A Whiff of Cronyism?

Posted: Sep 30, 2009 12:24 PM
The efforts by the Obamas to woo the Olympics to Chicago is unprecedented for the level of presidential involvement.  No less an Obama fan than Eugene Robinson has wondered whether it bespeaks some level of immodesty -- and questions whether the Copenhagen trip is "overkill."

What's more, while 47% of Chicagoans are hoping the city wins the 2016 Olympics, fully 45% of them are not.  So in going to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics, it's not as though the Obamas are simply promoting the collective hopes of their once-fellow-Chicagoans.

So why the big push, anyhow?

The American Prowler lays out a serious offairly significant links between the Obamas and those who stand to benefit -- either monetarily or prestige-wise -- through Chicago winning the games.  Most significantly,

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod's firm, AKPD Message and Media, which employs his son, and which owes Axelrod money, is one of the contractors on the Chicago Olympics bid.

Another beneficiary would be the Pritzker family (Penny Pritzker was one of Obama's foremost big-money fundraisers).

Certainly none of this is illegal, and of course it's possible that the Obamas simply want to see their hometown through a haze of Olympic glory.  All that being said, consider what the outcry would be if, say, George W. Bush went to unprecedented lengths to win oil-drilling contracts for the US that would benefit Americans, but also help some of his best friends and biggest contributors in the oil industry -- if you dare.  "Corrupt" would be the kindest epithet applied by the left.
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