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Obama brings Las Vegas into the mix -- again

By Michael D. Shear
What does President Obama have against Las Vegas?

In remarks up in New Hamshire today, the president offered a back-handed slap to the desert city, saying that responsible people don't "blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you're trying to save for college."


The remark was not received with grace in Sin City, which, after all, hopes that lots of people will "blow a bunch of cash" in the struggling vacation mecca.

"POTUS saying 'don't blow a bunch of cash in Vegas' during recession couldn't have come at worse time," tweeted Jon Ralston, an influential columnist for the Las Vegas Sun. "For economy. For Reid. For NV Dems. And don't forget: POTUS scheduled to be here this month. Think of field day Repubs here will have when he comes."

By Reid, Ralston was referring to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader, who already faces an uphill reelection bid. Having his president diss Vegas can't help.

But it's also not the first time for Obama.

In February, he chided the bankers who had taken big bailouts from the federal government only to then hold swanky conferences in Vegas.

"You can't take a trip to Las Vegas or down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime," Obama said during a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind. That caused an uproar in Nevada media and political circles.

And even before he became president, Obama told an audience in Vegas that he wanted to help "not just the folks who own casinos but the folks who are serving in casinos."

So does Obama have something against gambling?

Not so far as we know. Since becoming president, there have been no public sightings of him at a casino. But he's well known for playing poker with his fellow lawmakers when he was in the Illinois state senate.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 2, 2010; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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If Obama told us not to drink too much, the liquor companies should tell him to lay off; if he tells us not to eat too much, McDonald's should 86 him; if he suggests (God forbid) that we shouldn't smoke, the whole South should rise again and rebel. "Don't blow your money" means don't spend beyond your means. Wall Street should be up in arms. I have no mercy for people who can only make a living off of gambling and enabling addicts. I feel sorry for the gamblers because they are the real "slow learners."

Posted by: glenglish | February 4, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

E-mail I just sent to a friend in Vegas:

Obama was talking off the cuff to a bunch of high school kids for God’s sake. You people are too touchy. Touchy. Touchy. Touchy.

The economy is tough all over. My wife likes to get her nails done. At least three nail places here have closed down plus there is no wait if she goes to Wal-Mart. Do you suppose women are not having their nails done because the economy is tough?

You are too close to the scene. I understand that Las Vegas is hurting from lack of tourism. Maybe what I just posted in the Wash Post might encourage people to go to Vegas to have a great vacation at a reasonable price. All they have to do is NOT GAMBLE.

A friend who worked at Mercury told me this story: In the 1970's when the French were exploding a bomb in the Pacific, his employer was sent to spy on the French. The company's legal beagles advised the employees going overseas to give power of attorney to their wives in case anything happened to them. The men did as told. While the men were overseas, one of the wives caught the gambling fever and gambled away the bank account, the kid's college tuition, the house and the car. Tough Toenail right??? - - Wrong!!!

Posted by: yeoldeydd | February 4, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ATLMark | February 3, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Las Vegas is one of our favorite destinations. My wife and I always have a great vacation there. The rooms are reasonable. The food is outstanding. The shows are great. The atmosphere is exciting. The secret to having a great vacation in Las Vegas is to have the self discipline to stay away from the tables and the slot machines.

Posted by: yeoldeydd | February 3, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Excellent comments; I agree!

For the POTUS to disparage any great city in this country is absolutely unbelievable. For him to say it twice in less than a year is totally stupid.

I didn't notice if he had his 2 teleprompters, but they must have malfunctioned if he did. If he didn't have them it tells the tale of why he can't speak on his own.

I can't believe this guy got elected. And to think we have 3 years before we send him home.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | February 2, 2010 10:31 PM

Posted by: ohboy3 | February 3, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

1st let me start by saying people have the right to do what ever they want with their money! With that out of the way I have nop problem with Obama's comments. It might help some people think smarter about WHAT they do with their money. If it changes a persons mind who thinks that Vegas is the answer to their finacial problems then it has done some good in my book. Tough Shyt to Vegas! They could care less about if a person is living on the street but if that person has a dime to spare they sure as hell want it. Greedy bastards! Gambling is not the way to make money because unless you can afford to lose the money in the 1st place then you shouldn't be gambling! If the odds were so good for people in Vegas then there would be NO VEGAS!!!

