympics in a US city is such a great flag-waving occasion, shouldn't Michelle Obama have been proud of America in 1984 instead of having to wait until 2008?

Paddy O. said...

Where does Andy Williams think the Olympics should be?

Synova said...

Garage... so tell our athletes to stay out of the barrios. Hm?

True enough... saying that Chicago is violent and then suggesting Rio is pretty silly. But so is looking at nation wide murder rates because by that measure the US probably has more murders per year than died our soldiers who died in Iraq or Afghanistan... mostly because the actual number of "war zone" deaths is Historically unprecedentedly low to the point of being near freaky. Certainly no WW2 era soldier or commander or other war leader would believe we were even at war.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's nice Hoosier. If we're ever at war with Brazil, and I'm in a foxhole with you defending the Heartland, I have to worry about you just jumping over to the other side with the enemy? Great, just great.

Don't worry garage. I'm quite sure if we're ever at war with Brazil you'll be bravely protesting our involvement in Toronto and decrying the billions we're wasting on defending the Heartland.

Actually garage, I don't care about the Olympics. Never have. I really don't give a shit who gets it actually.

Beaverdam said...

Will the Olympics finally include NASCAR?

former law student said...

Pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a stadium to suck up to the owners of NFL teams

Try closer to a billion dollars nowadays.

Of course it makes no sense. An NFL stadium will never pencil out. Given 8 games a year; 60,000 seats, a design life of thirty years (about as old as Candlestick when it was first touted as being obsolete) -- each ticket would have to cost thousands of dollars before you ever put a team on the field.

The Angelenos should have seized the opportunity when they had it.

former law student said...

Will the Olympics finally include NASCAR?

Yes, but the cars will be powered by their drivers.

garage mahal said...

Like I said Hoosier, I'll root for this anyday, and you can root for this, I guess?

KB said...

No. Chicago shouldn't get an Olympics. I feel bad saying this because I don't want to be partisan about it, it's bad enough that the president is using this as a political ploy.

The US has hosted eight times if you include winter games. The Midwest has even been a host (St Louis in 1904.) The US could stand to take a break lasting longer than 20 years.

Also, I think Rio would be a fantastic host city.

LarsPorsena said...

Monty:
"I want Rio to get it too, but any justification for that on the basis of the recent gang murder in Chicago is beyond ridiculous. Seriously, how are people so oblivious to what's happening in the world? Don't have the olympics in Chicago because of violence, have them in Rio???? Do you know anything about Rio or Brazil?"

You've got it right. Before anybody roots for Brazil they need to watch "City of God" and find out what the real Brazil is like.

If you like the Congo, you'll love Brazil. War in the favelas.
On the other hand........
Chicago will be a big honey pot for the Daley et al. Uncounted millions for the Dem machine, sweetheart contracts for the connected, slews of highly paid 'community consultants', Dem riches beyond their dreams of avarice. And, in the end, the tab picked up by the taxpayers.

Scott M said...

President Obama wouldn’t do something as politically stupid as risking his cache unless the deal was in the bag…would he?

Perhaps even thinking that is racist.

Original Mike said...

I hope Chicago gets it, since it will be next door (and are they still considering Camp Randall for events?) but I don't think it reflects on Obama one way or the other.

My prediction: It'll go to Rio.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Like I said Hoosier, I'll root for this anyday, and you can root for this, I guess?

Hey whatever turns you on garage. You root for the Olympics, I'll root for our soldiers who killing Islamofascist headhackers.

But don't get too fervent in your rooting for Old Glory garage, your fellow travellers might get the wrong idea and think you've succumbed to the fever swamps of patriotism and then you won't have any friends.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Rio has a lovely temperate climate as opposed to the humid Hell of a midwest summer. The fact that the Olympics have never been held in South America seems to make it logical that they host them in 2016.

As to the corruption of the hosting city. Chicago is about as corrupt as they come. However, I imagine that Rio can give them a run for their money.

I say. Give it to Rio. And as an added bonus....give Obama the shaft. I want Obama to fail at everything.

former law student said...

