A major theme of last night’s speeches at Americans for Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Conference” was, ironically, out-and-out gloating about Chicago’s failed bid to host the 2016 Olympics.
“R-I-O!” said conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, speaking the a ballroom of almost 2000 conservative activists. “May this be the first of many defeats for Chicago-style politics!”
Ingraham fantasized about being on the plane home from Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee handed down the decision, and watching Oprah Winfrey cry and Michelle Obama throw things with her “big arms.” The crowd cheered, and cheered again, curiously, when Ingraham seemed to contradict herself.
“How did we go, in nine months, from the world’s number one superpower to getting knocked out in, like, the first round?” asked Ingraham. “Even Tom DeLay got to round three of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’” Both varieties of Olympics jokes reflected the uneasy and surprising manner with which conservatives have embraced the loss of an event that up to 84 percent of Americans said they wanted in Chicago.
Following shortly after Ingraham, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) got in more political barbs about the loss of the games. “After those first-round results,” said Pence, “it looks like the president has had about as much luck pitching Chicago to the Olympics as he had pitching health care reform to the American people.”