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.