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What Happens To Vegas Was Remembered For A Long Time...

Updated on March 7, 2013
Barack Obama coming out of Air Force one.
Barack Obama coming out of Air Force one. | Source
"Welcome To Las Vegas" sign.
"Welcome To Las Vegas" sign.
Sign seen when leaving Las Vegas...
Sign seen when leaving Las Vegas...
This is me, sharing a toast with the former Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman... ok, so it was at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, and the drink is not even mine... but still...this wax figure really DOES look like the former mayor.
This is me, sharing a toast with the former Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman... ok, so it was at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, and the drink is not even mine... but still...this wax figure really DOES look like the former mayor.

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.


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    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks for stopping by with thoughtful comments, Wizard and bell du jour! :)

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Interesting comment, Bunco Squad... it certainly took more than a couple comments to do this to the city (I just moved here a few months ago, so I'm learning new things every day)... this economy downturn took years to happen, and can't be blamed on any one thing. Thanks for commenting! :)

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      I find it sad that Obama's popularity has waned, but you're right, all politicians have to very careful what they are saying at all times, even a throwaway remark can ruin an industry . If he was silly enough to make those remarks about Vegas then he didn't deserve a welcoming committee.


    • Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

      Wizard Of Whimsy 

      7 years ago from The Sapphire City

      Obama's the perfect scapegoat for the right-wing mob who got America into this mess; don't spoil their fun and pettiness, bunco!

    • the bunco squad profile image

      the bunco squad 

      7 years ago from Savannah GA

      The President says responsible adult things about not wasting money and the Right turns them into a slam against L.V.

      The economic woes of Las Vegas and Nevada are not because of the Presidents comments, neither because of lost tourism. The loss was a small percentage and has been slowly returning to normal. The problem is in fact over building in the housing market and unemployed house builders. How long did you people expect the housing boom to last? And why would you expect people to believe that a couple of comment from the President could ruin your economy? Give me a break!

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Lonhunter! :) Hope you make it back to Vegas soon! :) Things change so fast here, you're likely to see some new things! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent hub, Kathy.

      It seems that Obama's coat tails just aren't what they use to be. With any luck, January 20, 2013 will see him return to what he was before being elected president - a two bit Chicago thug wannabe with big ears.

      By the way, I've been to Vegas a few times and love it. I hope to be back soon.


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