There's been a lot of talk this week about how Obama was somehow demeaning the Presidency by going to Copenhagen to lobby the IOC to get the Olympics for Chicago in 2016.
The Democrats are saying it was a noble effort, even if in a losing cause, and conservative commentators are saying that for Obama to go on a sales pitch like this when there are so many more pressing problems facing the country showed a lack of judgment.
But if Obama hadn't gone, he might have been criticized for that as well. All three other countries under consideration sent their heads of state to Copenhagen. If Obama had helped Chicago win, it would have created jobs. Yes, a lot of the money would have found its way into the pockets of corrupt Chicago political operatives, but thousands of new construction jobs are something this country needs.
As it was, the IOC members seem to have been unmoved, if not turned off, by Obama's participation. But no one, least of all Obama, could have predicted this, and the point is, he did try.
My take, as someone with little faith in Obama overall, is to give him a pass on this one. We do have more pressing problems, but it's not as if he would have solved them by staying at home an extra day or two. And it does smell a little as if he's using his office to pay off old debts, but it would have been good for the country, so it's justifiable.
Anyway, there are plenty of other, better reasons to criticize him -- like his foreign policy.
Or his domestic ones.