Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I wish I was able to express in your native Denmarkian just how lovely Michelle and I find the city of Copenhagen. She told me that for the first time in her life she’s able to think of Copenhagen without picturing tobacco-spitting rural voters who blindly cling to guns and religion. Just as we have been awed by the beauty of Copenhagen we believe everyone from around the world will find the windy city of Chicago to be an inspiration as well. It is with great honor that I am here – not as President of the United States – but as a proud Chicagoan. The time is now for my home town of Chicago to be named host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
To be sure, all of the final four cities being considered – Madrid Spain, Tokyo Japan, Rio de Janeiro Brazil, and Chicago – would be worthy and joyful recipients of this honor. Each city and its people worked diligently to assemble and present their respective bids. But as former Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield said, we’re here and the gloves are off.
What? It was Michelle who said that? I only saw a thick, sinewy pair of arms from the corner of my eye. I’ll bet none of you have seen arms like my wife’s on a woman since East Germany consolidated their Olympic program under a unified Germany.
[pause for laughter]
Seriously though, folks, the IOC needs to tread cautiously when their actions could be perceived as a personal insult to me, Chicago, and the United States. Anyone who thinks otherwise would be well advised to see how double-crossing America is working out for the Supreme Court and Congress of Honduras. Uncle Sam can giveth or Uncle Sam can taketh away. The choice is yours – and at the conclusion of my remarks it will be clear that those defenders of Madrid, Tokyo, and Rio have been bamboozling you with deliberate distortions and falsehoods.
Let me address the Tokyo bid first. There is much to be admired in their proposal. For example, Tokyo’s commitment to ensuring the 2016 Olympics would be the greenest ever – even recycling several building constructed for the 1964 Olympics. Erecting an Olympic Stadium powered 100% by solar electricity.
Sustainable energy is indeed an urgent requirement if I’m going to slow the rate of sea level rise. Renewable energy supplies like solar electricity are a centerpiece of the energy rationing plan I am desperately working to impose upon the American people and economy. But despite renewable energy, recycled buildings, and an immaculately clean host city we must avoid rewarding the status quo of no-longer-workable Cold War alignment in Southeast Asia. Antagonizing China by awarding the Summer Games to Tokyo so soon after the games in Beijing will send a chilling message to our Red Chinese allies.
Lord knows I’m not going to upset the apple cart by actively pressuring Kim Jung il to surrender his nuclear aspirations. Without support from Beijing, America is powerless in the face of North Korean aggression. We simply can’t afford to offend our friends in Beijing at this crucial juncture in history. My plan to unilaterally surrender the US nuclear arsenal can only go so far, now it’s up to the IOC to take concrete steps to further allay Chinese suspicions about the West’s commitment to peace.
Besides, just how excited will people really be about tiny hybrid limousines, wacky game shows, and paying $150 for a square watermelon anyway? Take it easy, Michelle, I know that’s a good price for square watermelon if it’s grown organically on a local farm. And I’ve got GM working night and day on a hybrid presidential limo.
[pause for laughs]
As for Madrid, one can scarcely imagine a more picturesque location. A vibrant, modern city; bustling business community, and extensive enthusiasm from its residents. Madrid’s supporters call it the “safe bid”. Much of the infrastructure is already in place. Madrid’s bid for the 2012 Games was also compelling – but also insufficient. Can we be sure Madrid has learned what it takes to secure and host an Olympics? And do we want to put our faith in a risky scheme to have consecutive summer games in two cities separated only by the English Channel and uncommon languages?
Madrid says they’ll follow Satan to the gates of Hell if it means they can host the 2016 Olympics, but they won’t even go so far as to call their bid “spectacular” to get the Games. The tremendous dedication shown by Olympic athletes around the globe calls for more than a “safe” bid. No, the 2016 Games demand an extraordinary bid. No one can look at the folks on stage with me today, Oprah Winfrey – the biggest, wealthiest celebrity that nobody outside of America has ever heard of….my lovely wife Michelle with the 22″ pythons bulging out of her sleeveless dress…without sensing that something really spectacular is about to happen.
