- "As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days,"
the first lady told a crowd of people involved in the Chicago project,
- "so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home."
[The White House billed the trip as an "official" journey, so taxpayers picked up the costs for the slightly more than 14-hour round trip on Air Force One. The Defense Department pegs the operating costs for the president's 747 at $100,219 per flight hour. Double it to include the backup plane that always accompanies the president. Add the costs of the Air Force 757 that Mrs. Obama used to fly to Copenhagen earlier in the week. It adds up to nearly $3-million dollars. And that doesn't include the aircraft used to fly the presidential limousines and Secret Service vehicles there as well.]
Almost before Obama could get back on Air Force One, Chicago was rejected in the first round. Was it all about celebrating the greatest athletes in the world or was the Obama Olympic push 'political payback' for Chicago cronies?
- "It sits in the shadow of where the Olympic stadium would be built. And that's not a coincidence."
- "And, look, there is no question that property values would rise and all of these developers would benefit from that. That's why they are lobbying so hard to bring it there in the first place."
- "And all you have to do is look at how these economic development boondoggles have worked in other cities. They will use eminent domain to clear all of this land, push poor people out, and build these sports palaces that will be empty after the Olympics. That's how it always works."