Kal Penn, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, White House Office of Olympic Sport, and future U.S. bobsled brakeman.
This is the bureaucratic equivalent of tripping, catching yourself, and then jogging it out, as if to say, "Yeah, I totally made a conscious decision to make an abrupt and awkward change in tempo during my walk across the office. Don't mind me."
Despite the embarrassing rejection of his effort to lure the 2016 Olympic Games to his hometown of Chicago, President Barack Obama will keep the first-ever White House Olympic Office, POLITICO has learned.
The White House stressed that the office, officially called the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, is permanent and has purposes other than helping U.S. cities bid on and host the Olympics.
And, jog it out. Jog it out. What trip?
"It was always our intention that this office would continue to exist regardless of the outcome of the 2016 bid," said a White House official, explaining that the office will work to boost youth sports and will coordinate with the State Department and other agencies to facilitate U.S. athletes' participation in the Olympics and Paralympics in other countries.
The original release announcing the office, however, said it would "coordinate federal resources and act as liaison to, any organizing committee for an Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted in the United States." The next likely bids for Olympics in the U.S. are 2018 and 2020.
The office claims it is now facilitating participation in the Games in Vancouver and London- "facilitating" being the official term for getting paid to do something that doesn't really need to be done. The Olympic office is part of the Office of Public Engagement, run by POTUS and FLOTUS friend Valerie Jarrett, who orchestrated the epic fail in Copenhagen, using no fewer than eight paid staffers and the time of the FLOTUS, POTUS, Oprah and Air Force One to do so. At least we know the Olympic office will go all out on its future failures.
This is the same White House, mind you, that promises the government can determine best medical practices for doctors, keeping the good and eliminating the ineffective. If one could find a medical practice that's as spectacularly ineffective as the Olympic office has thus far been, I'd be surprised. Even blood-letting remains useful in a few modern medical circumstances. The White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport: A lot like leeches, but without the benefits!
Olympic experts and Obama apologists applaud the permanent federal Olympics office as a sop to the IOC, to which they say the U.S. has been insufficiently obsequious in the past. (Hint: The road to U.S. obeisance these days is paved with Holocaust denial, nuclear ambitions, and general thuggery. Har.)
Perhaps for its next trick, the Olympic office can send Kumar to Vancouver as the U.S. bobsled team's brakeman. Sure, he's not trained for it, but the force of his oratory, and his dramatic reenactment of Dr. Kutner's dramatic, death's-door diagnosis of sarcoidosis on "House" will surely convince them to hand over the gold.
Update: The other argument for the Olympic office is that many other countries have federal sports offices, and the United States' lack of one was seen as a "gap" in our Olympic bids. Hey, you know one thing we're pretty good at- even better at than other countries that do have federal sports offices? Sports, and winning Olympic medals. By all means, let's put a federal office in charge. If anything can put an end to our nation being able or "trying to dominate another nation" on the sports field, that'd be it.