October 1st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What if more than half of Chicagoans don't want Olympics?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the President and First Lady lobby in Copenhagen for the 2016 Olympic Games to come to Chicago, it's worth pointing out that a lot of people who live in there don't want them. Mayor Richard Daley has called it "a once in a lifetime opportunity," and supporters talk about how the Olympics could bring jobs and revenue to the city.

ChicagoansForRio.com urges the Olympic Committee to vote on holding the games in Rio.

But not everyone is buying it.

One poll by the Chicago Tribune/WGN shows fewer than half of Chicago residents want to host the summer games. One group opposed says if Chicago gets the games, "corruption, cronyism, cost overruns... are guaranteed." Hey - it's Chicago.

There's even a web site called Chicagoans for Rio that urges the Olympic Committee to send the games to Brazil. They cite deficits of former host cities which in some cases are huge. They list Chicago's latest crime statistics... there's even a picture of Athens five years after the games where they claim 21 of 22 of the city's Olympic venues now sit empty and unused.

They also compare Rio de Janeiro to Chicago with examples like these:

City nicknames: the Marvelous City vs. the Second City.

Histories: Portuguese empire capital vs. a rail yard.

And... Signature events: for Rio - naked people dancing vs. for Chicago - chubby people eating.

Here’s my question to you: Should it matter if more than half of the people in Chicago don't want the 2016 Olympic Games?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kenneth from Seattle writes:
I've heard that every Olympics Games in history has lost money. Sure, some people made money, some quite a lot, but the taxpayers generally lost. I guess it depends on who the Olympics are for.

Merlin writes:
I do not believe Obama should reduce his presidency to lobbying the IOC for favors. What if Chicago loses? That would be egg in the face for Obama.

Jan from New Jersey writes:
Jack, Haven't you learned anything? What the "people" want does not matter anymore. Somebody – with money and power or celebrity – knows what is good for us. That's why I fear that there is going to be some kind of revolt in this country.

M. from Phoenix writes:
Can we stop pretending that this isn't a done deal? Everyone knows Chicago will get the 2016 Olympics. The debate is over regarding whether they should or whether the people want it or why Brazil is simply a better choice. We should also stop pretending that hosting the Olympics had any lasting impact on Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Montreal or Calgary.

Adam from Canada writes:
Entirely irrelevant, sir, as Rio is a mortal lock! South America has never hosted an Olympiad. Suffice it to say, that political chit will be cashed tomorrow!

Jan from Salt lake City, Utah writes:
Jack, I was one of the ones who wasn't exactly happy when Salt Lake was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics. Boy, was I ever wrong. It was great fun and a boon for our city.

Simon from Ontario writes:
Be careful what you ask for, Chicago, you may get it. I had a ball at the 1976 Montréal Olympics, but the city is still paying for it 33 years later and the venues are crumbling and underused.

Harry from Boise, Idaho writes:
Since when does Chicago pay attention to the majority? Doing so now would set a bad precedent.

Filed under: Cities • crime
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Dear Jack
    here in the shadow of the Jerrydome where whole neighborhoods were demolished and the rest of us have had our property taxes and city sales tax bumped up to pay for "the Palace of Dallas", we have learned that ir doesn't matter a tinker's dam what the plain folk want. When the developers and the city officials think they smell profit and can make sure the rest of us pay for their opportunity to make some dough, they go for it. And why not? They aren't the ones footing the bill for the project or stuck with the debt when the anticipated profits fail to materialize.
    Arlington Texas

    October 1, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Chuck From Brownstown, MI

    Since when does anyone in the government care what we think?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  3. Risa from Chicago

    Hell yes it should matter! Life under Mayor Daley is taxation without representation: the mayor does what he wants, the City Council bends over and lets him, and opposition from residents and civic groups is ignored. We have bigger problems here that we should be addressing with our efforts and our tax money, but apparently schools, safety, and a decrepit public transportation system aren't as important as Daley's vanity projects.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Risa from Chicago

    Never mind the Olympics...can Rio take our mayor?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  5. Pam holt

    Foley al. Yes it matters, because we are sopose to be living in a democratic government, where the majority rules. If president Obama does"t respect the majority rule of law, will that me that he will force illegal immigration reform on the citizens, if the majority are against it???? I really thought Obama was differant. I hope he doesn"t prove the republicans right...

    October 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  6. Paula

    I guess to old saying holds true here... "You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time." There will always be the people with the "thumbs-down-kind-of attitude. It's the Olympics for crying out loud. Think how awesome it will be for US athletes to perform in their own country. Who knows... maybe will get to hear Al Michaels say, "Do you believe in Miracles" again during the 2016 Olympics. Americans need to believe in America again... I give a big thumbs up to the people promoting Chicago in Stockholm for a chance to host the Olympics.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  7. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    This is about AMERICA more than about one specific city. They'll have to deal with it for the good of the country.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Keith in CA

    Is it possible for the President to make a pitch for another American city? Los Angeles would be a great alternative. The 1984 games were a huge success and the 2016 games would make Los Angeles the first city to host the modern Olympics three times. Americans love a Threepeat! L.A. has better weather and less crime than Chicago as well as an Olympic coliseum, built for the 1932 games, which is just gathering dust. Lord knows California's economy can use all the help it can get.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  9. bill rupert

    No it should not matter Jack. If Chicago wins this thing it will be fantastic for the city and for the country.
    It may cause some hassles with the venue builds but in the long run it's a good thing.

    Chicago, Chicago – My kind of town

    October 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  10. John, Fort Collins, CO

    If the majority of the people in Chicago don't want to host the Olympic games they should be held elsewhere. In 1972, the IOC selected Colorado to host the winter Olympics, but a majority of Coloradans voted and said no. All for the same reasons many in Chicago don't want them: the high cost to taxpayers, the impact on the environment, and detrimental effect on their quality of life.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    This is about our COUNTRY more than it is about one city. They'll have to deal with it (as they reap the financial benefits).

    October 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  12. amanda whiting

    I think it would be a great tragedy for the people to not the Olympics in Chicago this would be a great and common cause to bring the people of Chicago together to make thier city safe for everyone especailly the children who are becoming the tragic victims of a city that desperatly needs to come together to stop the violence and protect its children from harm. The Olympics is the spirit of people coming together for a common cause and Chicago needs that now.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  13. Remo, in beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    I guess Chicago corruption has shown itself in the White House.
    Shouldn't the president be working on the war, health care, bail-outs, credit card caps, and other issues.
    I take it we again are paying for a costly overseas trip with money we don't have, that once again our kids are going to have to pay for. Didn't I hear a promise of fiscal responsibility when I voted for him. Well there goes another promise............

    October 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  14. ed in ri

    It makes no difference if half, all, or none of the people want the 2016 olympics in Chicago.
    There's another bubble on the horizon, that the media is ignoring completely. "That" bubble will burst way before the sceduled games begin. Too bad, I enjoy watching the olympic games.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  15. Esther Ohio

    Chicago will destroy the history of Olymipic's in the United States.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  16. Melissa

    I don't see why they wouldn't but it shouldn't matter. Its about whats best for the country, not what Chicagoans want. The Olympics would bring in billions of dollars, and provide alot of jobs, all of which this country needs right now. And that is far more important than Chicagoans not wanting so many people visiting their city because they don't want to deal with the traffic.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  17. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    And… Signature events: for Rio — naked people dancing vs. for Chicago — chubby people eating.
    I guess it gives plenty of time to get in shape...Chicago healthcare reforms!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  18. Stephen Fox

    Should it matter that half of Chicagoans don't want the Olympics in their city? Jack, probably about as much as it should matter that Obama wants to force health care upon those who don't want it. 🙂

    –Stephen Fox
    Panama Citiy, Florida

    October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  19. Merlin

    I do not believe Obama should reduce his presidency to lobbying the IOC for favors. What if Chicago loses? That would egg in the face for Obama.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  20. Mrs. M in Phoenix

    Can we stop pretending that this isn't a done deal. Everyone knows Chicago will get the 2016 Olympics. The debate is over regarding whether they should or whether the people want it or why Brazil is simply a better choice. We should also stop pretending that hosting the Olympics had any lasting impact on Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Montreal or Calgary.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    Corruption, cronyism, and cost overruns are not unique to Chicago. They’ve become a way of life in America. At least it will create jobs, because cronies need laborers and corruption always pays well.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  22. Willy Welsh

    Although I am a Chicagoan, I won't let my city of citizenship bias my response. Hosting the Olympics is an hour for the country where it is being hosted, not solely for the city. If Americans, in general, support the Olympics in Chicago, then the national opinion should prevail.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  23. Steve D

    No, it doesnt matter if Chicagoans dont want the games. The committee and government will ultimatly make the decision.
    Chicago and corruption go together anyway. We might as well have the Olympics there too. After all the Olympics are corrupt too!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  24. Linda in Arizona

    Of course it should matter. The majority of the people in Chicago aren't going to get anything but inconvenience and a big headache from having the much-touted Olympics there. The few who are going to make a ton of money off it are the ones in control. You know- Obama, Rahm, and Daly's pals. I hope Brazil gets the pleasure. I hate the stinking Olympics. The glorification of sports has reached the point of nazism in this country. Of course, that's not the only thing that has.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    If half of the people want to risk making money and half don’t, should the sum of the group decide to remain poor for all to be happy? Those that don't want the games can stay home when the jobs come into being and when the Olympic Games start.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  26. Ron

    I'm not surprised SOME Chicagoans don't want the Olympics there. Have you been there lately? It's dirty, the people are lowlifes, teens kill each other.
    Why embarass the US anymore? We are already laughed at for not having healthcare for all in this so-called great country.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  27. Peter

    Majority rules i think the president is trying to put Chicago on the map for somthing other than it's crime rate. If the people of Chicago don't want the Olympic games then the games should go some place else.

    Peter NY

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  28. jim Blevins

    Sports addicts are like any other addict - they get wild eyed and violent if anything stands in their way. The opponents have nothing but reason on their side. How could reason possibly compete with a wild eyed sports addict.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  29. Harry, Boise, Idaho

    Since when does Chicago pay attention to the majority?
    Doing so now would set a bad precedent

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  30. Glenn Mark

    I think it was rather smug on the Presidents part and has embarrassed the US by asking to put the Olympic Venue in the Arm Pit of the WORLD!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  31. realfactschicago

    One poll stated that half the people in Chicago do not want the games. Is that a real indication of whether people in chicago want it or not? I am from Chicago and I would so delighted if the games were to come to Chicago.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  32. xiomara erlenbusch

    All the jobs have gone overseas, sent the OLYMPICS too!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  33. Kimberly Krautter, Atlanta, GA

    Chicagoans who don't want the 2016 Olympic Games are bat dung crazy! The Olympics have been the gift that keeps on giving the entire Southeast. It was a massive economic boost from 1991 through the 1996 Games and has continued to be a reason why tourists and pour dollars into the city and the region. The value goes way beyond the jobs to build, maintain and promote the city for the three weeks of events. It provides tremendous ongoing value to the entire region. Charlotte, Birmingham, Nashville, Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville all directly benefitted from the Atlanta Games, and they continue to benefit.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  34. Paul H. from Los Angeles, CA

    Well of course it matters, Jack, but that's not the point. I think in an era when America's economy is swirling down the drain, it could only be beneficial to bring thousands and thousands of possible patrons to America. Ever hear of stories where people who own small businesses have to shut down because their business doesn't make enough money? The Summer Olympics would be quite a nice stimulus–and it might be even more directly helpful to the country than Obama's stimulus package.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  35. TJ Tampa

    Did you ask all 3 million plus or was this just another snap shot or poll. Having lived in Chicago the good people wil welcome the jobs, and tourism. Anyway, its not for Chicago its for the country..

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  36. Jennifer from Colorado

    Of course it matters. Ultimately a lot of taxpayer money will be used to fund the Olympics. Should those same taxpayers not have a say in how their money is spent, especially in these times when I am sure there are lots of more needy places to spend money?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  37. Jan

    Jack, I was one of the ones that wasn't exactly happy when Salt Lake City, Utah was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics. Boy was I ever wrong. It was great fun and a boon for our city.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  38. Jeremiah

    I think this is Stupid! i love my city of Seattle! but if im going to become president under these times im not going to get the olympic games in my hometown! Crazy im a Democrat, but if he wants a place for olympics put it in detriot or something. Also on that the people dont even want it there! So dont Force it. Put it some where were they want it.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  39. Jeremy Johnson, Myrtle Beach South Carolina

    Do you really think people have a say in anything the government or the states can do or not do? NO!!! It will not matter about the people as you can see our president is over their lobbying for it. I would like to see just how many legal people will get jobs if it comes to Chicago?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  40. Scott

    Los Angeles in 1984 was the last (and only) city to make a profit on the olympics. Our nation is, for lack of a better word, is BROKE! Why would we burden a city like Chicago, or any US city, the the cost if the people that pay that price don't want it?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  41. Eric from East Lansing, MI

    It may not matter because of the prestige of the Games. A world broadcast on the marvels of Chicago? Check. Billions upon billions of dollars? Check. A tourism boom for the starving economies of the Midwestern United States? Check.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  42. T. G. from the virgin islands

    I think it does matter. Chicago has plague by crime and corruption for so long, the people of the city probably don't know who to trust. The president has been pushing to have the Olympics hosted in Chicago with the intention to boost the economy in Illinois and show that he represents that city, but some of the Chicagoans are concerned that it would only lead more crimes abnd corruption.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  43. Annie, Atlanta

    Ed in RI, please share what you know. What bubble?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  44. Tom in Iowa

    I lived in Los Angeles in 1984 when the Olympics were hosted there. Many of the citizens had the same feelings about the Olympics that Chicago is having now. As it turned out the 1984 Olympics were a boom for LA and everything went off smoothly. If the Olympics come to Chicago it will give that city an opportunity to perhaps turn itself around and clean up many of the negative things that are going on there. Obama is right, Chicago Needs the Olympics.

    Tom in Iowa

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  45. Jessica from London Ontario

    Of course it matters, Jack. I used to live in Montreal, host of the 1976 Summer Olympics. Residents of Montreal are still paying for those Olympics with their taxes, and their children and likely their grandchildren will as well. It cost the people more than they ever got out of it. If you ask me, citizens should have the right to vote on the idea before the city ever makes a bid to the IOC.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  46. Roche

    I support the games in Chicago. The country should support it.

    I elected this president, and it'd go down in the history books how our first african-american president got the Olympic games in his home-town during his presidency. I don't believe seriously that "Less than half of Chicagoans" don't want the games there. Where do these statistics come from? Are they republicans? Rio is a great place and all, and the olympics would suffice their as well. But I'd like to see it in America in the hometown of my president.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  47. Butch Whitmon

    I don't believe half of Chicagoans Don't want the games.
    And all this nonsense about how bad Chicago is, is just that, nonsense. It's true to the extent it is tru of most major cities of around the world . Rio has it's own horrific stories of the underclass! Chicago is and has been for several years now a world class city with tourists visiting from all over the world; returning home with glowing accounts of their time in the city. Let the games begin........begin in our town....Chi-Town.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  48. Merlin, Atlanta GA

    I do not believe Obama should reduce his presidency to lobbying the IOC for favors. What if Chicago loses the bid? That would be egg in the face for Obama. Quite unnecessary.