I don’t mean spectacular like filming Red Heat on the streets of Chicago. I mean spectacular like the birth of baby Jesus.
Sorry Madrid, there’s nothing spectacular about leftover paella and tapas.
Now to those who would say Rio de Janeiro is a more compelling choice, the sensible selection of Chicago should in no way be considered a slight by the people of Brazil. Brazil has a rich cultural heritage and has made great strides towards modernization. Brazilians’ love of sports is well known. Rio is bright, alive, alluring, and a favorite destination for tourists.
However, one issue Brazil’s supporters have raised – that South America has never hosted an Olympics – is indeed one that, without knowing all the facts, would seem to raise a large degree of sympathy. But to award the Olympics based on a thinly veiled quota system would be acting stupidly. The games aren’t awarded to a continent, they are awarded to a city. Brazil and Rio de Janeiro’s inexperience also brings to bear the enormous risk awarding this prestigious event to a city, country, and continent which hasn’t previously managed such awesome responsibilities.
Any talk of South America’s first Olympic Games is merely a distraction from the important work of hosting an international event. Let me be clear, if you like a seamless and profitable Olympic experience you won’t regret putting your full faith and credit in the city of Chicago and United States Olympic Committee.
Chicago. The very word elicits visions of a city which takes care of those who take care of the city. Ask our city employees, ask our aldermen, ask our ward committeemen, ask out precinct captains. That reputation for generosity extends from the Mayor’s office to the Governor’s mansion in Springfield all the way to the White House. Chicagoans know what’s gold, and bringing the Olympics to Chicago will ensure we all take home the gold.
Speaking of gold, anyone know where I can get an 18K gold anniversary charm bracelet in a men’s “Incredible Hulk” size? Michelle’s and my special day is coming up…
[pause for laughs]
Michelle’s a great sport. I’ve heard that other First Ladies threw lamps around the royal bedroom over less. What? Oh, I mean Presidential bedroom….
[pause for laughs]
Right before I departed for Copenhagen I received a letter from a young boy named Jayden Moore who lives in south Chicago. Jayden lives not far from where I got my start in community organizing and a short one hour drive from where I raised and privately schooled my children. Jayden is 14 years old, runs track, plays what we Americans call soccer – football to the rest of the world – and has always dreamed of seeing the best amateur athletes in the world compete. Growing up in south Chicago, Jayden will probably never be able to travel across the world and go to the Olympic Games.
Hell, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be allowed in the Olympic village even if he could to afford the tickets should Chicago be awarded the games.
But to Jayden, actually seeing the games isn’t the point. It’s the thrill of knowing he’ll be able to watch – from a distance – construction of a velodrome that years later he’ll see fall into disrepair and decay like Grove Parc Plaza. He wouldn’t experience the economic boom like the local political operators, developers, and building contractors. But Jayden can look forward to a brief period of reduced racial profiling by the Chicago Police as they go all out to ensure the safety of visiting athletes and dignitaries.
It just doesn’t seem right to deny this poor young black child a lifetime of memories this brief, three week vacation from the racial profiling that has always been practiced by US law enforcement would provide. I believe we owe Jayden that much.
Those who would point to a recent episode of violence well-publicized by the right wing media as reason Chicago shouldn’t host the games must answer their criticism. Would you rather wake up submerged in a bloody Rio De Janeiro bathtub full of ice with a note you kidneys have been stolen? Would you rather have your every move surreptitiously recorded and rebroadcast on the Internet from some Tokyo bathhouse? Maybe you’d enjoy being kidnapped from Madrid and sold to an Algerian freighter sailing out of Valencia?
A minor dignitary once presented me with a hand carved memento crafted out of timbers from America’s first anti-slavery ship; and opposition to human bondage has been a hallmark of American foreign policy these past nine months. If you think America’s first black President will stand idly by while innocent people are sold to North African pirates as slaves then you don’t know Barack Obama.
