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Olympic Patronage


Veronique, that Harper’s piece makes some great points illustrating why conservatives were right to be skeptical about Chicago’s (and Obama’s) Olympic bid — skepticism that the Dembots at ThinkProgress and elsewhere tried to brand as “rooting against America”:

What really counts with the Chicago political establishment is whether you can deliver the goods, and Obama has notably failed— that is, the tens of thousands of patronage jobs and potential real-estate killings that would have fallen into Richard M. Daley’s hands had the International Olympic Committee voted the way the Chicago City Council usually does: 49-to-1 for whatever the mayor wants. It didn’t matter to City Hall that there wasn’t enough money in the public coffers to pay for staging the games. What mattered was all that boodle for friends and political allies who could have been cut in on the action. As far as I know, the Daleys aren’t personally corrupt about money. But they love power and they deeply value the currency of political leverage. The Olympics would have meant enormous amounts of leverage.

I don’t know about rooting against America, but I’ll proudly root against that.


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