May 26th, 2009
05:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama set for high-profile Vegas fundraiser

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama will be in Las Vegas Tuesday to headline a fundraising event for Harry Reid."](CNN) - President Obama is set for a night out in Las Vegas Tuesday, but his latest foray to the city of lights is entirely business related.

The president is slated to headline a fundraising event at Caesar's Palace for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat whose approval ratings back home have sunk below 40 percent as his re-election campaign gears up.

The star-studded event, set to raise at least $1 million for Reid's campaign coffers, will take place in Caesar's Coliseum - the 4,000 seat auditorium where singer Bette Midler regularly performs.

A Reid spokesman tells CNN that Midler is among the entertainers on hand for the evening, as well as Vegas performer Clint Holmes, comedienne Rita Rudner, and singers Sheryl Crow and Rachel Yamagata.

The fundraiser, during which Reid and Obama will speak, couldn't come at a better time for the Senate's top Democrat, who is considered among the most vulnerable in the chamber despite the fact Republicans are still scrambling to find a serious opponent to challenge him.

Despite the lack of official opposition, a Mason-Dixon survey released earlier this month suggests only about a third of Nevada's voters would vote to re-elect Reid to a fifth Senate term, while 45 percent said they would definitely vote for another candidate.

Meanwhile, conservative political action committee Our Country Deserves Better is already gunning to capitalize on Reid's sagging poll numbers, launching what they call a "a television, radio, and Internet advertising blitz throughout the state of Nevada reminding voters that Harry Reid has stiffed taxpayers with huge government bailouts and wasteful pork-barrel spending."

The conservative PAC said it would spend over $100,000 in its initial ad campaign, and pledged to dish out over $1 million between now and the November 2010 midterm elections.

"Republicans were successful in defeating Sen. Reid's predecessor, Tom Daschle, in 2004," said CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. "They have now focusing their efforts on trying to defeat another Democratic leader in the next election."

Obama plans to remain in Nevada Wednesday for a visit to Nellis Air Force Base for a tour of the facility's solar electric plant, the largest in North America. The president then heads to Beverly Hills for a pair of fundraisers sponsored by the Democratic National Committee.

–CNN's Ed Henry, Shawna Shepherd and Mark Preston contributed to this report

Filed under: Harry Reid • President Obama
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. J.P.

    "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."

    So how much is Obama paying out of his own pocket for the cost of flying to Vegas? Or is he riding AF1 for free?

    Hypocrisy Fail.

    May 26, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Scott Stodden

    I think it is a great thing for President Obama to take the time to go to Nevada and campaign for Senator Harry Reid. Whats wrong with the people of Nevada? Senator Reid is a good person who serves the state of Nevada with dilligence and honor, Harry Reid should remain as the Majority Leader in the Senate, he is a proven leader who stands up for whats right.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Il)

    May 26, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. John

    Obummer is such a loser,now hes adding a racist as a supreme court judge.What do you think her opinion is of the 20million illegal hispanis breeders in this country sucking it to death!!!

    May 26, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. gt

    reid is as much of the problem as anyone ever ,,,,, get rid of the drut

    May 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Once You Vote Black

    You can blame the MaHaRushie for us having a Messiah. He was the one who tricked you into participating in Operation Chaos. It boosted his ratings but did not work out to well for the GOP cause. Next time don't play games with the vote. Suckers!

    May 26, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Marinn Pepitone

    Peter: I don't think so. Obama/Clinton in 2012. There are a lot of people that voted Obama that will change their voting next time. He chose the wrong person for VP to begin with when he should have chosen Hillary. However, maybe its because she would outshine him and he wanted someone in there that wasn't as intelligent as Clinton. I can't wait until the campaigning starts in the latter part of 2010 and see who the republicans are going to choose as their candidate.

    May 26, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. JT

    John – Racist, much?

    May 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Shadysider

    Republicans have messed up so bad that a seemingly easy target such as Reid cannot be voted out. Obama should just leave him to the wolves or endorse a better candidate; especially after he blocked the closing of GITMO.

