Obama and Oprah Join Mayor Daley in Chicago’s Olympic Bid Madness
Our “beloved” mayor Richard M. Daley has had a busy year. Last December, he sold off Chicago’s parking meters to a private company, thus making rates rise significantly. This clandestine business deal outraged most, if not all, Chicagoans. Then, shortly thereafter, he approved a bill to make CTA fare more expensive, despite a growing number of riders. Needless to say, Daley’s approval rating has been quite low since then.
That’s why has been so busy trying to goose up his public image these days. With the 2011 election season looming, Daley thinks his salvation may be in bringing the 2016 Olympics to the windy city. He has explained it, saying,
It’ll boost tourism!”
Yeah right. It’ll boost Daley’s profile is what it’ll do. He has rallied the support of many high-profile people including President Obama, who will be in Copenhagen tonight to meet with the Olympic committee. This move has drawn criticism because some people think that it is unnecessary for him to be there, as there are far more important issues to be dealt with at the moment (I wholeheartedly agree).
The madness over the Chicago Olympic bid has only gotten more intense now that the big decision is a day away. According to WENN, Oprah Winfrey has thrown in her support and she will be joining the Obamas in Copenhagen. It may seem like there is unanimous support for this idea, but that’s just not the case. Last Tuesday, over 250 Chicagoans gathered outside of City Hall to protest the bid, citing that more attention should be paid to schools, transit lines and health care clinics, among other things. My question is: why would people want the games to be in a Midwestern city with unpredictable weather when they could be in such cities as Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo or Madrid?
It seems like those who care the most about the Olympics being in Chicago, are those who have the most to gain. While Daley is the most obvious example, take a look at the video below. Billy Dec, the co-owner of Rockit Bar and Grill, a popular eatery here, has been shooting a series of interviews with celebrities in the past few months in a move to promote the Olympic bid. (And to promote himself!). There’s something about this weird project that just screams desperation. If the committee votes in favor of another city to host the games, then his series of interviews will be deemed even more pointless than they already were.