It looks as if the Bush administration policy on making it much harder to get a US visa (which Obama has yet to alter) has come home to sink Chicago's Olympic bid:
In the official question-and-answer session following the Chicago presentation, Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, asked the toughest question. He wondered how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Games because doing so can sometimes, he said, be “a rather harrowing experience.”
This is the same stupid anti-visitor policy that is destroying American higher education by driving graduate students to UK and other universities. Here at UM, for example, we have had great trouble getting visas for some great students who want to take our LL.M for foreign students — including one who had a US government scholarship!
Maybe some good can come from this stunning defeat for Obama's personal diplomacy: bring back the pre-9/11 visa rules that made this country a magnet for tourists, investors, and the world's best and the brightest.