Monday, Nov. 10, 2008 | 10:38 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Remember a couple of weeks back I mentioned hotel rooms for the weekend of Jan. 20 were pricey and going fast?
Inauguration fever has totally kicked in. Check out this story in Sunday’s Washington Post, headlined, “Hey! How Are You? Long Time, No See. How About a Visit? Say ..... Jan. 20?”:
“President-elect Barack Obama hadn't left the stage at Chicago's Grant Park on Tuesday night when telephones started jingling across the Washington area.
“America, apparently, is looking for a place to crash.”
If you have any plans to come East, might want to get on that. Tickets are available through the congressional offices. If there are any left.
Reading the weekend stories leaves me with a few thoughts to pass along:
As Nevada’s Hispanics go, so goes the nation?
• The Sun’s Timothy Pratt writes about the overwhelming Hispanic turnout in Nevada for President-elect Barack Obama, almost more than any other state.
The Democratic Party’s efforts in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado could be a template for the southwestern red states of Texas and Arizona in years to come, said Simon Rosenberg, president of Washington-based NDN, during a conference call with reporters last week.
“If Democrats continue to get Hispanic turnout in high 60s…the political birthplace of George Bush and John McCain will also go,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg traces the Republican decline among Hispanics to recent immigration battles, comparing the political shift to the Democrats’ loss of Southern states during the Civil Rights movement.
“Just like (Lyndon B.) Johnson predicted the South would go with the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the same with Republican handling of immigration.”
• In considering about the Republican wilderness, as laid out by J. Patrick Coolican and Michael Mishak in Sunday’s paper, it will be interesting to watch Nevada’s Republican lawmakers in Washington navigate the new terrain.
Both Republican Rep. Dean Heller and Sen. John Ensign have flexed their conservative credentials in this election cycle, but Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg told reporters Friday at the National Press Club that most voters thought Republicans were too conservative -- not that they were not conservative enough.
Greenberg noted that those who moved away from Democrats this year were primarily white seniors, white evangelicals, uneducated older whites and older single white women.
• Oh, to be an out-of-work operative. I bumped into a strategist over the weekend who was lamenting that every time he looks at his Blackberry, there aren’t really any new messages. Sigh.
Perhaps Brendan Buhler’s piece on post-election depression can offer this solace: You’re not alone.
-- Looking ahead to the lame duck session of Congress next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hinted on CNN Sunday that he has little interest in bringing forward an economic stimulus package only to see it blocked by Republicans (and President Bush).
Reid suggested perhaps a smaller bill, limited to expanded unemployment insurance, would have an easier time passing in his still narrowly divided Senate.
Democrats have been working on a larger stimulus package, up to $100 billion, with public works projects, extra funds for states to cover health care for the poor and other assistance.
Nevada’s Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons has called on his state’s lawmakers in Washington to pass the whole thing. Pronto.
The Sun's David McGrath-Schwarts reports that the state’s economic outlook is so dim – economists have said 10 percent unemployment is a very real possibility _ even the governor may be easing up on his no-taxes pledge.
That’s it for now. Check back later for updates on political news from across Nevada.