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Obama Talks Housing in Las Vegas

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By Karl Vick
LAS VEGAS --- Five months after Sen. Hillary Clinton bested him in Nevada's Democratic caucuses, Sen. Barack Obama returned to Las Vegas to lay claim to the pocketbook issues that increasingly preoccupy the hotel, casino and other service workers who in this part of the world define the post-industrial economy.

Obama mentioned Clinton only once, in an aside over a policy disagreement on how best to handle the foreclosure crisis that was the focus of both of his campaign's events today. But he took pains to draw stark contrasts with Sen. John McCain, especially after paying a visit to the modest Isabelle Avenue home that Felictas Rosel and Francisco Cano are struggling to hang on to, on the salaries of a maid and a porter at the opulent Bellagio.

"Today, John McCain is having a different kind of meeting," Obama said during a town meeting at the College of Southern Nevada. "He's holding a fundraiser with George Bush behind closed doors in Arizona. No cameras. No reporters. And we all know why. Senator McCain doesn't want to be seen, hat-in-hand, with the President whose failed policies he promises to continue for another four years."

Obama, who beat back allegations of elitism in the trench warfare of primaries in gritty Pennsylvania and Ohio, cut a dapper but comfortable figure as he worked his way, mike in hand, around a student lounge his campaign had stocked with locals eager recount their encounters with the troubled mortgage industry.

"Nevada is being hit just about harder than any place in the country when it comes to people being able to stay in their homes," Obama said. According to figures compiled by the campaign, the Silver State's foreclosure rate is three-and-a-half times the national average, and one in 44 households in Las Vegas is facing foreclosure.

The arid basin of Clark County, which sprawls for miles beyond the famous Strip, is edged with empty housing developments thrown up in the expectation of continued easy credit, along with the momentum of explosive growth that kept the county the fastest growing in the nation for years.

One woman said she and her husband face foreclosure on their own home in part because their income has been cut in his part-time job guarding new homes.

"We've got a vicious circle," Obama said, pitching a package of measures aimed at stabilizing the housing market, so that banks and lenders feel they can loosen credit. Obama supports the measure co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank that would permit some homeowners to negotiate with lenders to convert existing mortgages to new, fixed-rate loans that will allow them to avoid foreclosure. He also suggested a new fund for low income housing, and changes in bankruptcy laws that now favor those wealthy enough to have second homes.

"If the government can bail out investment banks on Wall Street," he said, in another swipe at Bush, it should help working people who signed mortgages promoted by lenders "out to make a quick buck."

The Democrat also mocked McCain for the Arizona Republican's self-effacing remark earlier in the primary season to the effect that economics was not his strong suit.

The McCain campaign was giving no quarter Tuesday, however.

"John McCain has introduced a solutions based plan targeting the mortgage crisis, and today he launched campaign advertisements in key swing-states highlighting his intentions to fight foreclosures, but that didn't stop Barack Obama from making a misinformed political attack," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.

"When Barack Obama's best ideas include nearly $50 billion of taxpayer money with no guarantee that it won't end up in the hands of speculators, and tax hikes on small businesses that provide the paying jobs Americans need, it's clear that he just isn't ready to lead our economy."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 27, 2008; 6:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

Whether Obama, Mccain or Hilary, we are looking forward to more freedom and more human rights not only for Americans but for all humans especially for those who were divested of their home lands.

Posted by: Taha | May 29, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Proofread Rat!

"I KNOW"

I know! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | May 28, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Dear Santa: I Christmas is still over 6 Months away, but I was really hoping for an early Gift this Year!

I promise I will even try to do something "Nice"-For/to a Libbie! ;~)

But, the Election comes BEFORE December, and as is, all we are getting is three Lumps of Coal!-Well, OK, McCain does have his in his Cheeks!

Sunni/Shia? Sniper Fire/Assassination! G'Damn/ Aushcwitz, Elitist! :-(

Please, Please, PRETTY PLEASE Santa;

Mitt Romney! :-)

He'll do the Job for FREE! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 28, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"...returned to Las Vegas to lay claim to the pocketbook issues..."

