When I was 16, President Reagan paid a visit to Nevada. It was a fairly big deal: Reagan was leaving office and Republicans were so desperate to hang on to the Senate they were willing to have the Big Gun himself stop in Nevada for a couple hours to boost Republican support.

I actually attended Reagan's appearance - it was a way to get out of school for the afternoon. I remember a couple of things: for instance, Reagan wasn't as impressive as Lucciano Pavoratti. And I ran into someone at the event who asked me to jam with his band since they were looking for a keyboard player. (Hey, in those days, if you had synths in high school, you could be in any band you wanted.) I also remember when I left afterward, a sniper (FBI? Secret Service? Native Nevadan?) on the roof of a nearby university building was tracking me with his scope as I fumbled through my backpack for my car keys. Gave me a little tingle.

But I clearly remember Reagan at least pronounced the name of the state correctly, unlike the current President. Way to go Dubya! It doesn't matter how much campaign money you have: this is a guaranteed way to lose Nevada in 2004.

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