As expected, everyone’s feel-good Mayor Oscar Goodman roared to the rescue of “slighted” Las Vegas Tuesday after President Barack Obama had the audacity to suggest it was inappropriate for companies sucking up billions in federal bailout money cut out the corporate jets and Strip resort retreats.
"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," Obama said.
Goodman is looking for an apology and has penned a missive to the President in an effort to get one.
He told KLAS-TV, Channel 8: "That’s outrageous, and he owes us an apology. He owes us a retraction." (Channel 8’s Web site is not set up to take you directly to the Goodman, so scroll down to "Las Vegas Mayor Wants Presidential Apology.")
Bully for the mayor, everyone’s protective big brother. Surely the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which has enjoyed the millions in free publicity Goodman has generated through the years, was elated at his remark.
But Goodman is flat out wrong about it.
The president is right. Companies that suck up federal dollars need to cut out the lavish perquisites for employees and bosses. It’s not even a close call.
And coming out defending the corporate carousing makes Las Vegas look like it has a tin ear when it comes to the financial crisis facing the nation.
On the other hand, it made national news, advertised Las Vegas, and probably generated another $10 million in free publicity for a town that’s down on its luck these days.
But is it the kind of publicity we really want?
The answer is no.