Friday, October 2, 2009

Obama and the IOC: A Knucklehead Move

We no an has Olympics? by BrendanGrant.

(h/t to I hate Linux for the pic)

I was not a person who criticized the president for trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago - because I think its not only ok but admirable when the president is a booster for team America.

But Obama's Copenhagen trip was a real screw up.

The president is an accomplished attorney and former law professor, so he should know that the first rule of being a lawyer is that you never ask a question to which you do not already know the answer (at least not in public).

Promoting a great American city for the Olympics was not his sin; his sin was not looking before he leaped. Obama should have only gone to Copenhagen if he already had the IOC sewn up (and if there was no room for him to know that; no back channel negotiations; then the trip should have been a no go). Frankly, a pissant NGO like to the IOC should be so honored that the U.S. president took time out of his day to meet with them they should do what he asks, and if they aren't willing to do that then they don't get to meet him.

President Obama is under estimating the power of the presidency and over estimating the power of Obama. He thought that somehow his personal appeal would overcome fashionable Euro-Trash anti-Americanism, and it didn't. At the same time, he didn't even consider that a presidential visit to an NGO should be a special treat to reward good behavior (every judge on that panel took a picture and went home and told their kids "I just met Obama!") and not a tag along with Oprah.

This dichotomy, overestimating his own abilities and under estimating the power of the office, could become very dangerous if it is not brought to heal ASAP. Obama should start running ALL of his foreign affairs decisions; whether on trade, immigration, security, or visits with Euro-Trash dilettantes, by Hillary Clinton or Bob Gates. Clinton and Gates have the judgment and experience to keep Obama on the right track so long as he keeps the lines of communication open and pays attention to the advice he receives.

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