Chicago-esque Sports

Obama and the Chicago Olympics

Notice Obama isn’t actually going to Copenhagen: the bid is not worth wasting the power of the presidency on. The Olympics might end up in Brazil, after all.

Gotta Support the Team!!

With 16 days left until the International Olympic Committee chooses a host city for the 2016 Olympics, President Barack Obama stood on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday and made a pitch for Chicago’s bid to win those Summer Games. He promised that if the I.O.C. chose Chicago, the city would make the United States — and the world — proud.

“Chicago is ready,” Obama said during an event featuring Olympians, Paralympians and local schoolchildren. “The American people are ready. We want these Games.”

“I promise you, we are fired up about this,” he said of the possibility of the Games being awarded to Chicago, where he lived for nearly 25 years before moving into the White House.

[Click to continue reading Obama Says Chicago Is ‘Ready’ to Win Bid to Hold 2016 Games –]

Division Street Bridge
Here’s what the City of Chicago needs to spend money on instead: this is the Division Street Bridge, seemingly rusted nearly to collapse. Why don’t we spend money fixing our infrastructure and mass transit first?

Ms. Obama loves to publicly tease the President:

Michelle Obama, a lifelong Chicagoan, will lead the United States contingent at the meetings. On Wednesday, she showed the crowd charisma that just may win over some I.O.C. members.

After taking to the podium, she encouraged the audience to cheer and show its Olympic spirit. She then poked fun at her husband’s attempt at a few of the Olympic sports that were on hand, causing the crowd to roar with laughter.

“You should have seen the president in there fencing,” she said of her husband, who said he had always wanted to try the sport. “It was pathetic.”

and not sure how relevant the Chicago Cubs attendance records are to funding Olympics:

Michelle Obama said Chicago was the “ideal home for the 2016 Games,” not just for its landscape, infrastructure or resources, but also for its people and their love of sports.

“You know, you have to admit, even White Sox fans are impressed by the fact that even though the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in centuries, Cubs games sell out,” she said. “Everybody’s there. It doesn’t matter. Win or lose, we are going to watch the Cubs.”

because the White Sox don’t always sell out, just the Cubs.

I still haven’t heard anyone give a good reason as to why Chicago should even host the Olympics, much less fund the damn things.

Click here for some other posts discussing the 2016 games

Advertising Blogtopia

Mrs O Has No Regrets

Interesting write-up of the Mrs. O blog

Michelle Obama-at Blackbird

ON the blog Mrs. O, fans of Michelle Obama’s style can view photos of the outfit she wore on a recent date with the president-elect and find out where to buy the same purple designer coat.

The advertising agency behind the blog, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, does not work for Mrs. Obama or for the fashion designers the site features. In fact, is not for a client at all. It is an entirely new business created by the Zag division of Bartle Bogle, which the agency started to invent new brands.

Mrs. O and Zag are part of a business model transformation in the advertising industry. Agencies are parlaying their expertise in marketing the brands of other companies into creating and marketing their own.

Zag got into the fashion blogging business in September, after Mary Tomer, a 27-year-old account planner at Bartle Bogle in New York, hatched the idea for the blog. She noticed Mrs. Obama’s style during the Democratic convention, yet could not find information on what she wore.

She decided to create a Web site, which she described as “a central resource for tracking her style and providing as much designer information and commentary as possible.”

Instead of writing the blog in her spare time after work, like most bloggers with day jobs, she approached her employers to see if they would bankroll her new hobby. They readily agreed.

“Mary was very sure about what she wanted, and when you read about the best brands, they are unrelenting,” Mr. Jenkins said. “That’s what I preached to my clients for the last 10 years, and now we have the chance to do that ourselves.”[Click to read more Advertising – Ad Agencies Create and Market Their Own Brands –]

and this is how my photo ended up there:

Ms. Tomer and the site’s other writers find pictures of Mrs. Obama in newspapers or on the photo Web site Flickr and get permission from the photographers to post the photos free. They research her outfits by calling designers, searching on sites like and, when stumped, turning to the blog’s readers.

At first, Bartle Bogle thought of the site as an experiment in new media. Quickly, though, “there was a realization that there was a bigger idea here that was a very viable business opportunity,” Ms. Tomer said.

