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Nev. Gov. Jim Gibbons vs Obama: Episode IV "The Missing Handshake"

May 26, 2009 |  6:14 am

Nevada

Of course, everyone remembers several episodes of economic outrage ago when Democratic President Barack Obama was so outraged that TARPed bankers would think they could go to Las Vegas on taxpayer money.

And Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman got all angry in a civic booster kind of how-dare-you-way. And so did Nevada's Gov. Jim Gibbons. Who's a Republican, btw.

And then when it came out recently that Obama was going to Las Vegas himself on the taxpayer's Air Force One to raise millions in private campaign money for amicability-challenged fellow Democrat Harry Reid, Gibbons asked for a meeting with the president to plead the gambling state's citizen tourism case.

And the White House scheduler could simply not find any room for the two to meet, even though Obama is staying overnight on the Strip. And the governor, who has his other troubles, said Hmmphh.

No, actually, he said Hmmphh!

Well, it turns out, as noted by ubiquitous Nevada journalist Jon Ralston, the White House has now offered Gibbons a place in the row of dignitaries offering Obama obeissance and welcoming handshakes at the Las Vegas airport Tuesday afternoon.

And now the governor, who says he wants an apology and a retraction of the TARP comment, can't find room in his schedule for such a useless gesture amid the taxiing jetliners in the hot desert winds.

"WHAT DID YOU SAY, GOVERNOR?"

"I SAID, 'WE REALLY NEED THE TOURISM BUSINESS HERE IN NEVADA, MR. PRESIDENT!'"

"WHAT?"

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Getty Images (Nevada).

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