Today in “That Really Happened?”

So today’s illustration of how weird politics can be comes in the form of President Barack Obama kind-of walking back his comment that people shouldn’t be gambling in hard economic times.

It may not have been an actual apology, but President Obama nevertheless brought the crowd here to its feet in this Las Vegas suburb Friday with an impromptu exchange with a tourist at his town hall meeting.

Obama annoyed Las Vegans recently by saying that struggling families shouldn’t “blow” their hard-earned cash in Vegas. The comments annoyed everyone from cab drivers to the city’s mayor, who snubbed Obama by not showing up for his arrival this week.

So the president was presented with the perfect opportunity to make amends when he offered a question to a man who said he was from Jonesboro, Ark.

“What are you doing in Vegas?” Obama asked.

“Everyone comes to Vegas,” the man said, prompting massive applause.

“That’s what I’m talking about,” Obama said.

“Did you spend some money here in Vegas?” he asked? After getting a “yes,” Obama added: “That’s good. We like to see that.”

The standing ovation was especially raucous.

I’ve never really looked into it, but I’m pretty sure the Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, etc weren’t in favor of struggling families blowing money in Vegas.


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