Mayor Nice Guy | Bleader

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mayor Nice Guy

Posted By on 10.09.07 at 08:24 PM

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Apparently, the best way the U.S. Olympic Committee can get its message to Mayor Daley is to use the press.

If you recall, when they wanted him to break his promise to use no public money to pay for the 2016 Olympic games, Olympic committee vice president Bob Ctvrtlik went to the media.

"We definitely want the government to have some skin in the game," Ctvrtlik told reporters on March 7. "We had been assured by the mayor that this is the case with the city of Chicago."

Within a week Daley not only reversed his long-standing pledge not to use public money but had slammed through the City Council a Rube Goldberg financing scheme likely to cost taxpayers at least $500 million if, God help us, we get the games.

Last week Ctvrtlik's boss, UOC chairman Peter Ueberroth, came to Chicago and told reporters that if Daley doesn't improve his act, the International Olympic Committee will award the games to another city. "You have to care about  and develop real friendships globally if you're going to be successful in the Olympic movement," Ueberroth said.

In other words, Chicago has to start making nice to IOC shot callers.

This may not be so easy for Daley to do. It's one thing for the mayor to sign on to a plan to waste public tax dollars -- he does that all the time (think $40 million handout to the Merc). But it's another thing to actually get him to be ingratiating or solicitous. Daley doesn't suck up to people, people suck up to Daley. If the mayor wants to do something, he just does it -- to hell with the opposition (think the destruction of Meigs Field). In the case of the Olympics, Daley probably figured all he had to do was invite the IOC to McCormick Place, feed them deep-dish pizza, take them on a bus tour of the city, and the games were his.

Now he knows better. We're number four.

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