If having the Olympics in a US city is such a great flag-waving occasion, shouldn't Michelle Obama have been proud of America in 1984

California is not America. It's a two-days' drive, at minimum.

Besides, Michelle is a lifelong Chicagoan. And Chicagoans think big, as Burnham advised the city fathers: "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood "

Libertarians should appreciate Chicago, as Algren described it, "For it isn't so much a city as it is a vasty way station where three and a half million bipeds swarm with a single cry, 'One side or a leg off, I'm getting mine!" It's every man for himself in this hired air."

Lexington Green said...

It is possible to have an opinion without caring about Obama.

I live here, in Cook County, and work in Chicago.

The taxpayers around here are going to get clobbered by this thing.

And it is going to be a huge inconvenience for years.

Zero up-side.

Fly it down to Rio.

Jim Hu said...

I'd go with Rio.

This is based on a mix arguments related and unrelated to Obama:

Unrelated to Obama:
Arguments for Rio, mostly from the article:
- S. America should have one
- They dealt with the crime problem for the Pan Am games
- "of the top 10 economic powers in the world, Brazil is the only one not to host an Olympics."

Against Chicago:
- Money sink
- We'd probably have to adjust our visa/homeland security policies to let in athletes and support staff from participating countries (see terrorism risk, below).
- I recall many of my colleagues complaining about how terrible Chicago was as a venue for a large scientific meeting a few years ago. Handling an Olympics is orders of magnitude harder.
- Disruption of non-Olympics related business in Chicago.

Related to Obama:
- An Olympics in the US will be a terrorism magnet. Something I thought of when a commenter above mentioned Munich as a model for converting the Olympic Village into apartments. If Obama wins a second term, an Olympics in the hometown of a sitting US president is an even more attractive target.

Note that this doesn't just apply to foreign terrorists. Remember the bombing during the Atlanta games?

- Obama is the first US president to lobby for the games. Success would encourage making this a regular practice, which I dislike.

J.J. Schmidt said...

Is it possible to analyze this without thinking about wanting Obama to have a success/failure?

More relevant question, which should be a poll--but you would never want the world to see the results:

Is it possible for Althouse to "analyze" any political issue without wanting Obama to have a failure?

Paddy O. said...

"The Angelenos should have seized the opportunity when they had it."

We had two football teams in 1984, so who knew we'd lose both?

And the Olympics did restore the Coliseum. Enough for Al Davis to bring the Raiders down from Oakland.

Los Angeles just didn't want to keep paying for the privilege with the constantly inflated demands that other cities got.

There's just way too many other things to do here.

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Scott M said...

@FLS

Of course it makes no sense. An NFL stadium will never pencil out. Given 8 games a year; 60,000 seats, a design life of thirty years (about as old as Candlestick when it was first touted as being obsolete) -- each ticket would have to cost thousands of dollars before you ever put a team on the field.

Your thinking is constrained seemingly as per normal. A new stadium doesn’t just include the field and the seats and it sure as hell isn’t only designed for football games. Conventions, rodeos, concerts, expos, etc etc go on all year ‘round. LA is a decent market for those sorts of events to boot.

On the other hand, a thought occurs to me. Granted, rich people get sky boxes and all the other nice things about pro sports with a new stadium. You do have to remember that a great deal of previously unrealized tax revenue is generated by such venues and the restaurants, public transit, etc that goes along with the events therein. Further, the amount of money each taxpayer has to fork over is usually pennies while the potential payback transcends money.

I don’t have a horse in the race over this issue, so I don’t really care. What’s far more interesting to me is the phenomena that a winning team in a major sport (MLS doesn’t count) causes in their home town. The general goodwill and solidarity, usually experienced even by those not typically fans, can last long after the season is over.

Here in St Louis, we’re still getting mileage out of the 2000 Rams season…we have to…it’s all we friggin’ got :)

MadisonMan said...

I want Obama to fail at everything.

Breathtaking Obama Derangement Syndrome. Step away from the edge. Breathe deeply.

Jim Hu said...

