I am torn by this speech. On the one hand, this was a fairly marginal speech made by the President. He did a much better job of selling the vision of the Olympic games. He certainly did a good job of telling the IOC how Chicago could benefit from the games. Yet, he was rather flat in selling the city itself. He listed off a series of individual neighborhoods like Ukranian Village and Hyde Park and he gave a short history of the city, including the great Chicago Fire that nearly burnt it down. Still, most of what he said could have been said by any representative of any city. Given that the president is from Chicago, I was expecting a much more personal appeal. He did talk about how Chicago became his own home after moving around most of his life, but I was disappointed by his salesmanship of the city itself.
That said, I am against the game coming here. So, a flat sales job helps the cause. President Obama said
No one expects the Games to solve our collective challenges. But we do believe that in a world where we have too often witnessed the darker aspects of our humanity, peaceful competition between nations represents what is best about our humanity.
That's an ironic and curious statement considering that the beating death of Derrion Albert has been broadcast around the world. Many in Chicago would ask how the Olympic games will do anything to solve that sort of violence in the city. The speech, for obvious reasons, didn't address that death nor any of the negatives of bringing the games to the city.
All in all, I am underwhelmed. If this puts Chicago over the top, then the IOC was simply hypnotized by his celebrity because no one can say this speech swayed them to Chicago.
Chicago and Tokyo were both just eliminated.