That's a remarkably positive characterization. I don't recall Sen Clinton ever being granted the verb "lay claim" on this web site. I wonder what it takes to get WaPo reporters to think of you as a politician who "lays claim" to things instead of just talking about them. I suppose "not being Hillary Clinton" probably tops those criteria.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: MadasHell in Alex., VA | May 28, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse


Here is a ten minute clip of the speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc7po0asTJw&eurl=http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/gGB7Yr

This is not new issue for Obama

Obama submitted legislation to deal with the looming subprime lending crisis back
in 2006.

Appraisal groups push for amending FIRREA via support of new Obama ...
Barack Obama, D-III. The bill, S. 2280, known as the Stop Fraud Act and ... In response to Obama's initiative, the Appraisal Institute spearheaded a letter ...
findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JDE/is_1_11/ai_n24985404 - 40k

Posted by: Mr. Unite Us | May 28, 2008 5:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Obama is a fake and a phony. Now he runs to Nevada and uses the life and plight of a Mexican family to court the hispanic vote. He has without even having to put forth effort gotten the black vote so far..votes tha the really takes for granted. He went to Iowa last week to suck up to the white voters. Why didn't he go to Philly or Mississippi or the south side of Chicago???? Why didn't he invest that time with the black voters??? Why because he is ZEBRA MAN!!! White when he wants to be and a black man when he needs the black vote. He says that he had such an impact on the lives of Chicagoans as a "community organizer". If tha is so why did Chicago law enforcement had to declare a war on the gang violence over the past few months and where was Obama to help with the issues in Chicago when kids were killing each other. How can he stop terror in the world when he can't stop it in his own hometown? Obama is not ready for primetime. He needs to tell us what he knows about the death of his church's choir director, Donald Young who was killed in Dec. 2007 becuase he obviously knew too much about homosexual relations between Obama and gay elites in the Chicago community. Obama needs to pack up his Sh%$ and go home to his hateful @ss wife and stay there. Or, he can go to Iran and run for President there.

Posted by: Ebonyflash | May 28, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Obama is a fake and a phony. Now he runs to Nevada and uses the life and plight of a Mexican family to court the hispanic vote. He has without even having to put forth effort gotten the black vote so far..votes tha the really takes for granted. He went to Iowa last week to suck up to the white voters. Why didn't he go to Philly or Mississippi or the south side of Chicago???? Why didn't he invest that time with the black voters??? Why because he is ZEBRA MAN!!! White when he wants to be and a black man when he needs the black vote. He says that he had such an impact on the lives of Chicagoans as a "community organizer". If tha is so why did Chicago law enforcement had to declare a war on the gang violence over the past few months and where was Obama to help with the issues in Chicago when kids were killing each other. How can he stop terror in the world when he can't stop it in his own hometown? Obama is not ready for primetime. He needs to tell us what he knows about the death of his church's choir director, Donald Young who was killed in Dec. 2007 becuase he obviously knew too much about homosexual relations between Obama and gay elites in the Chicago community. Obama needs to pack up his Sh%$ and go home to his hateful @ss wife and stay there. Or, he can go to Iran and run for President there.

Posted by: Ebonyflash | May 28, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Go get McCain Obama! McCain and the RNC want to keep the issue on Iran and ignore the domestic issues at home. As bad as Iraq will get again, in the end, it's the economy stupid (a.k.a. McCain)!

Obama in 08!

Posted by: AJ | May 28, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Ah, short again...

Best way to explain it:

In David Brook's article, Edwards, Obama and the Poor, he writes, "Families who were given the means to move from poor neighborhoods to middle-class areas did not see incomes rise. Girls in those families did a little better, but boys did worse. They quickly formed subcultures in the new communities that replicated patterns of the old ones. Male criminality rose, but test scores did not."

Now, certainly, these facts will find some people maintaining that ...

However, what about the idea that immorality doesn't appeal to "certain people"--causing them to spurn those Politicians and Co. who support such trickery (the foreclosure "scandal")...