What’s far more interesting to me is the phenomena that a winning team in a major sport (MLS doesn’t count) causes in their home town. The general goodwill and solidarity, usually experienced even by those not typically fans, can last long after the season is over.

Indeed. Think of the post-season effects of repairing the damage done by rioting fans?

miller said...

Give it to Rio, all things considered. South America is part of the First World now, and it's time to show we care.

Although it would be nice to have it in Chicago so President Palin could speak during the opening ceremonies.

Joaquin said...

If the Chicago bid wasn't a DONE DEAL, Obama, the missus, and the entire entourage wouldn't go to Copenhagen.

Big Mike said...

Is it possible to analyze this without thinking about wanting Obama to have a success/failure?

Looking at the responses, Professor, it appears to me that the short answer to your question is "no." As I suggested in my own response earlier in this thread, I'm not even certain of my own motivations. I have relatives living in or around Cook County, and they're 100% opposed (the one poll I've seen shows the Chicagoans overall evenly divided within the sampling error of the poll) and I hope that's the source of my opposition. That's about as honest as I can be.

WV: priesto -- the magic word when a Catholic clergyman is doing card tricks.

former law student said...

A new stadium doesn’t just include the field and the seats

true, there are parking lots as well.

and it sure as hell isn’t only designed for football games. Conventions, rodeos, concerts, expos, etc etc go on all year ‘round.

And LA already has plenty of venues for such things, available cheaper than what a brand-new stadium must charge.

But the limited revenue of a team that can count only on playing eight games a year shows why most football teams historically played in baseball parks. To build a football stadium today, you have to replace cost accounting with intangible and ancillary benefits.

David said...

I want Chicago to get the Olympics, particularly since I don't live there anymore and won't have to put up with the hassle. But I sure would go if it's there.

Chicago will get the job done--they know how to do big projects, so that's a plus. They will also figure out a way to put the projects to permanent use.

The Olympics is a great event--a chance for the world to see one of the great cities in our country, and a chance for us to see some of the best of the rest of the world.

I really don't understand why people don't want it. We waste money on far sillier and less worthy matters.

I also do not want Obama to fail on this. I think he's been a disaster of a President so far, but he's still the American President. If he fails on this, we fail too.

Scott M said...

@FLS

Libertarians should appreciate Chicago

There is zero Libertarian about Illinois. Expensive gas, expensive taxes, and they're trying to force gun owners to carry million-dollar liability policies.

@Jim Hu

Indeed. Think of the post-season effects of repairing the damage done by rioting fans?

A relatively rare and, frankly, recent phenomena in and of itself. There's something specifically wrong with our culture and seems to have been, at least in my observation, since the early 90's when the second Woodstock burned because water cost too much.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is it possible to analyze this without thinking about wanting Obama to have a success/failure?

Yes.

With Obama totally out of the picture, I'd say Rio.

I'm surprised the Games have never been in South America. We host the games often, so it's no big loss if we don't get them this time.

Freeman Hunt said...

With Obama in the picture, I don't know. It would be rather embarrassing for our President, leader of the free world, to make a pitch for the games and fail.

dick said...

I really wonder abut the value systems of our president. We have a huge tsunami in Indonesia, a country where he was raised for a time that is asking for help, and he does a Chamber of Commerce bit for the IOC. In the meantime where are the troops and ships and medical supplies that Bush was able to send there the last time while we were fighting a war. I wonder if Zero really cares about anything that does not burnish his halo. In light of that and also because I loved it in Rio the times I was there I want Rio to get the games and Obama to fail miserably and publicly.

madawaskan said...

Chicago OUT in first round. Ugh.

madawaskan said...

Damn it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Let no one kid himself. Chicago will not make any money. The money will go into graft. Chicago will then request federal money to bail it out of the debt. Or it will get the federal money up front, the push for so doing led by Obama, and most of that will go to graft.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Holy crap, Chicago lost on the first vote. I watched it live and everyone gasped when it was announced.

Ann Althouse said...

New post on the Chicago crash and burn.

garage mahal said...

Chicago OUT in first round

Yes!!!! Obama LOST! Brazil! Brazil! Brazil!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Has President Shortpants considered the environmental impact of bringing the games to Chicago? What kind of carbon footprint are we talking here? Doesn't he care about the delicate balance of the ecology of Lake Michigan?

He obviously doesn't care about the environment.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Yes!!!! Obama LOST! Brazil! Brazil! Brazil!

So much for Michelle's take no prisoner's diplomacy.

I bet Secretary of State Cankles would have closed the deal though.

Ger said...

Sloanasaurus @0745 said...

"I was hoping that Chicago would get it until Obama went over there."

Dude, you always crack me up so I guess I should say thanks.

But with that sort of comment I do have to ask - are you five years old? Is nanny-nanny boo-boo still a phrase you use frequently?

*****

As to Ann's question - anyone that would try to tie the success or failure of Chicago to win their Olympic bid to Obama has ..well...issues.

While I think it would be great for Chicago to win my money is on Madrid or Rio (probably Rio since they would have been held in London in 2012 and those two locations are too close to each other).

former law student said...

While trying to research corruption in Brazil (Motto: Still more honest than Burkina Faso) I learned that cocaine is readily available. So they've got that going for them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It would be rather embarrassing for our President, leader of the free world, to make a pitch for the games and fail

Bwahahahahaha!!

:-D

Paddy O. said...

anyone that would try to tie the success or failure of Chicago to win their Olympic bid to Obama has ..well...issues.

So the Chicago Olympic Committee, and the President and First Lady of the United States have issues?

Inserting Obama into this discussion is extremely relevant because Obama is currently in Copenhagen advocating for the Olympics. And he was not convincing.

Obama is the one who said he would be much better at making friends on the global stage. That was a campaign issue. This was a campaign issue fail because this was a major stage that had a discernible response to his rhetoric. He took a risk by aligning himself with this issue and it didn't work.

KV said...

I thought the feminists would be up in arms when Barack trumped his wife's role as ambassador for Chicago's Olympic bid! Perhaps if he had stayed home and let Michelle wow the good ol' boys in Copenhagen, the Windy City would be celebrating tonight...

jr565 said...

Invisible Man wrote:
Simply WOW! I'm not sure even liberals at their height of anger would root agains the fricking Olympics just to get W back. Derangement seems too nice of a word for your posters Ann.


Perhaps you don't know your side too well. Because the left did wish for the war in Iraq to go badly all because it would make George Bush look bad.
Here's one sterling example from Gary Kamiy who writes for Salon
(here's his link to show that he is no obscure voice who never wrote before or since):


The larger question of the effect of the war on the region, America, and the world, however, is less clear-cut. And it is doubts about this question that have led many of us who oppose the war to that confused state of moral schizophrenia.
I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I'm not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings.

Some of this is merely the result of pettiness -- ignoble resentment, partisan hackdom, the desire to be proved right and to prove the likes of Rumsfeld wrong, irritation with the sanitizing, myth-making American media. That part of it I feel guilty about, and disavow. But some of it is something trickier: It's a kind of moral bet-hedging, based on a pessimism not easy to discount, in which one's head and one's heart are at odds.

Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people. But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative -- four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere?

Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world. It is based on the belief that every apparent good will turn into its opposite. ....Dialectical pessimism is the dirty little secret of the antiwar camp -- dirty because there is something distasteful about wishing for bad outcomes when the future on which those wishes are based is unknown.



So, Invisible Man, care to comment on this wish fullfillment fantasy. Do you think this was the only anti war critic to ever utter such words? Cat got your tongue?

And we're talking about the olympics. A lot of people dont want the olympics in their town because it ends up costing far more than it brings. Are you suggesting that somehow wishing a war goes badly (meaning more Americans DIE and we actually lose there) is somehow less offensive.
This sentiment exhibited by Mr. Kamiya is frankly obscene, and was quite commonplace from pundits to politicians like Harry Reid (among countless others) to cartoonists like Ted Rall who all uttered similar refrains.