While wing-nut crowd celebrates Chicago's failure to become the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games as some massive world-wide repudiation of Barack Obama, it's worth taking a moment to consider what really happened. The marketing sucked. Check out the presentation (sorry about the poor quality and the commercial).
If you made it much past the point of Anita DeFrantz saying, "You can see why that setting will create an extraordinary experience," you did better than me. No, Anita, I can't see why. When you're bidding to host one of the premier events on the world stage, you should really put more effort into it than slapping some new text over the same presentation the Tourism and Convention Bureau uses to attract conventions of accountants or proctologists. Before an Obama took to the microphone, the members of the IOC had to suffer through thirty minutes of the most heartless, thoughtless dreck imaginable. By that time, poor old Juan Antonio Samaranch had fallen asleep, face down in his copy of Mein Kampf.
The failure? Chicago didn't tell anybody anything that made the city seem in any way different than any other city. If Chicago can't get excited about its self, why should anyone else? The sad thing is, Chicago IS a great city. They would have done far better to have Sarah Vowell come read her essay on the Michigan Avenue Bridge from Take the Cannoli. Hell, just play them Ferris Bueller's Day Off--even just the Twist and Shout scene would do the trick.
It wouldn't have been that difficult. Some cities have real image problems. It's difficult to think of Rio and not be reminded of its crippling poverty and massive, oppressive slums, but that's balanced out by the images of natural beauty, fabulous beaches and, of course, Carnival. Chicago's image problem is that for the last couple decades, it really doesn't have an image. When much of the world thinks of Chicago, the first thing they think of is Oprah. Let's compare those two images:
Which city do you want to go to? Hell, even this guy gets it: