President Barack Obama is a very eloquent man. His words have kept even critics actively listening. This may not however be the case for Nevada residents.
Obama blundered for the second time in the past year, describing Las Vegas as a center for excessive spending. This time, Obama warned college bound individuals to not "blow their money in Las Vegas" in a letter to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Read. Last February Obama commented that bailed out banks shouldn't use tax payer's money to go to Vegas. At a town hall meeting in Elkart, Indiana, Obama implied that federal bailout money wasn't "intended for trips to Las Vegas, the Super Bowl, or corporate jets."
Obama's camp, including a White House spokesperson, had "no further comment" when asked to elaborate on the President's most recent Anti-Vegas sentiment. Nevada residents, of course, reacted negatively to the Presidents harsh words. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman stated in a news conference that the President is unwelcome to visit and is "no friend" to the city. Goodman also stated, in reference to the President's gaff: "He has to step up right away and say, you know, he wasn't thinking. Sometimes when he's not using his monitors and reading what he says, he doesn't think. And this is one of those times he didn't think and he should straighten out the record because he has been here, he knows Las Vegas is a great place."
Goodman's biggest fear is that Obama's sentiment will carry over onto the masses, discouraging travelers to visit the city, and further depress the Silver State's already tremulous economic future. December's unemployment rate in Nevada was 13% and much of Nevada's economy relies on casinos and tourism, industries suffering greatly by today's grim economic times. In the past two years, consumers everywhere have all but closed their wallets to leisure spending and even prospering companies have spent less on conventions and meetings.
Democrat Shelley Berkley said it best in a statement: "Enough is enough. President Obama needs to stop picking on Las Vegas and he needs to let Americans decide for themselves how and where to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars."