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Barack Obama complains about cameras, then gets some perspective

May 27, 2008 |  3:21 pm

Barack Obama today visited a Las Vegas couple with two main objectives in mind: 1) to spotlight the strain they're experiencing making mortgage payments as a larger national problem that he would aggressively confront; 2) to win some positive coverage in a key Western battleground state.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama chats with a couple in their home in Las Vegas about the nation's mortgage crisisAlso, when the Obama campaign set about conceiving the event, the ethnicity of Felicitas Rosel and Francisco Cano surely helped seal their selection as his hosts, given the difficulties he's had attracting the Latino vote in several primaries.

Still, for all the artificiality and political calculation surrounding Obama's kitchen-table chat with the two, the presidential candidate may actually have gotten a life lesson from the encounter.

As the session was coming to a close, Obama praised the Bellagio hotel and casino, where Rosel works as a maid and Cano as a porter (and where Obama campaigned back in the winter, trolling for votes in the Nevada caucuses). Then he added, “The only problem with me is when I come to Las Vegas, I’m not allowed to have fun. Everybody knows me. If I start playing blackjack, I’ll get in trouble."

Pointing to a nearby television crew, he continued, "All these cameras will follow me.”

To which Rosel, who no doubt has heard her share of woe after bad nights at the tables, replied, "You're lucky."

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press