Steve Wynn, the host of Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, is known for harsh criticisms of President Barack Obama but suggested recently that ‘there is a chance’ he could support Hillary Clinton for President.
The Wynn resort and casino is a sumptuous celebration of capitalist excess, the incongruous setting for a debate that features an avowed socialist and candidates who will compete with each other to denounce income inequality and embrace redistribution.
It is almost as strange as if Democrats had decided to gather across Las Vegas Boulevard at the Trump International Hotel, or if they had gathered in the convention hall at Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian casino further down the Strip.
The Vegas moguls are each known in their own way for their Republican politics, but they have also placed bets on both sides of the aisle–backing Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), for example, who is well-placed to advance their interests.
In the past, they have also clashed with each other. Wynn recently told reporter Jon Ralson that he could not fathom Donald Trump’s political appeal: “It certainly is a spectacular and perverse moment in political history. There’s no precedent for this,” he said.
A spokesperson for Wynn told Charles Gasparino of Fox News recently that he does not agree with Trump’s policies on immigration. Wynn has also, however, reportedly given private advice to Trump, such as suggesting that he pledge his loyalty to the GOP and avoid a third-party run.
Ralston noted that while it was unlikely that Wynn would support Clinton, he was keeping his options open among all of the candidates.
Wynn may also hope for a measure of redemption, after an infamous 2014 clash with movie star George Clooney at the Wynn. Clooney claimed that Wynn called Obama an “asshole”; Wynn retorted that Clooney had been drunk.