However as my President, I must assume that both he and I do share a desire to serve the best interests of our nation. To consider otherwise is ludicrous. President Obama is not the American enemy, we just see what is in our nation’s best interests differently. That is why I will surely criticize him with vehemence on that which we disagree upon and it is also why I will defend with equal vehemence when I agree with him.
That sense of conviction has prompted me to defend President Obama on several previous occasions and it is that same sense of conviction which currently puts me at odds with many of my allies on the right side of the political spectrum today.
President Obama’s recent trip to Copenhagen to make a last minute appeal to the International Olympic Committee regarding approval for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Chicago has received a great deal of criticism from many sectors. People from all sides of the political divide have stated that the cost and time expended on this presidential pitch for the Olympics is a waste of time and sign of misplaced priorities. Many on the right contend that the President needs to focus on more pressing matters. Military family members have come out and stated their utter anger over the fact that President Obama would devote time and energy to securing the Olympics for his adopted hometown while procrastinating on making life or death decisions pertaining to Afghanistan and the need for the extra troops that could help their sons and daughters fighting there. Some have stated that the President has no right to travel the globe to meet with the International Olympic Committee about games when he has only spoken to the commanding officials of the Afghan war only once in over 70 days.
These arguments, and a panoply of others, do resonate. They are not entirely without merit. In fact, they have legitimate place in the debate. However, I see President Obama’s efforts to secure the holding of the 2016 Olympic Games in the United States as worthy.
The Olympic Games are an important symbol in the world and even more than its symbolism is its value. The Olympics are a truly unifying event that celebrates the best of the human spirit. It is a reflection of mans intrinsic instinct to achieve the heights of our individual potential, a potential that often becomes a patriotic representation of the potential of each nation’s people as a whole. Beyond that is the economic value. Well run Olympic Games increase commerce, employment, tourism and promotes good will and a certain elevated stature on the world stage for the nation hosting the games.
To do what one can to win the opportunity to host the Olympics is a worthy cause and for the leader of a nation to make a personal pitch for that opportunity is not unprecedented. In fact many experts will tell you that it is smart and I agree.
So I disagree with many of my own party and political persuasion on the importance and value of President Obama’s trip to Copenhagen. I commend him for the effort and seeing as how President Obama is about as popular on the world stage as Paul McCartney at a Beatles revival concert, there is no one better that we could use to try to win the International Olympic Committee over.
So I defend President Obama’s decision to spend a few hours to try to get the Olympics to come to the United States and play out in Chicago. But at the same time I am not completely at odds with those who criticize the President for that effort. President Obama has left himself open to the criticism. He has procrastinated on crucial decisions regarding Afghanistan. He has yet to produce any perceivable progress in turning the economy around and increasing employment in America. He has created great doubts about other issues which he himself has made priorities.
Add to that his costly use of Air Force One for trips to Chicago for quiet dinners with his wife and to New York to take in a Broadway show or even the terrifying use of Air Force One for photo ops that scared the hell out of terrorized New Yorkers and it is easy to see how some could charge that this recent trip to Copenhagen is as frivolous an expense and waste of time as many other excursions that President Obama has had a hand in.
So President Obama has opened himself up to the hoopla and brouhaha that his bid for the Olympic Games has created. But I believe that his effort is worthy and warranted. I also believe that a President should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time and as such, while I defend his personal pitch for the Olympic Games, I also criticize him for not acting properly, effectively or timely on other matters of even greater importance. Had he been on top of everything he needs to be, he would not have been attacked so strongly for doing something, that under normal circumstances, most of us would commend him for.
Contrary to critics of my own, I am fair, and in all fairness, as I stated, the President’s try at winning the right to hold the 2016 games in the United States has legitimacy. But at the same time, the charges he has opened himself up to also have legitimacy.