What Happens To Vegas Was Remembered For A Long Time...
An Interesting Turn Out For President Barack Obama's Trip To Las Vegas...
President Barack Obama came to Las Vegas in 2012 to present a housing plan that was expected not to be helpful to anyone here. Of course, he was also campaigning and trying to raise money... but a funny thing happened on his trip. He arrived, exited Air Force One, and came down the steps onto the tarmac at McCarran Airport, and who was there to greet him?
ONE person was there... the current mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman. It has been assumed she was there because she had to be. There were not the usual line of democratic politicians, waiting excitedly to shake his hand. Just one solitary person, a person who had left the Democratic Party to become an Independent.
I wonder what all those politicians were thinking when no one showed up to greet Mr. Obama? I wonder what their excuses might have been? Or, could it be something more... that no one wanted to be seen with a leader who could possibly be on the "outs"? Or rather, is that "on the way out." Maybe no one wanted to be photographed with him, in a "guilt by association" photo op?
Just three short years ago, Mr.Obama was welcomed here. It seemed that the State of Nevada was full of dreams of "hope and change." So, what happened since then? Well, a couple of hurtful comments by the President certainly did not help matters any.
The first one happened in 2009, when he was referring to the company's that had received government bailouts, about how they "shouldn't go to Vegas or down to the Super Bowl on the Taxpayer's dime." That wasn't such a terrible remark, but then a year later he again bashed Las Vegas again by telling people not to come here and "blow a bunch of cash" here.
What this DID to the economy of Las Vegas, perhaps he could never fully understand. The conventions that were cancelled after his remarks, the drop in tourism that occurred, and to top that off, in the last two years, Las Vegas achieved the status of the worst economy in the country.
In addition to unemployment being the highest in the country, Las Vegas also has the highest percentage of people who are "underwater" on their homes in the mortgage mess. For a while, it held the title of highest number of foreclosure homes in the United States. Add this all up, and you can see why the President was treated the way he was. He was ignored by the same people who once had backed him.
Now Las Vegas is the only city in the country that has had a husband and wife, back to back, as their mayor's. Mayor Oscar Goodman was the mayor for 12 years, from 1999 until 2011, when his wife, Carolyn Goodman was elected. The comments made by Mr. Obama happened when Oscar Goodman was Mayor, and as a result, both Oscar and Carolyn Goodman made a point of switching from the Democratic Party to being Independent last year, just prior to Carolyn Goodman being elected.
It turns out that Mr. Goodman had asked for, and never received, an apology from President Obama for those remarks. It seems that things that are said about Las Vegas are still very much remembered here, and not appreciated. This showed in a glaringly apparent way when President Obama made his visit.
He had a mission and a reason for his visit here, to talk about this housing plan, a plan that probably would not help many local people, and also to raise money. He appeared at the Bellagio Hotel. The Bellagio is owned by Steve Wynn... who was once quoted as saying that President Obama has been "destructive to business in America."
Mr. Obama's problems here in Las Vegas are just a microcosm of his problems throughout the nation. Only they are magnified here because of the destructive comments he made, and the aftermath because of those comments.
It was reported that Carolyn Goodman talked to Mr.Obama for a couple of minutes, since she was the only one there for him to talk to... and she gave him a good luck poker chip and asked him to "say nice things about Las Vegas." Really? He needed this reminder to "be on his best behavior" while he was here? Evidently he did.
I guess it is not too terribly surprising that his visit to Las Vegas only lasted about three hours, then he was off to California. Maybe he had better luck there.