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May 5, 2015

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Las Vegas still ‘reeling’ from Obama comments, says mayor

Goodman still wants Obama to give major positive endorsement of Las Vegas

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Oscar Goodman

When President Barack Obama arrives Friday in Las Vegas, don't expect Mayor Oscar Goodman to be on the tarmac, greeting him with his signature smile, showgirls and a martini.

"No. I have prior obligations," Goodman told reporters brusquely today at his weekly press conference when asked if he would attend Friday's major Democratic Party campaign rally for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Goodman, who has cultivated an image of himself as the "happiest mayor in the universe" indicated to reporters Thursday that he's still grumpy with the president.

The bad blood is because Obama hasn't done enough to turn around the economic impacts of two negative statements about Las Vegas, Goodman said.

The first came on Feb. 9, 2009, at a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind., when Obama said executives of failing financial institutions should use federal bailout money responsibly and that "you can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime."

Obama later made amends, returning to Las Vegas in May 2009 and said some niceties about the city.

Then, on Feb. 2 of this year, the president made a remark to a New Hampshire audience that "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."

Because of that remark, Goodman boycotted the president's last trip to Las Vegas on Feb. 19. But Goodman said Obama made amends that day by telling the business leaders from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, "Let me set the record straight: I love Las Vegas."

However, last month, Goodman told reporters that he recently learned that Obama's previous remarks had cost the city at least 200 convention-goers.

"I don't think the explanation has been been what I had wanted it to be," Goodman said Thursday. "I still feel that we're reeling from his comments."

"I wish that once and for all he'd have the definitive statement that Las Vegas is a great place to do serious business at meetings and at conventions. And when you're through doing your serious work, go out and have a good time and really enjoy 'what happens here staying here.'

"That's what I'd like to hear. Once I hear that, I'll smile. But not until then."

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  1. As I've said before, many cities would kill to have a mayor like Goodman (and he'd be happy to defend the hitman after recommending one to them.)

    Say what you want, Goodman truly loves this city and does a good job of promoting it.

  2. Chunky says:

    He's not a big fan of the Prez period, but Chunky is a big fan of Las Vegas!

    Mr. Obama's comments didn't exactly help us here but he's neither the cause of or the solution to our current economic woes.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  3. Listen to Obama very closely when he talks about "The Next Generation". You listening? That's what his sight is on, the next generation,the New World Order and Socialism.
    Listen again! Wake up people! Your vote for Reid will only fuel this agenda. You awake yet? Hello?

  4. He's such an idiot.

  5. Is it possible that Obama had a bad experience of one type or another in Las Vegas in his younger days and holds a grudge? :)

  6. In all fairness, I don't believe this President is the reason for Las Vegas's woes; it's the over-building and over-speculation of businesses.

  7. I think it's time for Goodman to go.

  8. Goodman is going soon enough since he's term-limited out of office and cannot run for another term. Whatever else he does, he is a tireless promoter of all things Las Vegas and Bombay Sapphire. I know that Jon Ralston despises the mayor, but Ralston despises anyone in politics who is not an insider and a professional political hack. President Obama is not our problem. Overbuilding, a company town mentality, a single industry economy and a generally low level of educational achievement are the problems. We will never be able to diversify our economy in Nevada if we do not improve the in-state high school and college graduation rates in order to produce employees with marketable job skills in something other than the gambling and hotel business.

  9. Every time Goodman brings this up again, it makes him sound like a loser. It did get him another headline though.

  10. Words from any President are not going to make or break Las Vegas. The city is in the toilet because of high prices,reckless speculation and lack of brains by those in charge,just like on Wall Street. C'mon Mr. Mayor get it together,Sharon may soon be after your job. Ha Ha Ha Ha.

  11. Sunday, January 20, 2013, the end of an error. With luck the Reids will be gone sooner.

  12. Why are people posting on here that doesn't show their name?

    Gmag, boftx, Chunky, and vegas engineer. Why are their names not posted? What's the problem with showing thier names.

    This is wrong LV Sun. You should fix this asap!!

  13. I'm still totally stymied how this Mayor can support Obama's follower, Harry Reid, and ostracizes Reid's boss at the same time. Another "Back room deal?"

  14. anthonyjoevegas,

    I don't know about the others, but my name was "outed" in a story about commenters when the Sun changed their comments policy. It might have something to do with having been verified with letters to the editor.

    If you are seriously interested, contact me via the Sun email feature.

  15. sounds as if las vegas has a decently perceptive mayor who avoids contact with the profligate destructionists. oh, is the prez one of them? ahhhhh-yup. if the prez would think before parroting his teleprompter text he wouldn;t be trashing ( and then apologizing to ) a community that provides entertainment & escape from .... obowma-nomics. (oh, wait ... obowma wasn;t on the teleprompter! his bad.)

  16. Sounds like a broken record to me.
    Time for a change, June 2011 can't come fast enough for the full of hot air Mayor to be term limited.

  17. "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."
    "you can't take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers' dime."

    These seem such reasonable (and truthful) bits of cautionary advice that those statements should give people the impression that President Obama is concerned about unnecessary waste in times that require careful thought about how, and where, to spend one's dwindling supply of "disposable" cash.
    To pretend that this advice is a sort of personal attack is rather disingenuous and smacks of a flirtation with denial. History (family, world, political--take your pick) seems to support the idea that if one ignores solid advice, going instead with one's own personal selfish wants, it is at one's own risk.

    This whole incident is shameless posturing on Oscar Goodman's part and has the added ingredient-for-disaster of obscuring common sense.

  18. I love Oscar! You know where the man stands! And it is all pro Vegas...

  19. So, Obama cost LV 200 people, that's almost as many as get ripped off by the sleazier hookers in a normal month. He didn't say don't go, he said don't go if you can't afford it or plan on charging the taxpayers for it.

  20. Its sort of like a reunion of losers - Obama and Reid....

    With so many Nevadans out of job - did the president bring any jobs with him?

    No - he is just trying to save one job! (but wait - someone will get that job regardless of who wins - so the net gain is 0.)

    In short, with double digit unemployment, a higher cost of living, under water houses, bad health care bill - the only ones who show up for reid or nobama.

    With such a government centric and union centric state, it seems odd that Harry would need any help at all to win.

    But we all know - Harry is ready for retirement.

  21. Oscar needs a bath and a shave.

    15% unemployment greets the president who caused it.

  22. Jeez, Oscar - GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!!

    Hey Cliff - 15% unemployment is NOT OBama's fault. The downward spiral of Vegas re housing and jobs started on Bush's watch. Obama inherited it all.

    As far as jobs go - YOUR governor, and both Senators have to go to bat for the whole State. See what States are getting money to help with contruction of new projects that will help the unemployment rate. I see nothing happening in Nevada and Las Vegas except casinos being opened. Those in power need to get off their asses and start pitching the State to companies to move there, but as so many have stated - the work force is undereducated. If those in power would stop sleeping with the casinos - maybe the State CAN get companies to relocate there. But what company wants to move to a place that would rather encourage illicit behavior (as in the Cosmopolitan ad) then promote it's citizens as an educated workforce? It would be interesting to see how many UNLV grads actually STAY in Las Vegas and Nevada to secure employment. Of course, they, too, may be like so many other recent grads who are working minimum wage jobs everywhere - and Vegas has plenty of those!

  23. Thank you, Mayor Goodman, for standing up for our city. No president of any party should open their mouth to denigrate a city in the United States, regardless of the results. Las Vegas has always and forever been the Washington whipping boy. Clearly, decades of trying "normalize" Las Vegas in the court of public opinion were a bad idea and a waste of time.

  24. Oscars time has come and gone...