    Merlin, Atlanta GA

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  49. Allen - Southern Illinois

    Speaking from southern Illinois I have to say Chicagoans have the right to complain... however, any time we (The United States) can sponsor the Olympic games, it is a greater opportunity to share the goodwill of our people worldwide. For the greater good, as politicians love to say, it would behoove Chicagoans to 'grin and bare it.'

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  50. Peter

    I was living in Los Angeles during the Olympics there. While there was a huge amount of resistance to the games, it transformed the city. More importantly, it transformed how everyone in LA viewed their city. When we saw it shining on television as through the eyes of strangers, we had real pride for something that had been the butt of many jokes. Chicago is also the butt of many jokes. I think that in spite of the resistance it would be a positive experience on every front.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  51. Everett Beights,Miami OK

    Jack: What the majority wants don't count. It's what the "big money" wants that counts.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  52. Melissa in AZ

    Shouldn't the city of Chicago focus on its teen violence problem before trying to land an event like the Olympics?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  53. Jerry - Fountain CO

    Yeah it matters. The Olympics will cost Chicago taxpayers millions and, when all is said & done, what do they get for their $$$?
    Let Rio have it.

    Jerry Fountain CO

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  54. Pat

    Yes it should matter. But since when does what the American citizens think and want make any difference to the Obama administration? They just move full-speed ahead regardless.

    What's really pathetic is that we've got a Commander-In-Chief who feels that Chicago getting the 2012 Olympics is more important than giving General McChrystal a decision about troops. I felt sorry for the General this morning almost begging for a decision from the president, stating that the window of opportunity to win will not last.

    Where are the president's priorities? I think we know.....

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  55. Gary H. Boyd

    In a perfect world it WOULD matter what Chicagoans want but everybody knows Chicago is far from perfect. In fact it could be argued that Chicago is probably the very last place the 2016 Olympics should be held because it would reveal to the entire world what most Americans already know - Chicago is a great place to be FROM. .

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 1, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  56. Chicaco Joe

    It's just not worth it. In Athens it cost them more than 10 Billion when they added it all up, and the only thing they've reaped so far is a good image. Chicago needs a lot more than some expensive plastic surgery Jack.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  57. Kim Caffy

    Why is CNN lobbying for the olympics to go to another COUNTRY instead of ours? This is one of the things that will help create jobs.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  58. Patrick Martin

    If the majority of Chicagoans don't want the Olympic games, then the big wigs need to start paying attention. Yes, it would be a great honor to have the games here again, but really, let's get our country back on track before we host the entire world.

    I live in Lexington, KY and in 2010 we're hosting the Alltech FEI World Games. It sounded like a great idea to a lot of people. It's the first time that the games are outside of Europe, and they're in Kentucky - the horse capital of the world. But as things started rolling, things got worse. A city block - a large part of the cultural life in Lexington - was torn down for a hotel, that will no longer be open in time for the games. Roads are being reconstructed in time for the games, but causing too many headaches for the locals. Yes, it will boost our economy for a few weeks...but what happens once they're gone? No one's going to come back.

    Let Rio have the games if they want them. Obama should be working on reviving the public option in the health care debate. Obama should be working on fixing our economy. He shouldn't be lobbying for his hometown to host the Olympic games in 2016. Michelle Obama et al were doing a good enough job. But all of those people need to listen to those who live and work in Chicago - if they're not wanting the games, pass it on to Rio.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  59. Richard Harrold

    There's another "opportunity of a lifetime" facing this city right now, and that is getting its recent youth violence under control. This morning a 14-year-old boy was bludgeoned in the back of the head by a group of others who chased him down the street. He remains in critical condition. another boy, an honor student, was murdered during a melee outside a school; they kicked him to death.

    If Mayor Daley thinks the city can spend all this money on the Olympics, why not spend it on something that matters? Like giving youth in this city a chance?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  60. Linda B., Ga.

    I'm thinking that IF Chicago does get the Olympics that ALOT of jobs would be created. So wouldn't this be a good thing, for the USA? I surely think it would be....

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  61. Judy Gingerella

    I'm from Chicago and live in Chicago, the best city in the world. Everyone I know supports having the Olympics here. Read the plan. It will be wonderful for the city, the state, and the US! More recent polls show that over 70% of Chicagoans support the Olympics. We are all anxiously awaiting tomorrows vote. CHICAGO 2016! IMAGINE!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  62. CK Honolulu

    The Chicagoans opposed are cynically shortsighted. There will be cost overruns no matter what city hosts the Olympics. The Olympics will be a benfit to the city (and to the US) by bringing jobs and infrastructure improvements.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  63. Teehy Mohney, New York

    Generally speaking, the majority of residents in any over-populated area are usually opposed to hosting large events- they just dont want the traffic.
    Furthermore, who cares what the majority of people think? Let's not forget, the majority of people in this country honestly believe that there was a talking snake in a magical garden...

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  64. Eric, Motown

    If the poll is accurate, of course it matters what vast majority of Chicagoans want. I say, what about Detroit, Mr. President? We'll be happy to host such an economy-boosting event as large as the Olympics. "Ford" knows we need it!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  65. Andy in Canada

    Chicago doesn't want the Olympics? Guess what? The rest of the world actually agrees with you! The less I have to travel to the U.S for these types of events the better.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  66. Jim

    Yes, if half of Chicagoans oppose the idea now, before all the cost overruns and other problems have surfaced, how will they feel later? Putting the city on the hook for all that expense for a 2-week event is unwise.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  67. GEEP

    Half Chicago doesn't want the Olympics? Well guess what? Half the people in Chi town don't want nothing. They still whine about the Picasso statue and the flowers on streets. They moan and groan about anything except the Cubs losing all the time. Perhaps if the Cubs ever win, they will complain about that too.

    Souff Calina

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  68. Jeffery, Toledo, Ohio

    Gee, thanks Jack. A Chicago Olympics would mark the first time such an event would be held within a days drive of where I live. I really wanted to go–until you mentioned the chubby people eating. Killjoy!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  69. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Is this the party of "NO" proving they can oppose anything Obama?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Errick in CA

    Jack, to be honest this is about more than Chicago. This is about America and bringing out the best in people. The Olympics allow the best in nations to come out, for peaceful sport to take place between countries that might be at odds with eachother outside of the games. For Chicago to be so selfish and shun something so wonderful, honestly bothers me quite a bit. I would love for the games to come here to Los Angeles, but that can't happen. Chicago was chosen amongst all U.S cities, so it must shoulder the burden of hosting the games for the betterment of this nation.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  71. Jerry Leavitt

    Since when does it matter what the citizens want, not only locally but also with the state and ferderal fovernment? What really counts is what companies donated the most money to the lawmakers. As th e saying goes "Follow the money".

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  72. Manuel

    Yes, It should matter. If Chicagos own citizens do not want it than why should it go there. What incitive do they have to be welcomming towards the people comming to the city for the Olimpic Games if they did not want the games in the first place.

