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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Two Cents - Obama's Visit to Las Vegas

So President Obama spent the better part of two days in our fair city. As you know, I'm not political, but yeah... I have an opinion on this one.

Do I think it was irresponsible for our President to damn Las Vegas as a frivolous place for businesses to spend their money? Absolutely. This city is full of reasons to have your conventions, business meetings, etc. (and I'm not talking about the topless bars or roulette tables, but hey... if conventioneers want to spend their own time and money here before and after hours - where's the problem?). Do I believe that the over 400 conventions canceled per the Las Vegas Convention Authority were in part to his statement? I'd say that's a fair assumption. But we can't blame it all on him, let's be realistic. Our city is hurting for more reasons than the President's speech. However, I do believe, that in his own way, President Obama delivered the proverbial olive branch today. His short stay was even on the Strip, at Caesar's Palace if I'm correct. In a speech at Nellis Air Force Base, he had this to say:
"You know, it’s always a pleasure to get out of Washington a little bit. Washington is OK, but it’s nice taking some time to talk to Americans of every walk of life outside of the nation’s capital. And there’s nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week. [This got applause.] Like millions of other Americans, we come to this beautiful city for the sights and for the sounds -- and today we come for the sun." (Quote is from the Los Angeles Times, and it's entirety can be found here.)
Our Mayor, Oscar Goodman, was there to receive the olive branch. I have been reading rumors that he may be throwing his hat into the next gubernatorial race, and WOW, would I vote for him in a second. The current Joker, errr... Governor, Jim Gibbons, snubbed the President's visit. He felt this was not enough to make up for Obama's statements about Las Vegas. Maybe he should do less pouting and more planning for what he's going to do when he's replaced as Governor - because no matter how much game he's playing right now, we'd be crazy to re-elect him (nor do I think he has a chance in Hell). Can't we all just get along?
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Jill - GlossyVeneer said...

Ditto... I'd vote Goodman for Governor in a heartbeat!

Ken said...

Rant = On. In terms of Obama's comment about Vegas, I think his original statement was 100% legit - companies taking TAXPAYER dollars should be spending that money wisely and not wasting it on Super Bowl tickets, Super Bowl ads or trips to Vegas. When the average family is tightening their belt, if a company is taking money from the government, they should show a little restraint. Rant = Off

That being said, I think the President did what he needed to do in his visit. Gov. Gibbons is such a tool. Luckily, the legislature called him on it and is poised to override his veto of the budget. He's a goner in 2010. I just don't think Goodman is going to run. I'm leaning towards supporting Rory Reid.

Amy just mentioned this, and I agree - for someone who is "non-political" this is your second or third post recently...Just an observation

Ken said...

Here's a great article about the whole thing - http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/may/29/embarrassed-behalf-nevada/

LoraLoo said...

Ken - while I see your point... nobody wants our tax dollars or bailout money being used for corporate excess, I think perception has a lot to do with this whole situation. Conventions and business meetings are perfectly legit in our city, and I think the perception by many was that the City of Sin is inappropriate, period. I do think his words had backlash (while yes, I still believe we were in trouble long before the President's words). ANY big convention city has other things to offer besides a convention hall, that's part of the attraction - right? Perhaps Obama meant exactly how you perceived it ("tax dollars" and "bailout" being key words), but I can't say that's how it was perceived, or how the media translated it.

I wasn't impressed with the article - The Las Vegas Sun/Review Journal tends to be a bit too conservative for me. Although they hit good points about the Governor. :)

Ken said...

I don't care for the RJ. They are anti-tax to a fault. While I admire their libertarianism, again I think the anti-tax side outweighs any respect I have. I like the Sun. Brian Greenspun is a "limo liberal" and Jon Ralson (a fellow Buffalonian) is as sharp a political pundit as I've seen. He just can't stand Oscar Goodman

And here's the quote from the president "You can’t get corporate jets, you can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime,"

I'm not saying the President's comments didn't hurt, but let's face it, the Man Formerly Known as Governor (as will be his official title after the Assembly overrides his budget veto) and the Mayor are going for the media attention

LoraLoo said...

Yes, I know the quote. :) I believe the media took it and ran with it, as well as accountants around the country... I'll give you that Goodman and Gibbons wanted media attention, but that's often part of the political game, wouldn't you agree? What matters is how well you play it. Gibbons = FAIL. LOL

Ken said...

Yes...Gibbons = FAIL. In a major way.

Vegas Princess said...

I wish we could get rid of Gibbons now. Can't we impeach him or something? I mean, already the legislature is overturning his veto so that has to mean something is wrong, right?

As for Obama, I am with both you and Ken. I think his original statement was specific about companies spending "taxpayer dollars" to take fun trips to Vegas. I don't think he meant for no one to come to Vegas. But that statement did hurt us in some capacity because people took it to heart. However, like you said, we were going downhill long before that statement was mentioned. And the reason why Obama mentioned Vegas specifically and not some other vacation spot was because companies were doing just as he said. Taking taxpayer money to get a vacation on our dime. Which should never be done, in any city.