So unless you unwittingly stray into an ACORN office there’s virtually no chance you’ll be exposed to human trafficking while you’re in Chicago. Murdered? Possibly. Mugged? Almost surely. Sold into bondage? Not very likely at all. Let me be clear – if you like living a life of freedom you won’t be forced into slavery under my Chicago 2016 Summer Olympic plan.
Many of you are probably wondering why the President of the United States would come all the way from Washington to lobby for the 2016 Olympics to come to Chicago. Doesn’t he have bigger fish to fry? Hasn’t his health care plan been held up by those who defend the status quo? Wasn’t he just pantsed by Ahmadinejad and the mullahs? Isn’t Obama simply too cool to care about the Olympics?
As I’ve said before, you don’t get to the top without being carried by some powerful people. I owe the political machine in Chicago a debt I can only ever hope to repay by delivering thousands of individual stimulus packages in the form of the Summer Games. If there’s one thing hosting an Olympics requires it’s large sums of money. Large sums of poorly-accounted-for, distributed-through-cronyism-and-largess money. Large sums that don’t stop at the water’s edge, if you get my drift.
Now let me be clear, bids for the Olympics – like all endeavors of government – are expected to far exceed their originally advertised cost. One of the lessons we can learn from London’s preparation for the 2012 Summer Games is that there will always be plenty of lucre to go around. The city of Chicago can’t afford to let the Olympics fail. The state of Illinois can’t afford to let Chicago fail. And you have my personal guarantee that plenty of the $750 billion from my wildly successful stimulus package will be dedicated to making the Chicago Olympics the most spectacular, graftiest ever.
It’s not like I would ever leave Chicago holding the bill when it comes to hosting a large, expensive event just to indulge my ego.
The London Games are now forecast to cost four times what was initially projected. Inheriting the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression didn’t stop me from quadrupling the budget deficit in a single year. Four times the initial projection? Pikers! I say let’s make the 2016 Olympics in Chicago the most expensive and over-budget ever! Can we exceed the initial cost estimates six fold? Yes we can! Eight fold? Yes we can!
When it culminates, as thousands of adoring fans cheer in unison while I lift the torch and ignite the Olympic flame, the monumental sums of money invested will seem meager indeed.
Vote for Chicago and Chicago will move you…to a bigger house with live-in housekeepers. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, I would be remiss in talking about my home town of Chicago without bragging on all the exciting historical and cultural sights. Whether you want to see the barn where Mrs. O’Leary’s cow started the great Chicago fire or the stockyards or the Richard J. Daley plaza, Chicago’s got it all. Soldier Field, the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the El train, Navy Pier, Mike Ditka’s Steakhouse, Superdawg, Flukly’s. Chicago’s splendor will leave your jaw dropped, then you can fill your mouth with one of our famous delicacies. Whether it’s a greasy, doughy undercooked and overstuffed pizza or a hot dog with so many toppings you can’t even taste the frankfurter – Chicago’s got you covered.
For our Muslim brothers that can’t touch pork but crave a taste of anti-Semitism while they’re at the Olympics, just head on over to the Trinity United Church of Christ. Although I never really paid attention to what he said during my 20 years in Reverend Wright’s congregation, he’s apparently a real firebrand when it comes to Israel and the Jews. If the good Reverend spikes your interest in Jihad you can just head on over to Hyde Park where Bill and Bernadette Ayers know all about bomb making. Bill’s a whiz with manuscripts too, so if you’re not getting anywhere with that memoir he’s just the one to help drag you across the finish line.
Chicago’s got everything a young radical could ever dream of. I’m living proof – with Chicago the sky is the limit. That toddlin’ town. You don’t need to bet that bottom dollar on shaking those blues, I promise you plenty of greenbacks to chase the blues away. Send Chicago the Olympics and I’ll send you the gold.
Choose Chicago. I did, and just look at me now.