    I would be more inclined to travel to Rio than to Chicago.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. hamm

    could this poll show only employed Chicagoans

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. Steve

    Hell no it doesn't matter Jack. I'm from Illinois and can't remember a time when even close to 50% of the population was behind anything Chicago or the state government did. Oh wait, they're one and the same. For that matter, I'm not sure half the people of Illinois even want Chicago to be considered a part of their state.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  75. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    There is a great deal of questions about Kevin Lynch who started "Chicagoans for Rio". It is believed that some of the People who are the most vocal against the Olympics in Rio just want to insure that this President does not do anything good for anyone, so they can sit back and point to it.

    You can tell just by the posts about this question that many people do not care what it is, they just want this President to fail. Forget about who it will hurt, the Republicans just want to be able to point the finger at this President and point out all his mistakes. Of course if they had done that with Iraq we might not have lost 4000 soldiers on a fools errand.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  76. Robert Urso

    Chicago 2016 ! Yes !
    Your reading the wrong newspaper, you need look at the the poll from the suntimes the paper is for working people
    This rare event would be great for a great city. I support it and several other tradesman, Union , Groups also support the event.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  77. Nancy P

    Who cares what the people of Chicago want. President Obama wants the Olympics, and that's good enough for me!

    The people. Hah.

    Let "the people" eat cake!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  78. Guillermo Jr

    Of course it matters. But unfortunately it doesn't matter to the people who make the decisions. "We The People" is a slogan that is only paid lip service to lately. It's obvious that the "little people" in this country don't have a say in anything anymore.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  79. Vig

    What kind of arrogance does it take to try and unduly influence the site of the 2016 Olympics by traveling and acting in the role of a special interest group? The Obamas and Ms. Winfrey have over stepped their celebrity with this breach of fair play. I wonder how the other countries feel who are trying to get the Olympics on their soil? This is pure and simple exploitation based on their own over valued sense of themselves. Americans should be embarrassed by this and I hope the Olympic committe can see through this power play.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  80. Lou

    I am from the suburbs of Chicago, but have a small business in Chicago and I DO NOT WANT THE OLYMPICS.

    There is soooo much corruption here and Daley just thumbs his nose and dares you to catch him just like Obama. VALLERY JARRETT owns most of the property that will be torn down and she will get millions for slums.

    What people want does matter and they had better wake up. It's just like the e-mail I sent Mayor Daley when he destroyed Meigs Runways, "Your just like the gangs, you do your best work at night"


    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  81. Shawn, KY

    Jack, if it didn’t matter that a majority of us voted for Al Gore in the 2000 election and it doesn’t matter more than half of us want a public option on health care. Then exactly why should it matter that most of Chicago doesn’t want to host the Olympics. Americans are use to not having their way on the issues that matter most to them. Maybe we should try reverse psychology like we do on children. Perhaps then we might get our way.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  82. LA

    Jack, please check the article, because earlier in the week here on local Chicago news there was an indication that the owner of the website emanated from Rio, not Chicago. I would love and hope that Chicago gets the Olympics, of course there will be added cost, but I do feel the revenue generated along with building projects resulting from the Olympics will bring long growth and development for Chicago. GO CHICAGO 2016

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  83. William

    This country, never mind Chicago needs another Olympic games here like a hole in the head. Secondly, it's not Obama's position along with his wife's to flex his muscle and push for one. He needs to stay in the White House and work on Gitmo, Healthcare, economics and our eldery, who by the way "don't want to die."
    Let the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois address the issues. not..................................

    Isn't is still " WE THE PEOPLE" IN AMERICA? Doesn't he work for us?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |

    Yes, they should have a say in it, they reside there.
    Its comforting to know that the residents of Chicago are smarter than the politicians in this case when voting no on the Olympics.
    Its no place to raise a child.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  85. Karl from SF, CA

    Chicagoans apparently don’t realize that it will take until 2016 to build the site and infrastructure, they don’t just put up a tent the day before it starts like the circus, and that will be 10’s of thousands of jobs here and now when they announce the winner and for a long time to come. Is Chicago doing that well that they can pass up a windfall of jobs and millions of dollars? How did they get exempted from the recession? Maybe they should have put Detroit up for it instead. I don’t think Michigan would be turning it down.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  86. Penny Jorgensen

    Jack, President Obama and the First Lady are merely keeping prior commitments made to Illinois and showing loyalty to their home state – all with the prospect of boosting the economy of Illinois. We should all admire any individual who actually does what he says he will do, particularly our President. We've had far too many who didn't.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  87. Ed in California

    For every Oprah and Obama; there's a group of teenager's killing their peers and a Kanye West embarassing himself with his arrogance... I don't think that Chicago should have a vote on this one. America is honored to be considered and will proudly host a global event such as this if we are appointed. We will make the world proud of us again.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  88. Rosaline

    If the people of Chicago or even the people of Illinois don't want the Olympics, I think they should forget about it. We in Colorado turned down the Winter Olympics in the 70's and most are so glad we did.
    Chicago needs to work on their city in so many ways, rather than hosting the Olympics.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  89. JBK

    The poll taken in Chicago re: the 2016 Olympics wasn't scientific. The poll doesn't matter. Chicago has it's faults, but no more than any other large metropolis. It's insulting to refer to it as just a "a railyard"
    All things considered, Chicago's economy will benefit. If the Olympics go elsewhere, the Windy City will get zero. Something is better than nothing. Viva Chicago!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  90. Tez Hall

    Yes its not all about chicago its about team US. So why are all the elephants mad I thought they were the ones who are patroits. Bush went to an olympic volleyball game between two wars and an economic low. And he was only there for less than 24 hr. Oh you elephants

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  91. CanadianCat

    I am a British Columbian who is about to watch our province host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Half of our province did NOT want the games either. We knew the expense it would place on our province even before the economy tanked. We British Columbians will not know the true money damages until AFTER the games have come and gone.
    The same games which most of us CANNOT afford to attend as tickets are priced so astronomically high or doled out to those apparently more deserving folks entitled to see the games. Let's not get into the drastic steps my government is going to in order to hide our very bad homeless problem. Or all the nastier things going on here that they don't want the world to see like our drug and gang wars.
    CHICAGO...If you do not want the games DEMAND your government stop lobbying for them Look back at the history of most Olympic games. I fail to see how it enriched anyone but the rich.
    Cat in Vancouver BC

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  92. Kerry Diehl

    Very simple, these folks are "In-Tune" with the rest of us here in America!

    The event only puts more monies in Mayor Daily and Valerie Jarrett's pockets along with the unions!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  93. Scott Stodden

    Yes Jack unfortunatly it should matter it people in Chicago don't want the Summer Olympics there. I feel in my opinion because Im an Illinois resident not of Chicago but I do live in Illinois that it would be a good thing for the city of Chicago but my only issue with the games coming there is how would people participating in the games from other countries and different states here in the United States feel about Chicago, this is the city with a gang problem and gun violence problem thats out of this world. Chicago has had over 300 deaths related to gang and gun violence and while Mayor Daley is fighting for the Olympics he could use all that energy to clean up his city or get out of office. I do feel it might and I repeat might unite Chicago.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  94. Tim in Texas

    Having the Olympics in the US would bring in tons of dollars and jobs. to the US. 'Nuff said.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  95. tod in reno nevada

    it's just like yesterdays question, it doesn't matter what prople want... our fine president is gonna do what he wants reguardless of what people think. our country is on the "highway to hell", and there's no turning back. keep the olympics and it's problems in some other country for a change....

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  96. DeJohn

    Hey Jack

    They are against it now but in the long run I believe they will love to have the Olympics in their city. I think it will relieve some racial barriers. Plus JOBS JOBS JOBS not just for Chicago but for all Americans who would love to participate.


