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July 29, 2014

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President Obama scheduled for Vegas visit — and yet, he’s already here

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Las Vegas Sun

Mindy Lehman, left, and Stacia Toher pose with a wax likeness of President Barack Obama after the opening of the “Oval Office Experience” at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Las Vegas Monday February 15, 2010. The set, the first one west of the Mississippi, opened on President’s Day.

Obama appears in wax at Madame Tussauds

A wax likeness of President Barack Obama is displayed at the Launch slideshow »

It is only in Vegas where a wax-ian image of President Obama is upstaged by ... President Obama.

The day — Presidents Day — began with the ribbon-cutting for "The Oval Office Experience" at Madame Tussauds at The Venetian. Costing $300,000 the replica Oval Office includes photos of the Obamas on the president's faux desk and even a depiction of presidential canine Bo on the background, outside the window. Very cool.

Of course, the actual president Obama is set to visit the real Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday, and details of his visit trickled out this afternoon. He's reportedly scheduled to be on hand for a $30,000-a-person Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of Palms owner George Maloof on Thursday, appear at a town hall-style meeting at Green Valley High School on Friday morning, and later that day join Sen. Harry Reid and employees at CityCenter.

Naturally, or maybe unnaturally, the attraction will long outlast Obama's swing through Vegas. His preening, wax image was unveiled a year ago at Madame Tussauds, and "The Oval Office Experience" shares space in the Spirit of America room with such historic icons as Presidents Lincoln and Washington, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, Jack and Jackie Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Wayne. Unlike most of the figures Tussauds has honored over time, Obama did not sit for the dozens of measurements that representatives of the company typically require to make the person's dimensions exact. Instead, a team of Tussauds artists from London pored over photographs and other documented references to Obama's specifications, and arrived at a fairly close representation.

One change from last year: The real Obama's hair is a lot grayer than fake Barack's. I'm told that will be rectified, and updated, throughout his presidency. Might as well start this week.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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