Posted by: mrjamfy07 | February 3, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Obama has turned into the village idiot


Posted by: bobfanderson | February 3, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh whoa, but did you hear what he had to say about buying boats!?

Why, the boat people are apoplectic!

I tell you, the world is coming to an end here.

Posted by: T-Prop | February 3, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

In response to the ignorant statements of BOBSTERII, as well as those of our President and some others I have been reading, let me clarify something. I am a long time resident of Las Vegas. Las Vegas is not just an aggregate of slot machines and prostitutes (prostitution is in fact illegal in Las Vegas and Clark County); the city is among America's 30 largest, with a population equal or larger than others such as Denver, Cincinnati, and Orlando; including a metropolitan of about 2,000,000 people, who ironically overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Not everybody here lives in a shady motel with a flashing red light. We have schools, churches, community centers, professional sports teams, manufacturing facilities, service centers, and pretty much anything you would find in a city with a similar population, including casinos, which you can find in or near every major city in America.

What Las Vegas offers is not just great entertainment, for which the President has no business telling private citizens how to spend their own money (especially after proposing a $3.8 billion budget which will create a $1.6 billion deficit), but Las Vegas is also an huge convention hub, providing a business friendly and cost effective place for companies, trade groups, sporting event organizers, and individuals to conduct businesses. Last year when Obama scolded companies for conducting business in Las Vegas, it not only cost the city thousands of jobs and millions in lost revenue, but those companies who relocated their events to other cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles ended up paying far more for the same services.

Apparently, it's not just posters like BOBSTERII who don't get it, but the President has again revealed his ignorance and lack of experience as a leader by ironically attacking a city that overwhelmingly supported him in 2008. Without the voters of Clark County, Nevada would have gone to the Republicans in 2008. Obama is now President, he needs to grow up and show some responsibility. When he shoots off his mouth without his teleprompter, he costs Las Vegas jobs, especially those in the Hotel Restaurant industry (many run under unions which paid for his campaign), taxi drivers, conventions workers, and many other middle class Americans that the president himself claims to support.

Posted by: Mark1111 | February 2, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

For the POTUS to disparage any great city in this country is absolutely unbelievable. For him to say it twice in less than a year is totally stupid.

I didn't notice if he had his 2 teleprompters, but they must have malfunctioned if he did. If he didn't have them it tells the tale of why he can't speak on his own.

I can't believe this guy got elected. And to think we have 3 years before we send him home.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | February 2, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Wait till you see the amnesty plan the dems are cooking up in the back room. Coming to a theater near you later this year but the plan is to offer green cards instead of citizenship to well over 20-30 million illegals, spouses, kids, aunts and uncles. Think not! Google: Chain Immigration Law 1965
So LV do not worry your will have a lot of legallized illegals sitting at your tables and making your beds.
God Bless Harry Reid! NOT!

Posted by: usmc1969 | February 2, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Saying "blowing cash in Vegas" is only synonymous to saying when you are trying to save money for something you don't go and blow it on gambling. Everyone knows that is what he means. He is not saying don't go to Vegas. People are too sensitive and need to get a back bone.

Posted by: quelinda | February 2, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Isn't caling Las Vegas "sin city" already a bad reputation. On top of that leaders of Las Vegas love it, but when you discourage people from not going to that "sin city", that is somehow wrong for economy. I don't get it, why do I feel I have a devil on my left shoulder telling me to go to Las Vegas and my mind tells me not to. Obama is right because not a lot of wealthy people go to Vegas and spend their money on good time, its a middle class that saves last dollar just to go to Vegas and blast it out and yet it became even some tradition. Nothing good out of that city, nothing good, just a memories of being in Vegas and mostly doing something that don't bring good memories, in fact a memories that you don't wanna bragg about probably. What is so special about it, its all fake and indoor, from one building to another. No history, no tradition, no nature to see, no affordale and normal place to stay in, not safe, drugs all around, prostitution all around, all fake nothing is real, HECK YEA, Obama is right for not spending money on trip to Vegas in this economy.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | February 2, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

this idiot obama probably thinks the people who worked hard and decided to take their family to las vegas....aren't very american because they should be spending their hard earned money buying more cheese for the useless liberals.

Posted by: JWx2 | February 2, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Can't imagine these comments are very helpful to one Harry Reid...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 2, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD2 | February 2, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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