    North Pole, Alaska

    October 1, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  97. any emelog

    I live in Chicago. That WGN poll is very biased. In this era of cable news it seems negativity brings publicity and the WGN media outfit is just taking advantage of that. Jack, you have also fallen to it by making the WGN poll a talking point. I work in downtown Chicago as a salesman and there is general interest for the games to come to Chicago. Americans will all love the games here.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  98. Peter from Vancouver BC

    The Olympics are good for the wealthy and the politicians who think they deserve a temple. Our (winter) games start in 4 months. We have a athletes village that the city had to take over the financing , a convention center that's $444 million dollars OVER budget and more secrecy over where all the money is. For this we get a new tax in July 2010.
    Chicago, look after your poor, your schools and your neighborhoods first.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  99. Tom Fitzgerald


    All you need to do is to follow the pliticians in Chicago and in the the White House. You will probable see that many of them have vested interests in the Olympics coming to Chicago. New venues have to be built and old ones torn down. Do some investigating and you will see just who stands to gain monitarily, regardless of the success of the Olympics. The will of the people will not sway anyone who stands to make a financial killing on these games...

    October 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  100. lynne from NC

    In a perfect world, yes. But since we don't have that, we have to make do with what we have and make the best of it.

    Put it this way, Former President Bush didn't listen to us about Iraq so now President Obama isn't listening to those in Chi-town about the Olympics. Go figure. At least the latter won't cost lives.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  101. Philly/PA

    Dear Jack,

    If Chicago does not get the Olympic Games, Valarie Jarret, Tony Rezko and the other people in the "slum lord" club would be very disappointed. Their land investments would not produce the huge profits that they expect.

    Phyllis, Media, PA

    October 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  102. Nashia Harris

    Jack, where do you'll get YOUR poll numbers from? I didn't vote nor did millons of people in Chicago. Polls are a reflection of those that are sitting in front of a computer AND watching CNN at the same time. WE WANT JOBS, thus host the olympics in the place that we need jobs, the USA.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  103. Will from S.C.

    Jack I said this before this is long but please bear with me. Chicago has work to do. That doesn't involve the obvious corruption, cronyism and future un-used abandoned infrastructure that will be there after the olympics are finished. From what I remember, Chicago has had a crime problem. One month 36 kids were killed and beat out the afghanistan coalition forces that died that month. It continues in this fashion mothly, not just that month. Ridiculous. I personally hope the Olympic comitee brings this up. I want to see what the trio of obama, michelle and opra have to say.
    If that were swine flu the killed all of those school age kids the CDC would be going nuts, Kathleen sebelius would elbow bump us to oblivion and there would be mass paranoia. Oh wait, we will see that when this vaccine comes out but thats another story for a later question.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  104. Gary Boege

    I wouldn't listen to what one poll has to say. Almost everyone I talk to would love to host the games here in Chicago. I know there is a small group of vocal people that don't want the congestion in the area, but I think those people have jobs. For those of us that need work, the Olympic Games would bring a lot of needed construction and service jobs to our area, and the country.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  105. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    In a democracy it certainly does matter how the majority of the people feel about any issue.

    But then after recently witnessing the bailouts, 2 wars, the health care circus, and the Bush/Cheney years, who can really believe this is a true democracy?

    My guess would be the minority of Chicagoans that want the 2016 Olympics.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  106. Armando

    I live in Chicago! My vote is for the Olympics to be in my city. Everybody I know and have spoken to is hoping that we will be the host of the 2016 Olympics. There's a major buzz going on in this city and it's for the Games to be held here. Why don't you report on that?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  107. Alveta, Maryland

    I have come to find out that half of this country don't know what they need or want anymore.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  108. Sandra Lynn

    I can understand half of Chicagoans not wanting the Olympics. Chicago draws people with or without the Olympics. But in the case of the Olympics, it will be an invasion of media and people and will make commuting even more of a nightmare than it usually is.

    Athens, Ohio

    October 1, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  109. Tyler, from Jersey

    People need to stop looking at nicknames and start looking at the facts. I guarantee you the majority of people who think Rio would be the better fit have never even been there. I can personally say that when I went there I was not impressed. At the oh so glorious beaches, I couldn't read my book for more two minutes without being harassed by yet another smelly beggar or salesman trying to sell me some useless item. I found the architecture to be beat, could not find a single building that looked like it had been touched since the 70s. And don't even get me started on the crime! If people think crime in Chicago is bad, they should try going to a City where hotels recommend that you don't go out at night, this is what happened to me. Even though Rio may appear to be a pretty city, and don't get me wrong the land is beautiful, I can personally say that on the inside there is much need for improvement.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  110. Richard J. Gottlieb - in Queretaro, Mexico

    Back in the 70's, Coloradoans created a voter initiative and defeated plans for an Olympics to be held there. "Don't Californicate Colorado" they declared it worked there so why not another comparison between let's say Chicago and where's Sarah Palin from?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  111. Paul Ceglia

    It absolutely matters.
    The city's politicians undoubtedly are planning on spending millions of dollars on the Olympics if their city is chosen and yet they cannot seem to be able to protect their children properly because the funds are not available to provide the proper services. If Chicago cannot protect its own from out of control crime, how does it expect to protect the millions from all over the world who will visit there.
    The powers that be should get their priorities straight!
    Cutler Bay, FL

    October 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  112. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Hey Jack, why don't they ever award the Summer Olympics to Buffalo. No wait, never mind, BLIZZARDS!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  113. Barbara

    I did not want the Olympics to come to Los Angeles for many of the same reasons that the people of Chicago don't want it to come to Chicago. I still remembered the riots in L.A. and there was already all that traffic on our freeways. I did not think it would be a good or safe idea for anyone to come to L.A. for the Olympics. But when the Olympics came to Los Angeles they convinced me that I was 100% wrong. No danger, no traffic jams, no new riots, just an international party and a celebration of all the athletes with all the people around world. It was glorious event to have it happen in our city.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  114. Norma

    Chicago residents need to look at the bigger picture, they need to look beyond themselves. The olympic games will bring jobs and an economic boost to the entire region not just Chicago.

    They are being selfish, short sited and unpatriotic .

    They lose crediability when they undermind the President of the United States and the Mayor of the city by posting a web-site encouraging the olympic committee to chose Rio de Janeiro. I am willing to bet those doing this particular act are those rightwing ultra conservatist extremist republicans. They are hell bent on destroying President Obama and the country if necessary, in order to get to President Obama.

    These people can not and must not win. Go get'm President Obama bring home the bacon!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  115. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It means President Ego has a chance to grandstand and 'campaign' yet again. Too bad he can't actually tke the time to make a decision on Afghanistan, where troops are dying every day.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  116. Delia

    It doesn't matter any more than saying over 50% of Americans want Universal Health Care. We get what our "democracy" (err, Plutocracy) gives us and we worry about it later. Politicians know better than the general public - right, Jack?!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  117. Catherine MacLellan

    Let the people of Chicago decide. And make sure they know the full financial burden that will befall the city – with appropriate additions for the almost inevitable cost overrruns.
    The city of Vancouver is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. As a result of cost overruns, and related problems, the credit rating of the city has been downgraded. The costs are skyrocketing, with the Olympic village now costing $1 billion. Like so many of these ventures, it will be the taxpayers who will bear the bulk of the cost, while a few wealthy and political elite enjoy an incredible gala.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  118. Sherri-Illinois

    Some polls in the city have shown that MOST of the citizens DON'T want the 2016 Olympics here but we are going to get stuck with the bill when the lavishness (ACCESSIVE SPENDING) is over, Mayor Daley will find some underhanded way to make the citizens pay for his EGO trip. I say to hell with the Olympics when young people are being killed everyday and the Police including Mayor Daley are doing nothing to stop it, just alot of lip service. 2016? I hope Rio gets it. Tell the President to fix this economic crisis and Recession, get the 6M jobless Americans JOBS JOBS JOBS!.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  119. Joan McCarthy

    Though a total outsider on this issue, I am from Montreal - host of the 1976 Olympics Games - and can fully understand why over 50% of Chicagoans do not want to host the Games. Back in the mid-70s, our then Mayor - Jean Drapeau - uttered the now infamous statement that the Montreal Olympic Games could no more have a deficit than a man could have a baby (I kid you not). Guess what, Jack. some 33 years later, Montrealers are still paying off the deficit in one way, shape or form. I think that a majority of Chicagoans are just showing good old-fashioned pragmatism in rejecting this Olympic bid.

