Chicago 2016, or not… :(

2 10 2009

Stunning result…

I was cautiously optimistic about getting the games here – and certainly didn’t see us only pulling 18 votes in the first go around. If not Chicago, I like that it’s in Rio. Just figured that it would be us and Rio in the final run off as everyone was predicting. I’m not surprised about Rio getting it – just that Chicago did so badly.

Yeah, the corruption and graft and overruns the unions would have cranked up would have been stunning. Still, it would have injected a whole lot of money into the area – however it was being circulated and accumulated – and it would have been cool to see the games here and, overall, very good for Chicago. Also, I think in the end the games here would have been a huge success – this city’s ready for an event of this size and would have done a great job.

So, while acknowledging all the negatives, I still was a supporter of the effort. Indeed, I was just about to head out of the office for the official announcement at Daley Plaza when word spread through my office regarding Chicago getting bumped so soon. Saved me the walk.

I’m sure the Monday morning quarterbacking around here will be fierce, but overall I see the effort as being good. The city made a lot of improvements in the roads and parks around the city in order to “pretty up” the city for the process, so there have been some benefits.  Likewise, the Olympic Village project was always designed to go forward either way and should be a great addition to that area of the lakefront. Still, even people who were against the games are taking a bit of a hit to their civic pride.

What will be interesting to me to watch is what this does for Obama and Daley. It had been my thought (see below) that Obama would not have been going out there unless it was considered a near certainty that the effort would be successful – for fear of losing some of the political capital he has internationally.  While he and Michelle gave excellent speeches  and really were the highlight of Chicago’s presentation, no doubt this is a hit on him.  But, that said, I’m glad he went out and pitched for our city and thought his presentation last night was very well done. Still, I saw his going out there as a good sign. Go figure…

Likewise, these were Daley’s games and his effort all along. No doubt about it. His popularity has dropped into the high-30’s around here given the constant corruption news circling around him – but if he got the Olympics here he would have been “Mayor For Life.” Even the local detractors to the effort would have eventually joined in – at least by not being irritants.

There’s no real challenger to Daley out there that I see, but he’s definitely lost huge cache’ on this as well. He’s lucky that the taxpayers were not footing the effort so far – the retribution would have been fierce!

So, anyway, so much for that.  Given 2020 likely can’t be on our continent, 2024 would be the next window.  But after this huge loss, will we ever see Chicago make a run again?  Tough to say…

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