Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 | 5:42 p.m.
Gordon Absher, vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage, over the
past week repeatedly found himself explaining to journalists from Japan to
Washington that, no, casino workers were not going to be caucusing on the
The casinos have meeting rooms, he patiently told them.
This was all part of the impromptu role as Las Vegas Valley ambassador
he assumed while fielding media requests to talk to
casino workers about the caucus from England's BBC, the Arab world's Al
Jazeera and a host of Japanese TV networks, as well as all of this country's
national networks and cable stations.
"Some of these folks, all they have to go on is stereotypes," Absher said.
"There's the temptation to take something serious like the caucus and turn
it into a series of Las Vegas cliches."
So what did he do?
"I found myself explaining to them, "Don't confuse us with the marketing,"
Absher said. "We live here. These are people participating in the caucus.
We're concerned about schools and roads and the issues other people care
Still, the company decided to turn down one request from all: shots from the
"A lot of folks wanted pictures in the casino," he said. "But it would be
turning the caucus into (something) kitschy ... leading people to believe
that our votes count less than others.
"We didn't want to. It would ... lend itself too easily to the stereotype --
'Candidates in Las Vegas are throwing the dice.'"