    Joan McCarthy

    October 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  120. Larry

    You would think that it would be only appropriate that the tax-paying citizens of a city should have the option, by special vote or some type of poll, to have the final say. Alas, the power of "we the people" to effect common-sense decisions has been pre-empted by the desires of the bureaucrats, kronies and special interests.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  121. Christine from Ocean City, MD

    I wonder how many residents of Rio want the Olympics in their home? Did anyone even ask them?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  122. Clive Deary - Canada

    There was a time when most Americans would have fought tooth and nail to showcase the USA and the Olympics would have been very desirable. Is there a message now that all you can get is 50% suport the Olympics in Chicago while developing countries with significantly more social and economis problems will generate huge support from the local population to showcase their country. Is the word ashamed becoming part of the American dream,

    October 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  123. Chris

    Jack , I'm from beautiful British Columbia where we are about to host the Olympic games in just a few months . The games were packaged up neatly and sold to us as a great opportunity which we simply could not afford to pass up . They said back then it would cost between 560 and 650 million . Well here we are now and the games seem to actually cost around two billion . 900 million just for security . To pay for all this we as citizen are dyeing a death of a thousand cuts . Cuts to the art, to all amateur sports teams , to literacy programs , protecting battered women , and my personal favorite early autism intervention . Just to name a few . be careful what you wish for Chicago you just might get it .

    October 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  124. Moe Highland Village tx

    All I know is there are a lot of favors that need to be repaid...You know, land deal here, land deal there and no one fever knows anything..

    October 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  125. Tyler, from Jersey

    People need to stop looking at nicknames and start looking at the facts. I guarantee you the majority of people who think Rio would be the better fit have never even been there. I can personally say that when I went there I was not impressed. At the oh so glorious beaches, I couldn’t read my book for more two minutes without being harassed by yet another smelly beggar or salesman trying to sell me some useless item. I found the architecture to be beat, could not find a single building that looked like it had been touched since the 70s. And don’t even get me started on the crime! If people think crime in Chicago is bad, they should try going to a City where hotels recommend that you don’t go out at night, this is what happened to me. Even though Rio may appear to be a pretty city, and don’t get me wrong the land is beautiful, I can personally say that on the inside there is much need for improvement.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  126. ike novak

    Perhaps Chicagoans should be grateful that their city could become relevant in an increasingly global world. The fading metropolis needs something like the Olympics if it wants to continue to be listed among the ranks of the big cities of the world. Even a mediocre fix-up of Chicago's image would likely bring a strong bump in domestic and foreign corporations' interest in the city.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  127. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    The people in Chicago should think hard as to what this will do for their economy and jobs for the many who are unemployed. This would also be a great honor for their city. I do not think too much of polls anyway.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  128. Justin

    as a chicagoans who move to Iowa, I want the Olympics to come to my Sweet Home Chicago.As the Mayor said it's Good for Chicago and the world, Those who do not want the Olympics are those who are scare to take a risk into there home town.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  129. Charles Reed

    So let me get this straight, we can't get student to and from school without being murder or graduate them from High school. While there is no employment for their parents and the State of Illinois is suing Wells Fargo for discriminating against the minorities in that city for subprime mortgage.

    However the wealthest black in the country and the world wants the swimming events in her Olympic size pool in her backyard.

    Hell this almost makes you want George Bush back in office to promote the next great surfing contest in New Orleans with Brownie at his side.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  130. Brian in Las Vegas, Nevada

    It doesn't matter what Chicagoans want, as our elected officials always do what is best for us a whole. Right? Don't they????

    October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  131. Barbara

    These are not the Chicago Olympics. They are international in scope, and the U. S. is vying to be the host country. So Chicagoans don't want to be inconvenienced by an overflow of visitors, so what? Hosting the Olympics will be a feather in our nation's hat. What is more, there will be a boost to the economy as preparations are made for the next several years. Bring 'em on.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  132. Adrian in Alabama

    What about the 1/2 that want the Olymics in their city. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. the people who want it just let the President and company would get it done.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  133. Connie, Chicago, Illinois

    Yes, it does matter. I'm a Chicagoan who is deeply opposed to the Games in Chicago. Not only is there a guarantee that corruption and cronyism are a given, but Chicagoans will bear the cost over-runs. Cronies and clout-heavy politicians of Daley's Machine will be the major recipients of this cash cow. They're already making backroom deals in the bars on LaSalle Street. The biggest losers are the people who cherise one of the principle areas slated for Daley's "temporary Olympic Stadium". That's Washington Park, prime lake front property and a landmark, hosting a black tradition for 80 years, the the Bud Biliken Parade, After the Games, Daley's backers will divvy up the land for development for expensive condos. No, send the Games to Rio, Aruba, anywhere, but Chicago.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  134. kara

    I am a Chicagoan strongly opposed to the 2016 games being held in Chicago. Daley has been ignoring city problems for years while preparing this bid and he will continue to ignore these problems if he gets the games. Then he'll retire and it will all be someone else's problem. The games will make the rich richer, while the poor will benefit very little. I thought Obama fought for the poor and voiceless. He is a politician like the rest of them.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  135. Frank from Peterborough

    From what I can tell sports take precedence over scholastic achievements and form the very basis of education in America.

    Give a college the choice between giving a scholarship to an accomplished athlete or an accomplished academic and it won't even be close as to who they would choose.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  136. Kevin in CA

    It means that at least 50% of the people are fiscally responsible.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  137. Derek

    Like a man hosting a semi formal party with his brother, who can't hold his liquor, behaves and dresses very badly, it would be embarrasing and a bad idea to have the worlds showcase in Chicago.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  138. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    'Why play the what if game, let's pretend they do.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  139. Linda

    I am a very proud American with a 2nd home in Rio–
    What happened to US PRIDE in 'democracy' & 'self-determination'?
    Rio's citizens WANT the Olympics.. Reportedly 90% of Rio residents WANT the Olympics... Compared to less than 50% from Chicago?
    90% vs. 50% ??
    Guess 'democracy' only counts when the US wants it to... Welcome to 'The Windy Country'- as the US clamors for the olympics. Yep, alot of American 'hot air' again..

    October 1, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  140. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Protest walks. Money talks. Unless those that don't want the Olympics in Chicago get funding they will find out that democracy doesn't always work.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  141. Reid

    Who cares if Americans want the Olympics! We can't afford it! The Chinese spent a reported $43 billion on the 2008 Olympic Games. Unless Obama personally wants to pick up the tab, I think we should put the money towards something more essential.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  142. DAVID

    With everyone complaining how much crime and gang violence is going on in Chicago, well Rio is about the same in fact they are worse. There is a real reason why the Olympics have never been to S. America and the real reason is you guessed it.... CRIME.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  143. Aaron S.