Oh sure..., what about that crazed guy in NY who was bashing in that girl's head until alerted that someone was filming him...

But maybe that's where Obama and Co. are leading the rest of us--have you been feeling homicidal lately...

Not that anyone would be too inclined to rationalize such behavior...

At any rate, Obama and the Foreclosure Crisis is a case in point here...!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Michael L. Wagner | May 27, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Upon reflection I realize I didn't actually make my point...

The crimes being committed against Mankind are generally enough to drive anyone to distraction (oft times precisely the idea...???); who can say that a certain person's lousy self-control with illicit drugs isn't due to a certain sensitivity...

This where:

"Moreover the plight of the citizens of many poor countries has become worse under the policies of economic globalisation ... financial volatility, job and income insecurity, crime, threats to health, food insecurity, loss of cultural diversity, community disintegration and environmental degradation have all increased," from The Ecologist, Editorial: Critism of World Trade Organization, World bank and International Monetary Fund, Sept. 2000.

Indeed, the World Bank "provides loans for the construction of roads, ports, mines, hydroelectric dams, oil wells and pipelines, and coal-fired power stations ... Revenues rarely reach the poor. Instead, the poor are often displaced from their homes, suffer loss or damage to their natural resource base, and are placed in the front line of climatic destabilisation that the Bank's support for fossil fuels is helping to cause."

One has to figure the illegal alien issue is representative here of how the safety of the citizens is never what drives Govt..., rather this would be the greed of the already rich...

Rich in possessions--but poor in "truth..."

Posted by: Michael L. Wagner | May 27, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

O'Bomba-Nation can talk about housing, because his great Grandfather was once in one! Even his Great-Great Uncle once drove a couple of nails! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 27, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Dear Jennifer. If you were paying attention to the spin guys on TV, you would understand that candidates are expected to reach out to other constituencies, not only to their 'core support groups'.

Posted by: bruce becker | May 27, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I see we are still debating whether Clinton would have won in a parellel universe where the Democratic party used less democratic principles to select its nominee. Well, for starters if the rules were winner take all, then the other candidates would have focused on winning one or two states on Super Tuesday, rather than on winning delegates. So while the rules would have been different, all the other candidates would have changed their strategy to match the reality. Of course, in that parallel universe, Clinton's incompetent management might have attempted to show her strength nationwide and in that parallel universe, she would have finished a very strong 2nd in every race in the US. And therefore, in that parallel universe, with just one constant, her failure to take the actual rules into account, she would have lost in that parallel universe and we would be treated to hearing that if the rules in that parallel universe gave delegates based on the strong showing in each state, she would be the winner. But alas, here on Earth, as well as in the Earth-2, she cannot manage a campaign based on the rules, and thus we would be treated to nonsense about counting the votes, rather than the delegates, and we would have to look to the Earth-3 parallel universe, where she won on total votes, based on her popularity among the voters of former colonies which chose in elections not to be a state, like Puerto Rico. In the parallel universe of Earth-4, she is the winner based on the DNC committee being totally fixed and allowing her to win the delegations of large states whose elections broke party rules and which everyone else had chosen to follow. On Earth-4, she is campaigning now, and is the presumptive nominee.
She is, like here on Earth, never speaking of habeas corpus, because it is in Latin and she is a person of the beer drinking, bowling teams of America. Nevermind that habeas corpus means she can have anyone arrested who complains that Michigan and Florida were not supposed to count in the primaries, for having destroyed the place that only small states can have in a democracy. In Earth-4, Clinton is the presumptive nominee, because there New Hampshire's place as the first primary was lost on a stacked DNC committee vote, and now, when we have elections, the only people who can run, will be billionaires, and 'name brands' because the first week of the primary season Florida and Michigan are both having primaries, and with 35 million people, no unknown person or mere millionaire can ever run again. But here on Earth, she lost even though she is a demogague, appealing to women to vote for her, not because she stands for the Constitution and the restoration of Habeas Corpus, your right to be charged with a crime and to see evidence, which she does not and will not, but because she is a woman, too.

