29 September 2009

BLOG BIT: Obama's Olympic Gamble: This might be a good thing

While not going out for brunch the yesterday, I heard a bit of isolationist moaning on the Mike Gallager Show decrying Obama's presidential efforts to get the 2016 Olympic Games (summer) held in Chicago. A caller worried about all the potential terrorists that might be tempted to attack during the games, Galleger slammed the Olympics as too New World Order while complaining about poor treatment he felt American competitors (or was it just Americans) recieved at the Olympics. While this was going on I simply worried that the average US IQ had precipitously declined in the span of seconds or minutes. (I would later listen to NPR, and have those worries somewhat allayed, and then I was shaken again listening to New England football coverage.)

However I think this is a great overture to the international community given the isolationist policies, and generally icey international tone of the previous 8 years. No doubt the symbolism is not lost on Obama, or his advisors in the slightest. Having the Olympics here, even just campaigning for the Olympics to be held here on US soil is a bold statement to the international community, saying that we are indeed ready to be included in the international dialogue, while at the same time saying that we want to be a focal point in world affairs again.

Obama is clearly an international man (doing a little bit for his hometown too it has to be said), who wants the US to think in broader terms. What remains to be seen is whether or not the vitriolic, less than honest right wing nutter movements will hamstring this process enough to limit broader US involvement in the wider world. But that is an aside. What is very clear is that Obama is sending a clear signal to the rest of the world, in numerous ways, that the US seeks its leadership role in the world once again.
It is about damn time.

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