No joke. Because Politico is just a GOP bulletin board.
The insights come courtesy Kenneth Vogel [emphasis added]:
Much has been made of the potential international embarrassment and Republican attacks Obama might endure if the IOC rejects his pitch. Any such backlash would very likely have limited shelf life, but a successful outcome in Copenhagen could arm opponents with ammunition for more than six years, particularly if preparations for the Chicago Games were beset by the delays, cost overruns and controversies that have plagued Olympics past.
And just in case you missed the point, there's this:
National Republicans and local Chicago Olympics opponents have already signaled their desire to use Chicago's bid and Obama's connections to it to try to taint him. If Chicago wins, they'll have plenty of opportunity, since the president and his hometown allies maintain strong political, personal and economic links to the effort.
Wow, could the RNC's Michael Steele have typed it up any better? First, the Politico article barely even contemplates the political ramifications for the GOP surrounding the unprecedented attempt by Republicans to aggressively root against an American city that's in the running for the Olympics. At Politico, that kind of ground-breaking, hyper-partisanship is of no interest.
Second, if Obama is successful in helping Chicago land the Games, it "could" arm opponents with ammo "if" preparations goes badly. But at Politico, the idea that preparations go smoothly, and that the Olympics could add to Obama's reputation, is barely even considered. Instead, the central angle examined here is how landing the Games would (will!) wound Obama.
UPDATED: Huge win for Obama today, right? After all, according to Politico, Obama would have been the political loser if Chicago got the Games. So doesn't that mean he's the winner since the Second City isn't celebrating today?