If there was any doubt whether or not President Obama was trying to mend fences with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Las Vegas constituents, that was erased Friday.
After warmly embracing the Senator in a Las Vegas-area event, the President headed to the heart of the city to proclaim, “Let me set the record straight-I love Vegas!”
The President even told a questioner at his town hall in Henderson, Nevada that spending some money in Vegas is good. “We like to see that,” he said.
Such statements wouldn’t be notable were it not for the fact that the President has gotten himself on the bad side of Nevadans with a string of Vegas-related slip-ups.
Case-in-point: a comment in New Hampshire early this month, “Responsible families don't do their budgets the way the federal government does,” the President said. “You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college.”
Mr. Obama later sent a letter to the Senate leader apologizing for the remarks and Friday he said it was misunderstood. However, it’s clear Senator Reid has forgiven him, if not merely out of necessity.
Polls show Reid’s re-election bid lagging. Though if you ask Reid, his status in the polls depends on your perspective.
In an interview Friday, the Senator told Fox News’ Anita Vogel that the media is focused on just one poll showing him doing poorly. “You folks keep reciting the poll. I'm sure it gives them a certain amount of glee that you do, but there are other polls around,” he quipped. “This is not a battle of polls. The only poll that really matters is the one on election day.”
Others see the President’s appearance with Reid as a liability. The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Brian Walsh, says “It's clear that Harry Reid has put President Obama's agenda in Washington ahead of Nevadans' needs at home, and voters will finally have a chance to retire Reid and reject Obama's tax-and-spend agenda in November."
For now, it seems the President has warmed up to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. After attending a fundraiser at the home of the owner of The Palms Casino Resort and sleeping in the plush Bellagio, he can’t stop talking about the city.
“If people have disposable income then they’re going to travel,” the President said. “And if they’re going to travel and have fun, then they’re going to come to Las Vegas.”