For what it’s worth, I should note that The Hill has suddenly emerged as a plentiful source of posting material for your humble narrator, and it doesn’t disappoint again today. Cheri Jacobus, a Republican strategist opining in the site’s Pundit blog, is trying to fan the proverbial flames of a dustup between President Obama and Nevada’s Repug governor Jim Gibbons here.
Jacobus tells us the following…
Words matter. The words of a president matter a whole lot.
So when President Obama chastised corporate America for holding conferences in Las Vegas in bad economic times, he should have known his utterances would hurt the Nevada economy. The state is suffering from a $100 million loss after the Obama comments. He apparently doesn’t care.
Just for the record, this tells us that the drop in Las Vegas tourism accelerated near the end of 2008 (before Obama was sworn in and thus mirroring the rest of this country’s economic descent) and his supposed controversial remarks were uttered last February (and this is what he said)…
It was only a five-second soundbyte, meant for Wall Street fat cats asking for government bailouts.
“You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime, ” President Barack Obama said to a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind. last week.
Ooooh, that’s some scary stuff, isn’t it, kiddies? And here’s more from Jacobus…
Now that the president is headed out to Nevada to raise money for the increasingly unpopular Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Gov. Jim Gibbons has asked Obama to meet with a few folks and try to walk back his earlier statements that helped tank the Vegas tourism and business conference trade. The governor wants to do everything possible to stem the tide of the sinking economy in his state (as any governor would) and has requested the president’s help.
Obama has refused. Gov. Gibbons is furious, and he has every right to be. He is now appealing to Reid to use any influence he may have so that something can be done to help ameliorate the damage before the summer vacation season begins and the state economy suffers even more.
(And by the way, when Obama meets with Reid, I hope the president communicates as directly as he can to the Senate Majority Leader that he can’t afford repeat episodes like this one, generating a media feeding frenzy in which it seemed as if everyone competed to see who could come up with the best “Drudge bait” that they could.)
As far as the way Gibbons is acting is concerned, I think this Las Vegas Sun editorial summed it up pretty well (and as the editorial tells us, Gibbons was a loyal Bushie when he served in Congress – would that he had tried a little harder to head off the rupture of our economy back when he could have done something about it in Washington).
Also, this is hardly an uncommon moment of wankery for Jacobus; she misrepresented remarks from John Kerry to his supporters after his presidential election loss in ’04 (interesting to speculate now whether or not Obama would have mounted a primary challenge in the event that Kerry had won – officially, that is, not counting Ohio). Also, she spun the fiction that Bush conducted the Iraq war in an “apolitical” fashion, and she also neglected to blame Repug Virginia House Rep Virgil Goode for slamming Muslims over Dem Rep Keith Ellison’s use of the Koran in his swearing-in ceremony (Ellison of Minnesota is Muslim – all this and more “fun” with Jacobus is available from here).
But getting back to Gibbons, I think that blaming Obama for the economy of his state is kind of like blaming the proximity of the craps tables in the casino by the gambler who lost a wad of dough.
(And by the way, this will be my last post for awhile, probably until Memorial Day or next Tuesday – have fun.)
Update 5/26/09: Wank away, Jim.