    May 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Simmy

    Any Dem in Nevada who would risk not voting for Reid, and allowing Republicans to gain another seat, deserve whatever they get.....Republicans have Ensign, a true blue loser....Dems need to step up to the plate and keep a Democrat in that Seat....Hopefully Reid......He just needs to be sternly reminded that we won.........

    May 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Rob

    I thought it was a sign of the 'evil corporate greed of the Bush era' to be having events in Las Vegas? And hold on a minute, isn't Obama going to be flying Air Force 1 there? Boy, a big 747, using up all that gas, spewing so many vial pollutants into the air, just to take one man to Vegas. Yet he's perfectly fine lambasting an automaker CEO for flying a plane WAY smaller than a 747 half the distance from DC to Vegas.

    Oh, wait, I forgot, it's perfectly fine for the left to do all that: Gore and Edwards in their big mansions sucking electrical power, Gore, Robert Kennedy, Arianna Huffington and the like getting around on their private planes. I forgot the key rule of the left – it's only ok if THEY do it.

    May 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Once You Vote Black

    Thats right John, thats what you get for following Rush instead of making real plans during the election. You now have a women who will let her people suck the US dry and there is nothing you can do about it. You can blame yourself for our success.

    May 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Tom Paine

    Golf yesterday, Vegas today? Get to work already.

    May 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Marinn Pepitone

    Scott: Reid, Dean and Pelosie the three most underhanded corrupt people in congress are the reason that Hillary lost the nominatiion. And Dick Durbin is no saint either along with Ted Kennedy. Dean cut Hillary's throat and Pelosi made deals with the superdelegates. Get a grip. They all need to be voted out in the next election.

    May 26, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Syamala

    Pentagon says that some of the Guntanomo detainees have returned to terrorist activities and this is one of the latest news items reported by AP and Foxnews. How come I do not see it on CNN? It is not important news for CNN to report?

    May 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Once You Vote Black

    He is flying Air Force 1 for free JP. He is the president and can do what he wants. And there is nothing you can do about it. You can thank Rush and his Operation Chaos for that.

    May 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Allen

    Blah Blah Blah! Who cares?

    May 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Count Me In

    I have more money for him. Can we send it to Vegas?

    May 26, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Willie

    Ohh Be nice. The President is not doing half the wrong doing that Bush Did. In fact It has been everyone else that has tried to find a blemish in his begining 1st term.

    May 26, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. marcus

    wheres my comments.
    republicans are protesting
    that president obama is not a U>S CITIZEN in las vegas

    May 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Dallas Independent - thank goodness

    @alvino – Reid is a democRAT – not from the grand old party, you moron.

    May 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Independent

    Shameful, at best. BIGOT is thy name obummer.

    May 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. skyhawkdriver

    Harry Reid is a classic example of what is wrong with our government..his support of the latest pork ridden budget is shameless..he needs to go and the fact that the president is going to nevada to help him raise money makes me wonder if mr obama can't, or doesn't want, to see if harry is nothing more than the same old same old...where is the great change mr president??

    May 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. elliott

    He'll fit in well there...he's as slick as Elvis.

    May 26, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. bj

    Wow! All those comments about Obama flying to Las Vegas and all the gas he's using. Did any of you worry about all the many, many flights GB took to his ranch? Did those trips bother you as much as this one trip? Look it up and see just how many "vacations" he took as President. BTW campaign trips are paid for with campaign money unlike GB who managed to stick in a little appearance in front of his campaign appearance and called it "official business" so HIS campaign trips WERE paid for by you the tax payer.

    May 26, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. J.P.

    Dear "Once you vote black,"
    I understand he is the president. But flying the public-financed AF1 to a partisan political event should not be allowed. I'm not sure if it currently is or is not... I don't care if Bush did it or not, I don't care WHO is president... the idea of flying the people's plane to a partisan politcal event should not be allowed.

    Although, I am certain he is probably paying for this flight out of his own pocket. I can't imagine he'd be allowed to spend taxpayer dollars to campaign for someone.

    Even still, whether he's paying for it or not, it still smells of hypocrisy.

    May 26, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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