Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | 2:47 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Las Vegas must not be off-limits any more: The president himself is planning a return trip to the city.
President Barack Obama is expected to return to Las Vegas on May 26 — his first visit to the state as president.
Obama is expected to attend a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has been an ally in forwarding the president's agenda in Congress. Reid faces a potentially tough re-election in 2010.
Obama’s springtime visit to Nevada was first announced in February, when Reid said the president had accepted his invitation to return to the state.
At the time, Obama inadvertently created a political firestorm by saying companies that receive taxpayer bailout money shouldn’t use it to party in Vegas.
Reid said recently the political fortunes of Democrats in Congress are tied to those of the White House — something the majority leader will experience first hand as the popular president headlines his fundraiser.
The White House has been mum on the president’s visit, but Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley said recently she expected Obama to talk about the importance of leisure and business travel.
“I believe that he's going to be using that opportunity to say … that it's part of the American Dream, this travel, and encourage people not only to do leisure travel, which Las Vegas is famous for, but business travel as well,” Berkley said last week from the House floor.
Unclear if Berkley has insider information or was simply deducing the purpose of the president’s trip.
Obama campaigned broadly in Nevada, having stopped by the state 20 times as a presidential candidate. He went on to win Nevada by 12 percentage points.