Sin City to Obama: Oh, whatever. 

Viva Las Vegas turning day into nighttime.....

Concerned tourists on the elevator at the Bellagio last night asked Beltway Confidential what was up with the heavy police presence and security at the hotel. Informed that Obama was in the house, they asked, "Is he on vacation?!"

Ah, no.

BUT! Two big questions loom ahead of Obama's two appearances in the Vegas area today: Will he mention Tiger Woods? And will he apologize to Vegas for besmirching this fair city? We guess no on Tiger, yes on the other.

But amends must be made! At a recent town hall in Nashua, NH, Obama told the crowd, "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you are trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices."

A year ago in Elkhart, Ind., he said something similar:

"You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back," he said, "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 taxpayers' dime. There's got to be some accountability and some responsibility."

Hey now! What's Obama's problem with Vegas? Mayor Oscar Goodman wanted an apology. Obama offered to meet with him and the mayor sniffed that, actually, he's too busy for all that. Notes Yunji Di Nies at ABC News:

Goodman said, "The president had a real psychological hang-up about the entertainment capital of the world.

"He didn't learn his lesson the first time. But when he hurt our economy by his ill-conceived rhetoric, we didn't think it would happen again," he said, calling the president "a real slow learner."

Obama's two events today are a town hall with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at Green Valley High in Henderson (not very green, btw) and remarks to the Chamber of Commerce at City Center downtown.

David Damore, associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada Las Vegas tells the blog that the choice of City Center -- a $8.5 billion behemoth -- is significant.

"He is coming to City Center and bringing all the media there, every newspaper will have a story on City Center," Damore said. "They are opeing a huge resort in the middle of a huge recession, and everyone is hoping the development would revitalize interest in Vegas and it hasn't yet. So anything to give that a jumpstart is helpful."

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Julie Mason

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