Barack Obama visited a Las Vegas-area couple this week with two big apparent objectives: to spotlight the strain they're experiencing making mortgage payments as part of a national problem that he would aggressively confront, and to win some positive coverage in a key Western battleground state.
Also, the fact that the couple, Felicitas Rosel and Francisco Cano, are Latino might help the candidate reach a constituency he's had a tough time attracting.
Still, for all the political calculation surrounding Obama's kitchen-table chat with the two, the presidential candidate may have gotten a life lesson from the encounter.
As the session was coming to a close, Obama praised the Bellagio hotel and casino, where Rosel works as a maid and Cano as a porter (and where Obama campaigned back in the winter, trolling for votes in the Nevada caucuses). Then he added, "The only problem with me is when I come to Las Vegas, I'm not allowed to have fun. Everybody knows me. If I start playing blackjack, I'll get in trouble."