Posted by: bruce becker | May 27, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that Obama chose to visit a hispanic household when it is clear that the blacks are the ones who are voting overwhelmingly for him not the hispanics. Could this be peddling? Also I think it shows alot about his character that he would not visit the blacks now that he is all but the chosen nominee and he does not need them. Obama is a fraud!

Posted by: Jennifer | May 27, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain's co-chair is now revealed to be the one person most responsible for the loss of 32 billion by the investment bank UBS and the person whose ideas are most responsible for the mortgage crisis.

When McCain said he didnt understand economics, he was right.
His co-chair is going to be his Treasury Secretary if McCain wins.

Vote for common sense. Dump the Republicans.
They have made such a mess of the US and the earth it will take a generation to recover.

Posted by: bruce becker | May 27, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Do you think John McCain got cornholed at the Hanoi Hilton?


2008johnmccaincornholedhanoihilton@live.com

Posted by: John on Knees | May 27, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I live in AZ. Its telling that McCain needs Bush to help him raise money IN HIS HOME STATE. I mean it would be 1 thing for Bush to help McCain in TX or NY, but AZ?!

As for the comments by Mr. Bounds' about "$50B of taxpayer money w/ no ..."

$50B is not a drop in the bucket compared to the Iraq war - $3 trillion and counting (or 60 times more expensive.) More importantly $50B is barely a shot in the arm for the US Housing market which is hard to value but worth more money than any other pool of capital in the world, e.g. trillions.

To be afraid of speculators as the McCain camp presupposes that its proposed Sec. Of Treasury wasn't a mastermind of the specific mess we are in now (Phil Gramm - he is), or that the Bush laissez-faire deregulation of banking and lending which impoverished states, ruined people financially, and was just bad policy is not THE WAY IN WHICH THEY INTEND TO LEAD!!!

Posted by: DRosen | May 27, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a fraud...

He's supposed to be a friend of the poor...

People don't need to watch all the gory stories on Dateline--to hate the poor...

What about the other side of the coin...?

Forget about sending all those lower-class boys up Hamburger Hill--and, yet, they still don't have any rights...; who wants to go to work everyday when it equates to being poisoned...

It can't help that the entire Sub-Prime Lending Crisis is a fraud--who is dumb enough to drastically raise adjustable interest rates so high as to drive yourself right out of business...

Yeah, Obama and Co.--be mature in your understanding not in your maliciousness...

Posted by: Michael L. Wagner | May 27, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Your definition of "besting" remains off the mark -- played for dramatic effect, as usual.

The nomination is won by the person with the most total delegates.

Obama won more delegates than Clinton in NV (14 to 11), just as he did in Texas (99 to 94, despite all the media declaration of Hillary pulling a big victory to keep her campaign alive).

Clinton has made it clear that she does not like the caucus process -- indeed she ignores them in her count of popular votes (sounds like disenfranchisement to me). But I did not hear those complaints about caucuses until after they were lost.

Did Bill or Hillary complain about caucuses in the past elections? Did they try to change the rules, or did they just plan to ignore the rules?

Our US Constitution has many provisions to make sure simple majority rule will not be the definition of power in the US.

We are a Republic, not an Athenian Democracy.

I think Obama has done a fantastic job creating and maintaining a campaign organization to play by the rules for the best possible outcome.

Yes we can!

Posted by: john | May 27, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Las Vegas is a special case when it comes to foreclosures due to the momentum of the growth rate. Under more normal circumstances, even on the brink of recession, banks do their best to refinance mortgages by maximizing the period of the load to minimize the payment. Sometimes they will renegotiate the interest rate to assure they are not stuck with a piece of real property they simply can not sell. Changing the bankruptcy laws, however, will not help foreclosures since the sale of the real property which secures a mortgage remains without option in either case.

Posted by: David Foster | May 27, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

If Obama knows economics, why did Rezko have to purchase the lot next to Obama's house purchase? The owners of the lot and house stipulated that they had to be sold together. Was this Obama's only option: to have a crook buy the lot so that Obama could then own it?

Posted by: Clyde | May 27, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

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