“A sense of stunned bewilderment suffused Air Force One and the White House.”

After Chicago got knocked out of the race to host the 2016 Olympics in the first round of voting yesterday – Rio won – it’s interesting to read a more robust defence of “superstar” US President Barack Obama’s involvement from a BBC journalist than in the NY Times editorial.

We like having an articulate, fiercely competitive president, especially one with such a strong moral compass. But guys, if you’re going to roll the dice, next time make sure the stakes are worth it.

A second NY Times report notes that, “[President Obama] learned Chicago lost in the first round while watching a CNN transmission whose signal cut in and out as Air Force One passed over Cabot Strait between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.” Would that be this CNN transmission? Via the Professor.

Also from that NY Times report

A sense of stunned bewilderment suffused Air Force One and the White House. Only after the defeat did many advisers ask questions about the byzantine politics of the Olympic committee. Valerie Jarrett, the president’s senior adviser and a Chicago booster who persuaded him to make the trip while at the United Nations last week, had repeatedly compared the contest to the Iowa caucuses.

But officials said the administration did not independently verify Chicago’s chances, relying instead on the Chicago 2016 committee assertions that the city had enough support to finish in the top two. Mr. Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ms. Jarrett worked the phones in recent weeks without coming away with a sense of how behind Chicago really was.

Hmm.. And wouldn’t former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and other “Illinois political weasels”, have been campaigning on this too? Just saying..