Deal Me In: Boehner, Reid to Pursue Friendship in Vegas


What can help cement a relationship more than a little getaway to the sun? Say, in a place with ample golf and gambling? Especially one that claims to keeps everyone’s secrets?

Las Vegas more than fits that bill, and that’s where former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plan to pursue their own friendship that until recently they pretty much kept under wraps. The leaders were good at hiding it during their rough-and-tumble times heading their respective chambers, but now that they’re both out of office, they recently revealed they plan to build on their relationship to develop more bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems.

Reid and Boehner

The two former party leaders announced they’ve agreed to co-chair a new think tank at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. The new institute will be housed in UNLV’s School of Public Policy and Leadership and work will focus on finding solutions for economic, social, political and workplace issues. 

But like in so many relationships, there are outside interests wanting to help make it work. In this case, the partnership of Boehner and Reid is being support by the gambling industry, which is pushing to grow its business both domestically and internationally.

MGM Resorts International, operator of gambling resorts including Bellagio to the Mirage, is providing more than $950,000 over three years to support the institute. The plan is subject to the approval of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

"While our public opposition on issues may be more storied than our private friendship, we have successfully collaborated on complex problems and signature ideas and look forward to doing so again,” Boehner and Reid said in a statement. "As passionate and committed believers in the importance of public service, we are eager to work with MGM Resorts and UNLV to inspire a new generation to serve their country through public office.”