George W. Bush, Herbert Hoover and the curse of Elko

Bush is the second president ever to stop for a speech in Elko, Nev. The last one lost.

Alex Koppelman
November 4, 2006 1:56AM (UTC)

The empty spaces of Nevada were once used as a testing ground for nuclear weapons; later, they were proposed as a place to store nuclear waste. That idea has been put on hold, but residents of rural Eastern Nevada still got a taste of the radioactive this week: President George W. Bush came to town.

As Wonkette reports, Bush's visit to Elko earlier this week made him the first sitting president to give a speech in the town since Herbert Hoover stopped by on the way to California in 1932.


Hoover didn't have much of a choice; the train goes where the tracks take it. As for Bush? He visited Elko because he can't risk campaigning in anything like a swing district --- and because Republican candidates like Dean Heller and Rep. Jim Gibbons actually need his help.

A bad omen for Bush and his Silver State friends? When Hoover campaigned in Elko, he was introduced by Republican Sen. Tasker Oddie. Both men lost their jobs when voters went to the polls a few days later.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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