    It should definitely matter. Ultimately, it is the people of Chicago who will have to put up with the Olympic hype, increased security provisions, overcrowding, and other issues that naturally follow – good and bad – whenever the Olympics is hosted in your town. If the government is truly by, of, and for the people, then they should be able to determine what happens there. That said, it's crucial to determine for certain just what the will of the people is; one poll does not a proper census make.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  144. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sounds like they want to keep the crime in Chicago to themselves because their reasoning doesn't make sense. If over half of Chicagoans don't want the Olympics there due to crime then you've got more than enough people to do something about the crime.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  145. Scott from Milwaukee

    I believe that it is sensless to even debate this...it's just another way to berate Mr Obama. If Chicago does'nt want the olympics, tough! There are more deserving places, but this is the place that is bidding for it. It is a US prize, a present for all americans to enjoy!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  146. William

    It'll be another failure, like his presidency is.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  147. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It gives Obama an opportunity to make some more hollow promises, shake some hands and smile for some more pictures. He is definitely a worldclass campaigner, but it is too bad no one told him it is time to lead. Look at Afghanistan, look at the recent UN security cousel debacle, he is still giving campaign speeches while he should be making decisions, while he should be leading against rogue nations. It's all hollow words. Chicagoans have it right. As nice as it would be to host the Olympics, now is not the best time to be digging into a deeper financial hole.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  148. nora CC TXAS

    It should matter, but I guess no one is listening. I know President Obama and his wife, Oprah are out there trying their hardest to get in Chicago, I guess they think it is a good thing. I would think the wants of the people in Chicago would count for something. Sometimes it makes people wonder if the government is trying to take over every aspect of peoples lives, so many things are happening whether we want it or not.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  149. Mal St. Laurence / Longmont, Colorado

    CALL DENVER....We can always use the business. It was good enough for the Democratic National Convention, why not the Olympics?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  150. Joyce F.

    Yes, it should matter what the taxpayers in that city want - but apparently with this current president, the will of the people is irrelevant.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  151. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Jack, Chicagoans have it wrong. We can all use the entertainment. At least when the Titanic went down, the band kept playing. Obama has already set course for the iceberg, he is just trying to book a band for the gig.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  152. Richard

    Is there some way to prove that hosting the olympics would break the city financially? If so then chicago might have point in resisting but if nobody can come forward with any solid numbers to counter that claim then by all mean bring on the Olympics.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  153. Norman

    Expo '67 in Montreal – still not paid for.
    Need we say more

    Norman Shifman
    Toronto, Canada

    October 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  154. Steve

    Remo wrote: "Shouldn’t the president be working on the war, health care, bail-outs, credit card caps, and other issues."

    Many countries have separate positions for the government functional leader and government figurehead lead (i.e. prime minister and president, for example). Ours does not, so our President gets to do both the day-to-day dirty work and the promotion of our country to the world.

    Steve in Pflugerville, Texas.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  155. Richard Green


    No, it doesn't matter. Millions will be spent in the city and on city infrastructure that will remain long after the olympics have left.
    It's not just Chicago that will benefit. We will benefit from having our teams playing at "home", plus we might learn something about the world beyond our shores through the athletes.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Ca.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  156. Ross


    Over one-half of America doesn't want this health care bill that's being rammed down their throats.

    And you're questioning if people's opinions matter?

    Green Bay, WI

    October 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  157. Lauren

    FROM Chicago!
    We do NOT want the Olympics! Daley should focus on the crime and daily murders and lowering taxes!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  158. wagon

    Like everything else with Obama so far – all show and no blow. I wonder how many times he'll use the term 'bold and decisive' in his speeches to the IOC.

    His use of oratory is becoming predictable and tired.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  159. Sue from Redwood City

    If more than half the people don't want the games in their city then they shouldn't have the Olympics there.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  160. Ed

    No, this is a national cultural opportunity. The elected city leadership has a vision for how the games would work out and have engaged in long-term planning that people answering a yes/no poll question may not have engaged in. It's also something that benefits the United States more broadly and will help rehabilitate America's image in the World. Fortunately, the President understands what this can do for Chicago, te country, and our image in the World and has been responsible in his handling of the situation.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  161. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Well Jack, welcome to Vancouver, Canada !!!!!!!
    We'll be paying for the Winter Olympic lunacy for a generation or two!!!
    The Olympic organization here [VANOC] couldn't run a two stall outhouse!!
    The only people making money are the developers and the hotel people!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  162. Joe

    Simply another expense for the taxpayers who will have to pay for all the added security. History has shown that the Olympics are money losers.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  163. Adam

    This is a simple matter of our President thinking he has the best interests of our country and of "his" city at hand. The Olympics are a hassle. I live in New York and I would hate for the Olympics to be here. Why should they be? So that people can think that revenues are being generated for the better of the city? How about all those people who have to get to work in the Olympics gridlock that will undoubtedly ensue if the games are in Chicago? After all, Chicago can't be compared to a city like Turin, for example. The Olympics are a pain in the you know what. It is very nice how many people get excited and Sarah Hughes is preaching unity on account of the games, but let there be that same unity on another nation's soil. What is the worst that can happen? People from America get to expose themselves to a different culture and nation abroad? I don't see the downside. Truth is though, money talks so wherever the IOC thinks the most revenues will be made will be where the Olympics take place.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  164. Lou

    Whatever Obama wants Obama gets. Except.....

    October 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  165. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Honestly, who in their right mind would rather go to Chicago over Rio? Anyone? Put your hand down President Obama we know Mayor Daley paid you to raise it in the first place. Why does it matter? Rio – Chicago, everything they will be selling will be made in China.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  166. mary ann sova

    Jack, In a word, no. Since when did it matter what the people want.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  167. KP in Chicago

    I lived in Atlanta in 1996 and I live in Chicago now. Hosting the Olympics would be an amazing opportunity for our city. I've been lucky enough to attend both the 1996 games as well as the 2000 games in Sydney and I don't understand how anyone could say no. If you live here and don't want the Olympics, then rent out your house for gobs of money and leave town for a couple of weeks in the summer and go on the vacation of your dreams. Let the rest of us enjoy it. And Jack, you're talking about one poll. Another one says that 72% of Chicagoans do want the Olympics. Let's just relax and see what happens.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  168. Liam

    Chicago is broke! The city closes their offices at least one day a week to save money. Where are they gonna get 5 billion to fund the building of Olympic venues so they can be used once. But wait! It's Chicago. They'll stiff arm somebody right up the you know what to get it!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  169. Carl

    The only reason I can think for the President and his wife to lobby for a Chicago Olympiad is payback to the Chicago political machine that helped get him into office. Those same machine people are likely to make millions off the construction and services contracts that will be let if Chicago actually gets the award.

    I'd hoped our President would be above this type of politics.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  170. E.Gilomen

    I am not Chicagoan, but I live in Illinois,. The whole state will have to

    pick up the bill for Daly's egoism.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  171. Baron VR

    I'm from Chicago and I'm chubby, but I'll eat while I'm naked if that'll even things out.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  172. Henk Vandenbergh

    "Bread and games": as long as the people have some spectacle to watch they don't care.

