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Obama plans Las Vegas getaway to help Harry Reid get big money

May 12, 2009 |  1:02 am

Las Vegas Showgirls

Harry Reid's no slouch in the fundraising department, with $3.3 million already on hand for next year's reelection campaign, which has thus far drawn lots of press too.

And no viable opponent from the state's battered Republican Party.

Still, in politics these days you can never have too much money, as someone showed last fall by raising $750 million, which is even more than those outrageous AIG bonuses. Now Happy Harry's bringing in Bette. And Sheryl. And some guy named Barack.

Democrats Barack Obama and Harry Reid

All in the name of Money.

And what better way for a new Democratic administration to symbolize cutting out excess in a time of hardship for millions of Americans than to hold a mega-fundraiser in Las Vegas, that urban personification of understatement, for a guy with millions in hand already and no one to spend it against?

Though the Democratic Senate majority leader's May 26 fundraiser at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace will feature Strip headliner Midler and songstress Crow, the biggest draw will be the commander in chief himself.

Nevada's glitterati have been clamoring for a visit since Obama turned the swing state blue, though we suspect the president might want to steer clear of some parts of town.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is still huffing and puffing over an offhand remark in which Obama appeared to link Sin City to corporate excess. Imagine that.

Remember back in February, The Ticket had a photo of the mayor meeting with nearly naked aides and reported the even newer president was all agitated over luxury bank excursions and 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 taxpayer's dime."

Well, now that they have finished the $357,012 taxpayer-funded photo op over the Statue of Liberty, Air Force One is coming to the capital of neon with the somewhat-less-new president, who'll become the fundraiser in chief at least for a night.

Goodman recently said that, during Obama's trip, he's hoping "somebody places me close to him so I can get him to do the right thing and tell people that he recognizes Las Vegas as a great spot for serious meetings."

And last month, Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons requested a meeting with the president to talk about the state's ailing economy. Kind of. 

A separate press release indicated the beleaguered governor isn't exactly angling for a spot on the VIP list.

-- Ashley Powers

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Photos, from top: Bally's Hotel; Associated Press

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