April 30, 2011
I repeatedly asked Mayor Richard Daley two questions about the 2016 Olympics.
One was why Daley had changed his mind on an event he once dismissed as a con game played on bidding cities; he never answered. The other had to do with meeting the International Olympic Committee's host city contract provision for full financial guarantee when Chicago had proposed a $500 million limit.
The answer he gave as we stood in the garden of the General Guisan Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, became the hottest local story of the bid process prior to the IOC vote that chose Rio de Janeiro. I asked the mayor what he had told IOC members about the host city contract at a presentation earlier that June day in 2009.
"We are going to sign it as is," Daley said.
With that stunning reply, he did an end run on the City Council, showed how much he wanted the Olympics and revealed the realpolitik with which he ran Chicago for decades.
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