Today's Blogs

London Gets the Gold

Bloggers are passing judgment on London receiving the 2012 Olympics. They’re also discussing whether Gov. George Pataki’s son should receive a deferment from the Marines, and they’re mourning the death of Ross Perot’s 1992 running mate.

London gets the gold: London won the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games today, beating favored Paris and long-shot New York, as well as Moscow and Madrid. New York, with its slim chances trimmed further by the defeat of a stadium proposal, was eliminated in the second of four rounds of voting.

Bloggers expressed joy on each side of the Atlantic—both because London had won and New York and Paris had not. “I raced to my computer (this morning) to see if God had smiled upon us today. And He had,” writesThe 6th Floor’s Dan, a New Yorker who is overjoyed to avoid the mess the Olympics would have created. Conservative Andrew Sullivan is just happy that Britain beat France. “But I’d be glad if Britain beat France in a turtle race,” he writes, before updating a few minutes later, “I hope they serve Chirac a nice, steaming slice of black pudding at Gleneagles.”

That’s surely a nod to French president Jacques Chirac’s recent criticism of British and Finnish food, which was rumored to have hurt Paris in the voting. Chirac was quoted before this week’s G8 summit as saying that “the only thing (the British) have ever done for European agriculture is ‘mad cow’ disease,” and that Britain “is the country with the worst food after Finland.” InstaPundit makes mention of the story, which appeared on the Guardian’s Web site. “I hope it’s true,” he writes.

Whether this was a reason for Paris’ defeat or not, it wasn’t a wise statement, says Aaron Foster on his food-oriented blog Aliment: “I think that making sweeping value judgements about an entire country’s culture is always inadvisable. The French have every right to be proud of their cuisine – but comparing the relative superiority of various world cuisines is silly exercise of subjectiveness. … I am also inclined to question the suitability of the French to host such a diverse and multicultural event as the Olympics.”

No need to worry after today’s vote, though. “France was disappointed when their demonstration sport choices were not well received. I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for competitive smoking,” blogger Brent Colbert cracks. Read more about the Olympics here.

Pataki’s problem: Teddy Pataki, the son of New York Gov. (and Iraq war supporter) George Pataki and a recently commissioned Marines officer, hopes to put off his service for three years while attending law school.

Left-leaning bloggers, naturally, are enraged. “In a country that truly revered principles and values like honor and commitment, two things would occur: Pataki would be ashamed of himself; and we would all be surprised that his son was trying to find a way to duck out,” writesHammer of the Blogs. “Obviously, neither of those things is likely to happen.”

Says Main St. USA, a Democrat, to the younger Pataki: “You signed up for the Marine Officer Training program. The Marines need you. It’s time for you to perform your side of the contract. You don’t need to go law school to figure this one out.”

However, “I think it is a bit unfair to attribute the father’s views to the son,” writesDaily Kos. “Ted Pataki may very well oppose the Iraq debacle.” But if Pataki is in favor, Kos goes on to reason that it might benefit the armed forces’ morale to have proponents like him serve instead of outspoken critics.

Read more about the story here.

Who was I? Why was I here?: Retired Vice Adm. James Stockdale, a Vietnam POW and Ross Perot’s running mate in 1992, died Tuesday at 81. Stockdale received the Medal of Honor in 1976 for organizing his fellow American POWs to resist their North Vietnamese captors.

What he’s best known for, though, is the 1992 election—not that Stockdale was a household name then, either. He opened the vice presidential debate (and opened himself up to subsequent derision) by making light of his relative anonymity, famously saying, “Who am I? Why am I here?”

A pity if that’s all he’s remembered for, writes Jonathan R. at the conservative GOPbloggers: “Once you read his (Medal of Honor) citation, you will never again think of him as he came across during the 1992 campaign.” The citation can be read here.

Power Line has an admiring remembrance of Stockdale, noting he was the highest ranking naval officer captured by the North Vietnamese. “He was one of this country’s great military heroes. In his forties, he flew more than 200 missions in Vietnam before he was finally shot down and captured … (W)hile he was imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton, he became the leader of the American POWs, devised communications systems, and encouraged resistance to the Communists’ propaganda efforts. For this he was tortured repeatedly.”

Read a transcript of the debate between Stockdale, Al Gore and then-Vice President Dan Quayle. Read more about Stockdale.