Daily Archives: February 16, 2010

An invitation from the less elite Las Vegas R-J

A personal invitation to President Obama
Posted by Sherman Frederick
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010 at 07:13 AM

The president’s visit to Las Vegas is pretty much set at this moment and, unfortunately for the people of Nevada, it does not include (once again) an editorial board meeting with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

We made a formal request to the White House for President Barack Obama to spend time with our editors. We thought in light of his newly found desire to speak with conservatives and independents, we’d be the perfect forum for that. And, as we now video important editorial board meetings and put them on the Internet, Nevadans and the rest of the country could see the president respond unedited to hard, outside-the-Beltway questions from one of the more politically independent newspapers in the country.

The president has been to Las Vegas once before as president. He didn’t visit the state’s largest newspaper then, either. He also avoided us throughout his election campaign.

Why the president avoids the Las Vegas Review-Journal is a question up for debate. It’s hard to argue that he’s just too busy. He’s been here plenty of times; he’s visited with much smaller newspapers in Nevada. But he has yet to visit the state’s largest newspaper.

So, I thought it was time to go public.

Mr. President, please consider finding a couple hours out of your visit to sit down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. I can promise you a courteous and frank exchange. You will get tough, but fair, questions. From my newspaper’s editorial perspective, your first year as president has been nothing short of a disaster for Americans in general, and for your party in specific. I can’t understand your positions on the war on terror. I feel less safe with you as president and I’d like you to convince me differently. Your focus on health care “reform” seemed to distract the country from job creation. Your economic policies don’t seem to be working. We keep losing jobs under your administration, despite massive, unsustainable spending. You say Americans have to make hard choices, but you don’t seem to be making hard choices when it comes to deficit spending. On behalf of all Nevadans (especially conservatives and independents) I’d like to understand better why you think you have America on the right course.

We still have a little more than 24 hours before the president arrives in Las Vegas. Maybe he’ll accept this invitation to talk to the people of Nevada via a frank exchange with a newspaper that doesn’t fall to bended knee at his mere presence.

How about it, Mr President? You have my personal guarantee that you’ll be given the utmost courtesy. I think Sen. Harry Reid will vouch for me on that score. It is time for you to stop the cream-puff questioning from hand-picked town-hall participants and meaningfully speak to Nevadans.

Are you president of all America, or not? We’re ready when you are.

Will Obama apologize to Las Vegans?

Laura Myers/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Obama’s Southern Nevada swing Thursday and Friday is aimed partly at boosting the re-election chances of Sen. Harry Reid. The Democratic Senate majority leader’s political future is in jeopardy after leading the stalled White House effort in Congress to pass health care reform.

The president also may make a personal apology to LasVegans for using the city as a punching bag in comments he made this month and a year ago about how Americans and corporations looking to tighten their belts should avoid dumping dollars into the city’s visitor-dependent economy.

“I do believe you will see an apology come out of his lips,” said Mark Peplowski, a political science professor at the College of Southern Nevada. “He’ll say twice I said something about Las Vegas and twice I got sent to the principal’s office. But then he’ll probably say something more serious to apologize.”

Obama is scheduled to arrive Thursday evening and attend a closed fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Southern Highlands home of George Maloof, owner of the Palms hotel and casino where Paris Hilton and other young stars and Hollywood elite like to party. Southern Highlands is a wealthy gated community in the south valley, just west of Interstate 15.

He's good at apologizing and bowing. He owes Las Vegans the same.

About 45 people are invited to the fundraiser, with donors asked to pay up to a maximum of $30,000 a head, with the goal of raising at least $1 million for the DNC, said one person familiar with the fundraising effort and speaking on condition of anonymity because nothing had been announced.