Senate Candidate Berkley Runs From Obama in Nevada
President Obama’s arrival today in Las Vegas creates an uncomfortable moment for Nevada Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), who has been under fire already for her ethics record. While Democratic politicians across the country are shying away from Obama, who is largely seen as a net negative, however, Berkley is embracing Obama – at least in print. She released a statement yesterday explaining:
“Today, I join all Nevadans in proudly welcoming President Obama to my alma mater, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. As a mother, and the first person in my family to go to college, I know first-hand the invaluable role education plays in keeping Nevada’s middle class families strong. The president and I agree that putting middle class families first must be Washington’s number one priority. That is why I applaud the President’s focus on keeping student loans affordable for Nevada’s middle-class families and look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure that no Nevada student sees their student loans rates double come July 1st.”
But while Berkley may be embracing Obama in the press, she isn’t embracing him in Nevada – she won’t be meeting him personally in the state.
And it’s no secret why: her record and Obama’s are closely aligned, and Obama’s policies have been disastrous for Nevada. Berkley voted for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout even as Nevada was losing jobs. She voted for job-killing “stimulus” packages designed to create jobs by redistributing income, even as Nevada lost 65,000 jobs. She voted for a national energy tax that would have driven electricity rates in the state up dramatically, and jacked up the price of gas by 26 percent. And, of course, she backed Obamacare, which will hamper small business growth. Meanwhile, President Obama’s real estate and mortgage policies, which have done nothing to help Nevada’s floundering real estate economy, have been backed to the hilt by Berkley.
Berkley’s ethics problems – and her high-spending, counterproductive policies — have become a major issue even from her erstwhile allies. Barry Ellsworth, who is running against Berkley for the Democratic nomination for Senate, ripped Berkley: “Our economy is a mess. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country. There are more than 16,000 homeless children in Southern Nevada alone. Corrupt, incompetent career politicians, like Shelley Berkley, caused the mess Nevadans live in every day. Until we fire them all and get in new leadership that’s not bought and paid for by corporate interests, nothing is going to change.”
President Obama has become a symbol to Nevadans of government run amok, helping everyone but those who need it most. And Berkley has stood beside him every step of the way. No wonder she doesn’t want to be seen standing behind him physically today.