Because Strippers Have Mortgages, Too

February 03, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

In a town that wallows in trivia and hollow controversy, this tale takes the cake.

Yesterday, speaking about jobs in New Hampshire, President Obama pointed out the obvious: In lean economies, people tend to spend their money on the things they need, rather than unnecessary luxuries.

“When times are tough, you tighten your belts,” Obama said. “You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices.”

Not really a provocative thought — unless, of course, you’re a politician representing Nevada. Indeed, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) shot out a series of statements (here, here and here) demanding an apology from the president.

Obama slams Las Vegas again. I am calling on the President to apologize for his remark.

Las Vegas is suffering through one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and we cannot afford

for the President to bring us down any further.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) soon followed suit, issuing a statement telling Obama to “lay off Las Vegas and stop making it the poster child for where people shouldn’t be spending their money.”

They seem offended that Vegas — which, to its lucrative advantage, has built its reputation and business model around the singular concept of excess — has become symbolic of that very idea.

Obama responded in a letter to Reid, telling the majority leader that he “wasn’t saying anything negative about Las Vegas.”

I was making the simple point that families use vacation dollars, not college tuition money, to have fun.

He’ll have a chance to prove it. Later this month, Obama will be in Vegas to stump for Reid, who’s facing a tough reelection in November.