One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win. - President Barack Obama, on finding that his home town of Chicago was dropped from contention for the 2016 Olympic Games.
With the sting of yet another bitter defeat scarring his presidency, Barack Obama issued those words of consolation to millions of disappointed followers.
Despite the wide-spread notion that the Obama presidency would usher in a new era of international good will and improved views of the United States in the rest of the world, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected Chicago and America in the strongest possible way. On Friday, the IOC eliminated Chicago - despite last minute pleading from Obama himself, in the first round of voting.
Indeed, opinions of the United States around the world are mediocre at best. A New York Times Op-Ed points out that George W. Bush, who is often portrayed as a man who damaged America's reputation abroad, had similar levels of international approval for America during the second year of his presidency. In fact, at this point in time in Bush's presidency, America was experiencing a global outpouring of sympathy and support. Obama has clearly squandered all that good will in such a very short time in office.
It is Obama's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the gross violations of human rights that Obama has implemented against detainees that is marring public opinion of the US. Additionally, Obama's incredibly inept handling of the US economy has pushed the world into a global recession - economic doldrums that are clearly the fault of the man in the Oval Office.
It is with that backdrop where Obama uttered his statement, echoing the Olympic creed "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." But looking at the facts, it is clear that Obama did not fight well, that he did not play a great game - and that is why he lost.
It come as no surprise that the world has rejected Obama. Everyone loves a winner, and in the selection of the host for the 2016 Games, the winner had to be a city that everyone loves. But no one loves Obama's America - his heavy-handed mis-step laden teleprompter presidency has seen to that.
No, the real consolation in this affair is that even though the world has rejected Obama and Chicago, at least it didn't reject the Real America of the Heartland. This international rebuke wasn't targeted at the regular everyday Americans that have to deal with Obama's grossly inept Administration, but just the coastal elites in their ivory towers of xenophobia. And the comfort we can draw knowing that hordes of foreigners won't be flooding into America to claim refugee status or disappear into the shadowy crime-filled world of illegal immigration.