|Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) and President Barack Obama January 25, 2012|
During the intense airport exchange, the two leaders talked over each other several times. Brewer asked if Obama had read her book but he had only read excerpts. The hand inscribed copy of the book was tossed into the car. Gov. Brewer indicated that she was in mid-sentence when the President turned and walked away. Brewer said that she was so stunned by apparent peevishness of President Obama and his thin skin.
It was a different story from the Summit of the Americas in 2009, when Venezuelan Caudillo Hugo Chavez presented President Obama with a book. Obama accepted the gifted tome from the Venezuelan dictator. Obama claimed that he accepted the tome as he thought that it was actually authored by Chavez but Obama exclaimed “I like to read.” Oh, well maybe Obama only likes to read authors with whom he's inclined to agree.
President Obama’s staff has tried to tamp down the turmoil from this contentious exchange with Gov. Brewer claiming that the incident was overblown. Actually, the hot and bothered reception in Phoenix might work well for both participants. President Obama can be seen dressing down a nemesis who has dissed him. Moreover, Obama’s public sizing down of the Arizona Governor gives a strong signal to Obama’s allies that he is up for a fight and will not take any guff from his opponents. As for Governor Brewer, she does not cower from a petulant power. In a more practical metric, Brewer’s book instantly climbed the charts after the close encounter of the perturbed kind. Scorpions for Breakfast leaped from number 285,568 to number nine on Amazon book sales charts overnight.
The only things that would have made the contentious encounter more satisfying are if Air Force One had landed at Barry Goldwater Airport in Phoenix and certain knowledge if scorpions are thin skinned.