Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | 2:09 a.m.
With all the weighty issues that have landed on President Barack Obama’s desk, we’re certain he’s not losing any sleep over how to handle the Jim Gibbons problem.
In case you haven’t heard, this isn’t exactly shaping up as the second coming of President John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. That is, unless you buy the drivel coming from the desk of Gov. Gibbons.
He issued a Monday statement with the sensational headline: “President Obama refuses meeting with Governor Gibbons to repair damage to tourism caused by president.”
Obama, you may recall, made a comment this year that Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, followed by Gibbons, blew out of proportion. The two Nevadans claimed that Obama was discouraging people from visiting Las Vegas when, in fact, the president was referring only to junkets by companies that had received federal bailout funding.
With the president scheduled to visit Las Vegas next Wednesday to attend a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the governor is perplexed that he doesn’t warrant an audience with Obama. “Sometimes Washington politicians forget that the people of Nevada are Americans,” Gibbons said. “This president needs to repair the damage he has done.”
It is Gibbons who should set the record straight and repair the damage that he has done to Nevada. He should concede that he often forgets how a governor should conduct himself.
A good place to start is for Gibbons to stop issuing statements that make Nevada look like an unsophisticated backwater state.
The next step is for the governor to actually spend time in his office and come up with constructive solutions to the state’s problems. The drop-off in Las Vegas convention business that Gibbons alluded to is not because of anything said or done by Obama, but should instead be attributed to the economy that turned sour when George W. Bush was in office.
Gibbons, a Bush loyalist while serving in Congress, conveniently omits that fact.