Gambling=good. President=bad. Towel=yummy.

tarkanian_2

I am a Democrat, but I am not blind.

Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader. He also happens to be a buffoon. Were I living in Nevada, and were the Republican running against him a moderate, and were there not national implications, I could easily do without ol’ Harry holding a position of power. Again, the man is a dolt.

Earlier today, at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, President Obama compared the federal budget to a family budget, saying people shouldn’t “blow a bunch of cash in Vegas” Clearly, Vegas was an analogy; said because it’s the gambling capital of the world and people go there—more than anywhere else—to roll the dice and play poker and pull slots. A decade ago, I covered the Triple A World Series in Vegas. It lasted two years. Why? Because 36 people showed up to watch (not an exaggeration) as the rest hit the slots.

Anyhow, when Reid heard of Obama’s harmless words, he flipped, firing off a statement that read:

“I just spoke to the White House and told them that while the President is correct that people saving for college need to be fiscally responsible, the President needs to lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn’t be spending their money. I would much rather tourists and business travelers spend their money in Las Vegas than spend it overseas.”

The problem with guys like Reid is that they wear their desperation on their cuffs and don’t even know it. Many believe Harry won’t win the next election, so—like all politicians—he gets really dumb, thinks “What will make people like me!” and plays that hand.

Sadly, this sort of thing is contagious. Not long after Reid’s words, John Ensign, Republican senator from Nevada, used Twitter to write, “Obama slams Las Vegas again. I am calling on the President to apologize for his remark.” Then, as if our brains hadn’t completely melted, Dean Heller, a congressman from the state, said, “This is not the first time the President has found Las Vegas to be a convenient political punch-line. At the same time the President tells people not to come to Las Vegas, he has no problems coming to our state to raise money.” And then Danny Tarkanian, the son of the UNLV basketball coach and one of 8,643,211 Republican candidate for Reid’s gig, issued his own statement. And, boy, is he furious! “The president owes the always hospitable people of Las Vegas an immediate apology for once again treated them as a cheap applause line instead of as fellow American citizens. … Obviously, the president doesn’t particularly care that Nevada is represented by the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, because he remembers that Harry Reid doesn’t stand up for his constituents.”

Not to be outdone, a Republican candidate for the senate, some quasi-dolt named Sue Lowden, issued yet another wacky statement, reacting to the previous statement’s statement’s statement’s statement. She demanded Obama apologize “to the hardworking families of Nevada.” She also said it was “indefensible for Harry Reid to once again sit on his hands” about the incident.

Which, of course, he didn’t do—because he was the fool who probably started this thing.

You know what’s the worst part of this whole bag of dung? None of these people are even remotely offended. Not even slightly. But they know you—the voter—might be. At least you’ll be if they pretend they are, too.

Boo Obama! Yea gambling!

10 thoughts on “Gambling=good. President=bad. Towel=yummy.”

  1. Jeff, politicians in Nevada get all their money from Vegas businesses and leaders. Hell, the whole state gets its money from there. That’s why they need to stand up for Vegas. Frankly, Obama’s right. Politically, he shouldn’t have said it because he needs to help Reid in Nevada. Morally, he’s 100% correct.

  2. They aren’t harmless words, Jeff, or else Nevadans wouldn’t react that way. Your inability to understand the realities of a niche economy isn’t surprising, though.

  3. Obama should make up for it by putting the entire 2010 budget on black. COME ON, BABY!

    I’ve been to Las Vegas once in the past five years. Hope to never go back.

  4. Jeff,

    While I agree that people take “offense” for political reasons, this isn’t one of those cases. Having worked for public officials and in the private sector, a politician’s words can often have huge impacts on businesses and their decision-making. Case in point, Chris Dodd last year made an off-hand about a rumored large bank failure in CT, sending businesses into CT in a panic. Obama’s words have power. We need to help tourism and industry, not discourage it.

  5. People go to Las Vegas for just one reason and that is to gamble and see some over priced shows. People who have money are not going to stop going just because the President makes an off hand remark. Just another over reaction by politicians. I am guessing the general population is not complaining. While Vegas can be a fun place to go there are places much closer to most people to go gambling. I live in Wisconsin. There is a casino in Milwaukee and at least two other places in the state. Maybe the president should have said don’t go to Casinos instead of just saying Las Vegas.

  6. @Sanford:

    Company retreats and industry conferences are a major source of income for Las Vegas and its businesses. Due to comments from the President this past year, these businesses have suffered mightily while overall conference spending has not decreased. That is to say, companies are still spending money to attend and host conferences, they’re just directing the funds away from Vegas. Again, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you probably shouldn’t say anything.

  7. Classicist: company retreats and industry conferences in Vegas have suffered mightily just because of comments from the president??? Puh-leaze. In a recession, businesses cut their travel budgets and stay close to home. So those conferences are being held at, say, a Holiday Inn in Jersey instead of Vegas. Read your last sentence and apply it to yourself.

  8. @Jim: No. Companies are still traveling across the country to host and attend conferences. They are avoiding Vegas because of optics.

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