Saturday, February 20, 2010

A sign of more trouble with independents

President Obama is winging his way back to Washington, D.C., after a tour around Las Vegas, where he was welcomed by most everyone, it seemed - except the city's mayor.

Independent Mayor Oscar Goodman refused to attend Obama's events or meet with the president, saying he wouldn't do so until Obama apologized for dissing his city by saying people shouldn't gamble with their college savings during a recession.

Here's what Obama said earlier this year:

"When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don't go buying a boat when you're trying to pay your mortgage. You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save on college. You prioritize, you make tough choices."

Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, Obama didn't apologize for what he said. But he made sure to say he has nothing against sin city.

"Let me set the record straight, I love Vegas - always have," he said.

"It wasn't meant to be a shot," Obama said of his college savings remark. "I think everybody would agree that the only place people should spend their college savings is in college. ... But I understand how hard things have been here."

The significance of this story is not what Obama said or what Obama meant.

The significant issue is that the independent unaffiliated mayor of Las Vegas believes he benefits politically by being seen as an implacable (even unreasonable) foe of Obama.

No comments: