Nevada Offers Stark Backdrop for Obama

By Mark Landler, New York Times - October 3, 2012

HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas might seem the last place a presidential candidate would choose to spend three days of sober, nose-to-the-grindstone debate preparation. But since Sunday, President Obama has been encamped 17 miles from the neon excess of the Strip, in a palm-fringed, financially battered lakeside resort that serves as a vivid reminder of the economic distress that still threatens his hopes for re-election.

Known as Lake Las Vegas, the 3,600-acre gated complex — which includes three golf courses, a man-made lake, a casino and two hotels, plus a replica of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence — has the disused air of a paradise lost. Few people here seem to notice Mr. Obama’s presence, but that is partly because there are so few people around.

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