Ms. Tomer was very polite, professional, and of course I was pleased to be affiliated, even tangentially, with her website. I hope she’s able to parlay Mrs. O into a great success, for at least eight years…

Chicago-esque Photography

Michelle Obama at Blackbird

Wee bit of excitement in the West Loop today, as Michelle Obama aka Renaissance1 and her Secret Service entourage had lunch at Blackbird. Well, I suppose the Secret Service didn’t get any crispy confit of swan creek farm suckling pig with matsutake mushrooms, toasted walnut consomme and pomegranate confit delivered to their stations.

I counted three Chicago Police squad cars, and three SUVs full of Secret Service. The weather is bitter cold, so I didn’t attempt to get any closer, or to bring out my tripod for a better angle. Maybe she was doing a little shopping at Maria Pinto around the block?

Michelle Obama at Blackbird
Three other police squad cars in the area. Looks like license is 800 002.

Michelle Obama at Blackbird
I am obviously not cut out to be a paparazzo

Michelle Obama-at Blackbird

click to embiggen

At least she didn’t go to Sepia…

  1. her Secret Service code name []

Does the WSJ Hate Michelle Obama?

I meant to note a similar complaint regarding this front page1 of the Wall Street Journal from August 26, 2008:

Because -seriously- this is the worst photo ever:

Her tongue is sticking out for Christ’s sake. And poor Sasha just looks bored. Cute, but bored.

[Click to see a photo of the front page: The Conventional Thinker: Does the WSJ Hate Michelle Obama?]

I wondered more about the headline itself. A shaky (Bush-created) economy challenges Obama Agenda. Umm, seems like it would be just the opposite, no? A shaky Bush-McCain-McSame economy would seem to be ripe for some ‘change’.

Corrections & Amplifications:

Sen. Barack Obama says he would raise the tax rate for married couples with taxable income of more than $200,300 to 36% from 33%. This page-one article incorrectly said the trigger level would be $165,000. In addition, Douglas Brinkley is Rice University’s presidential historian. The article incorrectly gave his name as Alan Brinkley, who is a Columbia University historian.

  1. strangely enough, the archived version at the website has a entirely different photo of Ms. Obama, perhaps there were complaints? []
Business Chicago-esque

Maria Pinto and Michelle Obama

Love Fashion

The West Loop – fashion capital of the Midwest! Not really, but worth noting anyway

CHICAGO — Election-year pundits have analyzed everything about Michelle Obama, from the size of her pearls to her newly hired chief of staff. But few have taken much note of the person responsible for one of her most formidable campaign tools: her wardrobe.

The designer behind much of Mrs. Obama’s public attire is an effusive 51-year-old Chicago native, Maria Pinto. A clothing resource to prominent local women including Oprah Winfrey, she was relatively unknown outside Chicago until 16 months ago, when Mrs. Obama began appearing on the campaign trail in Ms. Pinto’s streamlined pieces.

Ms. Pinto created the red silk-crepe dress and jacket Mrs. Obama wore on Super Tuesday and the white-cotton top and khakis she donned to stump with Caroline Kennedy. On June 3, Mrs. Obama sported a $900 Pinto-designed purple silk shift as she fist-bumped her husband before his Democratic primary victory speech in St. Paul, Minn.

The Obama buzz has helped lift Ms. Pinto’s brand. “It’s a huge compliment,” she says. Orders for her designs are up 35% over the past 12 months, and potential investors and employees are cold-calling, she says. Ms. Pinto and her staff of 18 will soon be vacating their modest industrial studio for larger quarters in Chicago’s West Loop, with a 2,200-square-foot boutique, Ms. Pinto’s first. The space is now being outfitted with bamboo floors and soaring, Italian-tiled columns for a July opening.

[From Fashion Campaign –]

I’ll have to pop over to the new boutique one of these days, and see what’s to be seen.

[Digg-enabled full access to article via this link, including several photos of Ms. Pinto’s fashion designs.]

Maria Pinto Coming Soon

Maria Pinto Permit

update, now the store is open.

Maria Pinto's boutique