Michelle Obama's Olympic 'Gimme' Speech

Under the Jeopardy category of "All-Time Most Ineffective Speeches," a question which even Wolf Blitzer might have answered correctly: "What First Lady of the United States completely failed at international persuasion?"

No, Wolf, it wasn't Laura Bush.

The correct answer is Michelle Obama,
whose speech Friday bombed and should go down as one of the worst, most selfish and ineffective entreaties of all times.  Whoever wrote the speech should be fired. America should be embarrassed that our First Lady would deliver it.

First, it was a "Gimme" speech. "Gimme, gimme, gimme. I deserve it. Chicago neighborhoods deserve it," was the underlying message:

I was born and raised on Chicago's South Side, not far from where the Games would open and close. Ours was a neighborhood of working families -- families with modest homes and strong values....
But today, I can dream, and I am dreaming of an Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago that will light up lives in neighborhoods all across America
and all across the world; that will expose all our neighborhoods to new sports and new role models; that will show every child that regardless of wealth, or
gender, or race, or physical ability, there is a sport and a place for them, too.

Michelle's speech shows she can only communicate in the language and intellectual vacuousness of entitlement, for victims: The games "will light up lives in neighborhoods all across America and all across the world ... [and] will show every child that regardless of wealth, or gender, or race, or physical ability, there is a sport and a place for them, too."

That's victimhood's entitlement. It's all about what others can and should do for you. Demonstrate that you are a member of any group that is deemed to be downtrodden in some way according to Michelle Obama and voila, the world owes you. In this case, literally.

This is intellectual vapidity, especially when considering the greatness of Chicago, and contrasted with the perspective of pride in America.  Chicago is a great city with a rich history, all of which seemed to have been lost on (if ever it was known by) Michelle, as evidenced by her retreat into victimhood politics.

So let me remind/inform her and her speech writer(s) with some top of mind evidence of what that greatness is:
  • Chicago's diverse neighborhoods are populated with citizens from nearly every country in the world
  • The diverse ethnic populations have (mostly) peacefully coexisted and prospered for nearly two centuries now under American principles of self-government "of the people, by the people, for the people" (and I quote Republican President Lincoln, the most famous Illinois son), which is something the world could gain from Chicago vis-a-vis, say, Beijing.
  • The City rebuilt itself after a devastating fire and has since become an international showcase for architectural wonders.
  • Its universities have created new studies and intellectual disciplines that are discussed and respected in academic circles around the world.
  • Its commodity exchanges are the envy of the world and bright, shiny demonstrations of the effectiveness of capitalism.
But Michelle was so bogged down in why Chicago should receive the Games, that what Chicago (and America) could give the Games was completely lost on her. If the Olympic Committee had chosen to come to Chicago, the Olympic games would have benefited from ... well, I'm sure the Chicago Olympics team presented that before Michelle, right? We can only hope. And apparently they did, because Michelle said so, but she didn't want to go there:

Chicago's vision for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement is about so much more than what we can offer the Games -- it's about what the Games can offer all of us. It's about inspiring this generation, and building a lasting legacy for the next.

America is seeing the fruits of a First Lady who declared -- and now we see that she was quite truthful about it -- that was never so proud of her country than when it nominated her husband to be a candidate for president.

The final point about Michelle's speech is that she made it so personal by bringing her father, a victim of Multiple Sclerosis, into it. Again, its the politics of personal indignation and pity for victims:

You see, in my dad's early thirties, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. And as he got sicker, it became harder for him to walk, let alone play his favorite sports.  But my dad was determined that sports continue to be a vital lifeline -- not just to the rest of the world, but to me and my brother. And even as we watched my dad struggle to hold himself up on crutches, he never stopped playing with us.  And he refused to let us take our abilities for granted. He believed that his little girl should be taught no less than his son. 
So he taught me how to throw a ball and a mean right hook better than any boy in my neighborhood. But more importantly, my dad taught us the fundamental rules of the game, rules that continue to guide our lives today: to engage with honor, with dignity, and fair play. My dad was my hero. And when I think of what these Games can mean to people all over the world, I think about people like my dad.  People who face seemingly insurmountable challenges, but never let go. They work a little harder, but they never give up.

What's the relevance here, especially to the Olympic committee's decision about where to seat the next games? Is it the fact that her Dad was so hip to feminist concepts of gender equality that he taught her to throw a ball? Or is it her display of Girl Power, knowing how to deliver a right hook better than boys in her neighborhood? Or is it the choice of venue? Whether the games are held in Chicago or Rio they would mean many more things to people "all over the world" than the fact that Michelle's Pop taught Michelle how to throw a football and deliver a right hook.

You see, Michelle, this may be hard for you to understand, but there a things in this world that are bigger than you and your husband and your Dad's "enlightened" Girl Power training. The Olympic Games, the United States of America, Chicago -- and now Rio -- all come to mind.