President Obama was the most famous jet setter who rocketed into Vegas for a couple hours on Wednesday night, after beginning his day in Iowa and then zooming to Denver and Los Angeles on his America Forward! tour. Like many jet setters, the President dropped by The Bellagio Hotel and Casino. With the 2012 race currently a crap shoot, Mr. Obama is betting on the American worker, and he met with a group of unionized culinary workers gathered in the employee cafeteria in the basement of the casino. (Above: The President, at left, speaking to the crowd, held behind a ropeline)
The President was looking for a very special all-you-can eat buffet: He wants early votes, and urged the crowd to get to the polls, telling them "I need you so that I can keep on working for you."
"You represent the American Dream," President Obama said. The crowd was just part of the 8,000 people employed by the hotel.
The late night drop-by came after the President's third America Forward! rally of the day at Doolittle Park, where Katy Perry headlined a free concert.
“I stopped by to shake a few hands, and somehow the word got out,” President Obama said. “I just wanted you to know that I could not be prouder of the work you guys do every day…all of the workers, all of the shifts.”
He added: “They know what it means to work hard.” He said the workers “keep on working and keep on hoping that the future will even be better for their kids and grandkids.”
The America Vote! "campaign marathon all nighter" is all about getting out the early vote, and the President Obama told the crowd that early voting avoids conflicts that could prevent them from casting ballots on Election Day.
If they wait until Election Day, he said, it might turn out that “you’re going to be sick that day or it might turn out that you have to work a double shift that day,” or have to take care of your child that day.
“And if you don’t vote then I can’t work in Washington to make sure that all of you are getting the kind of support you need to make sure that we are making our economy strong, creating jobs…making sure your kids are getting a great education so they can go to college,” President Obama said. “I need you so that I can keep on working for you.”
“Are you going to vote?” President Obama shouted.
“Yeah!” the crowd shouted back.
The President started shaking hands and mingling with the crowd as the press pool was herded out, sent back to its vans to hold.
The President will sleep aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, heading for Tampa, where he will attend a rally before sprinting across the US again on Thursday. He will hold a rally at Ybor State Museum Park in Tampa, then travel to Richmond, Virginia for a rally at Byrd Park.
In the afternoon, he will travel to Chicago, Illinois, to early vote for himself in his hometown.
In the evening, the President will finish his tour in Cleveland, Ohio, with a tarmac rally at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport.
The President will at last return to the White House on Thursday night, but heads out on the campaign trail again on Saturday with a trip to New Hampshire.