For the last five Olympics, the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies has included either the President, Vice-President, or First Lady. Not this time, Russia. You get the President's assistant, and a few openly gay former athletes.
With U.S.-Russia relations at a low point, this is no accident. The delegations, announced today, won't even include a cabinet secretary: The group for the opening ceremony will be led by former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. That will make Rob Nabors, the assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy, the highest-ranking federal official to attend the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.
Among other former athletes, Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano will attend the opening ceremonies, while speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, and hockey player Caitlin Cahow will be at the closing ceremonies. Both King and Cahow are openly gay.