    Henk in Colorado

    October 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  173. Joseph D

    It does not matter what people in Chicago want. Oprah and Obama want the games for their cronies. I don't blame them Only the little people will suffer. Where do I sign up to get some of the gravy.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  174. Unshrub

    I lived in Utah when they were bidding for the olympics, and the same number of people were for and against them there. The difference is this time it's Obama's home town, and people are trying to make it into some big political mistake for Obama. When it was all said in down in Utah, a majority of the people were happy about it and if Chicago gets the bid, it will be the same there. Everywhere you go, people will complain about progress, but at the end most people will act like they were for it.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  175. Kellie in Cleveland

    Those in Chicago that don't want the Olympics in their backyard are more than welcome to 1) rent out their places to people who want to see the Olympics in Chicago and 2) come to Cleveland and stay in our hotels to boost our local economy. See, a win-win for everyone!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  176. AP (Chicago)

    I understand the arguement and fear that taxes will be hiked, but come on...to host the Olympics is an honor and a privelage. It's a great chance to showcase to the world how great and beautiful of a city Chicago really is. As a life time resident of Chicago, I welcome the 2016 games with open arms.

    Chicago 2016!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  177. Arthur in Chicago

    We live in a republic, but its a democracy. I am a Chicagoan and I can either deal with it or not. It's more the legacy that I will loathe, there will be cameras on every street in the city, there will be a elimination of parking spaces, so parking lot rates which are ridiculous now will get crazier. Can't wait to see downtown hotel rates. As long as I can get access to the venues after everything is said and done, I will deal with the inconvenience.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  178. Steve; Denver

    It mattered to Denver in 1972 when they turned down the 1976 winter olympics.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  179. DawnL,CA

    Chicago can't afford the Olympics. They can't even get their children to school safely.
    This is really just a grab bag for all the unions (read Mob) that will have the contracts to build all the new facilities the city would need.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  180. Mel from Chicago

    It should matter. I for one hope we don't get it. Our city has many pressing issues that need to be addressed. If Daley gets his way, the Olympics will be his sole focus for the next 7 years. Our youth are dying in the streets. Why can't Daley focus on solutions for that? One final thing – Go Rio

    October 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  181. Tom from Milwaukee

    I say give Rio the Games; no South American country has ever hosted the Olympics whereas two out of the three other contenders have done so at least once over the past 20 years. It would be a lot more exciting to see the Olympics held with a Brazilian flair IMHO.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  182. JM

    Amen. I think Chicago is the worst place to have the Olympics. I live in the suburbs. Except for downtown, the whole area is falling apart. Potholes, construction, rust, abandoned buildings. They should have it in Rio.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  183. Heather Suburb of Chicago

    To Jenny from Nanuet, New York:

    That's fine, if it's about America than the rest of america should help us pay for it.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  184. Moloney

    I figure all of this is leading up to – Do you want Health Care or the Olympics?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  185. Brian from Chicago Area

    One thing about Chicago is the ones who cry the most are the ones who are counted. Most of the people against it are just against anything the government is doing no matter if its good for the city or not. They have good reason to feel that way though. Daley gets whatever he wants with just a snap of his fingers and it doesn't matter if its right for the city or not. He even goes so far as to influence the entire state to his whims. A good example is the law against smoking in bars. I'm a nonsmoker and I know that this is nothing but Daley throwing his idea of facisim around. That being said I understand why they are against the Olympics but just because you don't like the government don't let that hurt a golden opportunity to show to the world that Chicago is more then the birthplace of machine politics and Al Capone. We have a Chicagoan as President and I'm sure the world would love to see what the Windy City is really about.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  186. Char

    Well, Jack, if Chicgoans don't want it, send it to Texas. The people here could sure use the jobs since we have no one in our state looking out for us. We can't even get our elected officials to cooperate on Health Care. Enough said.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  187. Matt from Chicago, IL

    It would be great to have the Olympics here but I am somewhat afraid of what it will cost and where Chicago will get the money. Our sales tax is already 10.25% and my property taxes are going up again even though the value of my property went down in the last 18 months.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  188. Michele

    Of course, it SHOULD matter but in reality it probably will not.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  189. Joe from Chicago

    This is a case of follow the money into the connected ones pockets. Citizens of Chicago are slowely waking up to and facing the fact that they are footing the bill for the corruption in their government Cook county, Chicago, and Illinois. The local taxpayers are being held accountable to pay for any and all cost overruns (after the small insurance coverage). If the entire US taxpayer base were accountable for this overrun then it would be a different story. So absolutely the voice of the citizen taxpayers should be a stong consideration.

    Additionally the other issue is Chicago is land locked and an already crowded city. People in entire sections of the city will be displaced at great personal cost and loss. The connected ones will ignore this and enjoy their party while the average Joes are pushed out of the way while footing the bill.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  190. John

    What the H$%L is Obama flying to Copenhagen for when he's got a lot of serious prolems to contend with right here? Oh that's right, that's the "Audacity of Hope". To answer your question, yes it should matter. I think just the fact that the majority of Chicagoans oppose the Olympics should be reason enough for the IOC to have them elswhere.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  191. Terry from Illinois

    Chicagoans pay the highest taxes in the midwest yet the 2016 Olympics would be good for Chicago.
    It brought much needed money, jobs, infrastructure enhancements for roads and trains to Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Atlanta so why not Chicago.
    Chicago held the World Fair in 1900 and the Cubs have not won a World Series in 101 years so this would be good for Chicago !!!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  192. MrSatyre

    Since when did the Obamas care what Americans wanted? Their blatant "father knows best" arrogance is appalling.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  193. Vinod

    Will the Chicagoans ever say no to the Superbowl taking place there? Or the World Series? No, they won't!
    Why is it that there is a controversy in America every time there is something to do with anything at an international level.
    I haven't heard of a country leaning towards refusing to host the Olympics. Only in America!
    Reston, VA

    October 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  194. David

    Aww, c'mon, Seth. Chicago is a good town. It may have it's faults but the people of Chi-town and the rest of Illinois should be glad to host the games. There are plenty of reasons why the Olympics should be held there, mianly that it's not in ... NEW JERSEY! 😉

    – Not really the governor of New York (Atl, GA)

    October 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  195. John from Maine

    Talk about a Stimulus package! How much money and jobs would the Olympics generate? A billion dollars? Think bigger. Really, Think bigger. It would be a gigantic shot in the arm for a part of the country that needs it. It would aslo be an opportunity for the USA, which desperately needs an international facelift, to get one.

    A better question would be, who in their right mind wouldn't want to host the games if they could pull it off? USA! USA!

    October 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  196. rj

    I believe it DOES matter. Not only do many, many Chicagoans (including myself) do not want the games here, but we cannot afford it. Daley has put the entire city accountable for the insurance of the games and that is ridiculous! Plus our public transportation would need a complete overhaul, not to mention we would have to build a good portion of the event areas....on OUR dime! South America has NEVER had an Olympics. It IS their turn.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  197. Jennifer

    Born and raised in Chicago. I love my city to death and wish more people visited and it was featured more in the arts and film. However, because Daley and his cronies will profit more than the average Chicagoan and any corruption or failure tied to Games, if we win, will not look good on us and Obama.

    With the recent violence among Chicago Public School children, it also seems extremely selfish of Daley to go after the games, so that he can have this legacy, which is really what he's concerned about at the end of the day.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  198. Rob from KY

    The Olympics in the US would be great! It would provide a boost to the economy in and around Chicago and would give the city a reason to fix itself up and ready to host an event on the world stage.

    Also the minimal timezone difference would be great. Remember when the games were in Sydney? I didn't like waiting up until 3am to watch a match.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  199. Pat in Guernsey, WY

    It would be great for the host city to welcome the Olympics. It would be even greater for the nation and the American athletes to have the Olympics in this country. If Chicago gets the nod, I believe most of the citizens will go along with it. Why is there always political grousing about every single issue that comes up on a blog?

    October 1, 2009 at 5:00 pm |