Sunday, March 1, 2009 | 2:01 a.m.
Some documents speak for themselves:
WHITE HOUSE, OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS — TRANSCRIPT OF OVAL OFFICE MEETING BETWEEN POTUS AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, 2/26/09
Harry Reid: Mr. President, thank you for having this meeting with me about Nevada issues.
POTUS: You know I love Nevada, Harry. We turned it blue again.
Reid: We did. (Chuckles) But you know I did that as much — well, maybe more — for me in 2010 as for you in 2008?
POTUS: Glad we could help each other. I will do my best to make sure you win in 2010. What else can I do?
Reid: Killing Yucca was helpful.
POTUS: Well, Harry, we both know it’s not quite dead. We can’t pull the license yet or the industry will sue and probably win.
Reid: Don’t you think I know that? I planned it this way. No matter what I say in public, I don’t really want it dead yet. I don’t want the license pulled until 2010.
POTUS: (Smiling) Pretty devious, Harry. You mean right in the middle of your reelection?
Reid: Exactly. Imagine the photo ops I will get. And (chuckling) the campaign ads, of course.
POTUS: What about John Ensign? Is he going to find someone to run against you? He sure doesn’t like me much. I may have to take him down a peg by playing him one-on-one. Is it true he can’t go to his left?
Reid: If his basketball is anything like his politics, he can’t go to his left, Mr. President.
POTUS: He really is a right-wing nut, huh? I see National Journal found he’s the most conservative senator.
Reid: Oh, he’s a right-wing nut, all right. But he’s my right-wing nut. He won’t do anything against me.
POTUS: Good. Anything else I can do for you?
Reid: Well, there’s really only one thing I care about for the rest of this year.
POTUS: You mean the economy and bringing jobs back in Nevada?
Reid: Well, um, yeah, that, too. But I meant raising money for my reelection. Will you help?
POTUS: Just tell me where to be and I will be there, Harry. I owe you.
Reid: Thank you, Mr. President. And I was hoping you would do some events for my son, Rory, too. He’s running for governor, you know.
POTUS: I heard that. But I might have a problem with that, Harry. If I recall, he was big for Hillary in your state. And he helped cost me the caucus. That’s hard to forgive.
Reid: I understand. But look at Ensign and me. He almost beat me in 1998 — actually, he might have won that race if the secretary of state hadn’t helped me out. And now that same secretary of state is in Congress — Dean Heller. We’re one big, happy family in Nevada, Mr. President.
POTUS: And I thought Illinois politics were weird. OK, I’ll help Rory. But only for you. Now what’s this I hear about some loudmouth mayor saying I owe him an apology? Isn’t he the same clown who thought I should give him stimulus money for some mob museum? And now one of my aides told me he used to be a mob lawyer? I thought you told me Vegas was growing up, Harry.
Reid: (Smiles) Oh, you mean Oscar. Oscar Goodman. He made a big deal of you saying taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to fund junkets to places like the Super Bowl and Vegas.
POTUS: You think that’s wrong?
Reid: Of course not. It’s common sense. But Oscar is all about attention. And some of our casino guys back there are very nervous and they put him up to it. And now that he made it a big deal, the national media are on it, which he loves.
POTUS: You are not seriously going to ask the president of the United States to apologize to some limelight-seeking goofball from Vegas, are you, Harry?
Reid: Of course not, Mr. President. But I could use Oscar next year. The people love him. And, to be honest, they don’t love me. So when you come to Vegas, let’s do an event with him and you can shake his hand and he can get a picture with you. That will shut him up. (Chuckles) At least for a day or two. So we will see you in Nevada in April?
POTUS: Sure, but don’t try to get me to go on that “Face to Face” show again. That guy roasted me during the campaign. It was painful.
Reid: Not to remind you of the Clintons again, Mr. President, but I feel your pain.
Jon Ralston hosts the news discussion program “Face to Face With Jon Ralston” on Las Vegas ONE and publishes the daily e-mail newsletter “RalstonFlash.com.” His column for the Las Vegas Sun appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Ralston can be reached at 870-7997 or at [email protected]