How the Candidates Are Like Vegas Hotels

LAS VEGAS, Nevada—As the Democratic presidential candidates prepare to debate here at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, let the parade of strained gambling metaphors begin. Hillary Clinton is called the ” odds-on favorite ,” the race in Iowa is still a “crapshoot,” and anyone who makes a risky statement will be “rolling the dice.”

So, as long as we’re in the business of Vegas-themed comparisons, it’s worth pointing out that the candidates bear striking similarities to major Vegas hotels. They’re multimillion-dollar operations, they soak up people’s money, and they’re designed to attract as much attention as possible. In fact, if the candidates were hotels on the Strip, here’s what they would be and why:

Hillary Clinton— Wynn Las Vegas . Polished, buffed to a shine, extremely well-financed.

Barack Obama— Luxor . Massive, covered in lights, hugely popular … but still just another hotel.

Mitt Romney— Planet Hollywood . Used to be called Aladdin, changed its name and theme in 2007.   

Rudy Giuliani— New York-New York . Uh, New York. 

John Edwards— Excalibur . Family-friendly, a little cheesy, looks like something out of King Arthur.

John McCain— Plaza Hotel and Casino . Old, broke (rooms go for $34).

Mike Huckabee— Hard Rock Hotel . Relatively new, musical, surprisingly fun.

Mike Gravel— Treasure Island . Loud, silly, largely ignored.

Joe Biden— The Flamingo . Showy, colorful, still around somehow. 

Sam Brownback—Frontier Hotel. Recently imploded .  

Dennis Kucinich— Tropicana : One of the smaller hotels, stands next to Hooters …