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October 19, 2017

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Obama: ‘There’s nothing like a quick trip to Vegas’


Tiffany Brown

President Barack Obama speaks at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 27, 2009.

Obama Speaks At Nellis

President Barack Obama delivers remarks about solar energy and the economy at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

Obama speaks at Nellis

President Barack Obama speaks at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Launch slideshow »

WASHINGTON — Vegas just got a new slogan.

Right there in an otherwise policy-wonkish speech this morning, President Barack Obama delivered a one-liner to make civic boosters proud.

“There's nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week,” the president said.

No apology over what had been said before about the city. No dwelling over what was being said now.

Just a single sentence nod to a budding relationship both parties would like to preserve.

From then on, it was all business. Obama highlighted the first 100 days of the economic recovery act and the power of solar at the Western hemisphere’s largest solar installation at Nellis Air Force Base.

The president has drawn all shades of ire since he said in February that companies receiving corporate bailout funds shouldn’t go to Las Vegas on the taxpayers’ dime. The comment trailed him throughout this week’s visit.

But in a little more than a dozen words, the president offered a fitting coda to this chapter of the Obama-Vegas story. And a new tagline for Vegas.

But at a Wednesday press conference, Mayor Oscar Goodman said he was "disappointed" that although he came close, President Barack Obama on his trip here declined to say exactly what he wanted him to say: that Las Vegas is a terrific place to conduct business and hold conventions.

Goodman said he had asked Obama, during Tuesday's meet-n-greet at McCarran International Airport, to express those precise sentiments as a way to rectify the damage Goodman and others claimed the president's recent remarks did to the region's business trade.

"He knew what I wanted him to say...and the magic words didn't come out," said Goodman.

But the mayor added that Obama's visit and his more broad pro-Vegas comment has put the mini-flap to rest. "I think we can call it a day," he said.

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