Ari Fleischer has been hired by the United States Olympic Committee as a communications consultant.
Fleischer not only spent some 2 1/2 years – January, 2001 to July, 2003 — as George W. Bush’s press secretary, but he later was implicated in the investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame by Scooter Libby, chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
On the surface, that would make Fleischer potentially radioactive to a Chicago 2016 Olympic bid relying on both President Barack Obama’s support and his global image as the anti-Bush to help win over the International Olympic Committee on Chicago’s behalf.
(It also goes without saying that the USOC badly needs another Olympics in the United States to assure its financial wellbeing beyond 2012.)
The Fleischer hiring made me wonder if the USOC soon would be announcing Cheney as the board of directors replacement for Stephanie Streeter, who resigned that board position after becoming interim USOC chief executive in March. (That’s a joke. I think.)
Maybe Mr. Fleischer can give the 2016 Committee some advice on how to tell the truth to the press, answer questions put to it at public forums with honesty and not evasion and come clean on how they will pay for the games.