Why should bailout banks be permitted to have conventions in glitzy Las Vegas, when there are plenty of cities that could use the business — such as Canton?
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is demanding an apology from President Barack Obama for stating that executives from banks receiving government handouts have no business traipsing about in private jets or taking junkets to such places as Las Vegas or the Super Bowl “on the taxpayer’s dime.”
Government officials, Goodman said, have no business discouraging companies from holding conventions in Las Vegas, which lives and dies by tourism.
He has good reason to be panicky. Goldman Sachs, which received $10 billion in bailout cash, recently moved its convention from Las Vegas to San Francisco. Visits to Las Vegas have declined 4.4 percent compared to the same period in 2008.
A city that once was booming like a fake volcano now has one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates.
Obama is learning the hard way that when you’re president, every word you say will be sliced, diced, parsed and dissected.
After his first nationally televised news conference, some critics carped that Obama’s answers were too lengthy.
Compared to you-know-who? Well, sure.
More work, less trouble
Presidents aren’t the only ones who should know better. Illinois Sen. Roland Burris’s dizzy explanation as to why he failed to disclose campaign donations to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich sounds like he’s riding inside of a tire.
However, Obama is right about Las Vegas. When you’re on the public dole, you should show some restraint. Bailout bankers shouldn’t be jetting off to some neon-lit playground — they should be coming to Canton, Ohio.
Think how much goodwill bailed-out banks could generate by holding their confabs in a city like Canton.
There’s benefits for them, too. There’s no shopping center in downtown Canton, so think of the savings!
As downtowns go, Canton is pretty safe. Ever heard of a shoot-out at the Classic Car Museum or seen bouncers working the door at the National First Ladies’ Library?
Well, there you go.
Canton has just one, minuscule “gentlemen’s club,” which means that more work can get done during a convention due to less potential for trouble.
Canton is less than an hour from Cleveland, which despite landing fourth on the Misery Index, offers the Indians, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cavaliers and Browns (hence the misery). There’s also quick access to Interstate 77 South, making it easy to scram once the sun sets.
We know Obama has a gift of gab, but he might take a cue from President Calvin Coolidge, who was famous for what he didn’t say.
As one story goes, a woman seated next to Coolidge at a dinner party bet him that she could get him to say more than two words.