Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 3, 2010

BREWER TO ARIZONA: NO MORE DEBATES FOR YOU.... Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) became something of a national laughingstock yesterday, as news of her debate performance made the rounds. So, any chance Brewer will be better prepared for the next debate? No, because there won't be any more debates.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has put the kibosh on all future debates with her Arizona gubernatorial opponent Terry Goddard (D), after her rather embarrassing display at Wednesday's debate. [...]

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Brewer says she only partook in the debate to try qualify for the $1.7 million-plus public funds for her campaign.

Also note, local reporters took an interest in Brewer's wildly ridiculous allegations -- over the summer, not during the debate -- that immigrants entering the U.S. illegally are responsible for "beheadings" in the Arizona desert, a claim that the governor appears to have just made up out of whole cloth.

During the debate, state Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) raised this as an issue -- he fairly noted that tourists and investors may avoid a state where crazed immigrants chop off people's heads -- and Brewer dodged the issue. After the debate, the governor literally fled to avoid reporters' questions on the subject.

Today, Brewer followed up, explaining why she ran away rather than defending her own claims.

"All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," Brewer told the Daily Star. "That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on."

Got that? Brewer made a ridiculous claim, refused to acknowledge her mistake, refused to answer questions about her own claims during the debate, and refused to respond to journalists' inquiries after the debate. And now that she's been caught lying about a key issue, she's decided it's time to "move on." How convenient.

On a related note, reader A.K. emailed me this morning, asking how someone with Brewer's issues could end up as the chief executive of a state. It's worth remembering that Brewer never sought statewide office -- she became governor when Janet Napolitano left the governor's office to join the Obama administration (there is no lieutenant governor in Arizona).

Brewer, in other words, kind of fell into a job she was unprepared for. She was not expected to do well in seeking a full term, right up until she became a right-wing hero after signing Arizona's anti-immigrant law.

Steve Benen 3:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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The GOP faithful will, no doubt, praise Gov. Brewer for not going along w/Sister Sarah's "gotcha media." In the end, her embarrassing performance in the debate is likely to help her w/likely voters.


Posted by: Zorro on September 3, 2010 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

In the end, her embarrassing performance in the debate is likely to help her w/likely voters.

And, those voters will richly deserve all of the pain, suffering, and apathy they receive.

Posted by: Winkandanod on September 3, 2010 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

It's worth remembering that Brewer never sought statewide office

That actually isn't true. She ran for, and was elected, secretary of state. Under Arizona's law of succession, the secretary of state is next in line to become governor.

Posted by: rrindy on September 3, 2010 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

So, where is her opponent? Why is he not holding press conferences and offering "exclusive" interviews? As long as Gov. Brewer is refusing to be a public servant, her opponent can have free reign to challenge her every word and expose her lies and innuendoes. This is so easy. The AZ press appears to be willing to go after her, so why are the Democrats not seizing on this opportunity? In every state where the crazies are running for office, make them respond or expose their fear.

Posted by: st john on September 3, 2010 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well any one could get a little thing like their head , or someone else's , or trying to keep track of which one or the other , being removed from its nesting place atop the shoulders a bit of side tracky . The only issue dear leader Jan seems to have run into is who , what , why , where , when . There probably is a little friction over the how but I think it is best to stay with one letter at a time with some of the Brain Police .

Posted by: FRP on September 3, 2010 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Gov. Brewer "became something of a national laughingstock" long before yesterday. Apart from the idiotic remark about beheadings, one shouldn't forget her disingenuous to say the least claims about her father dying fighting the Nazis.

She's a liar, and not a very good one. (Of course, she's also a Republican, so lying is OK, and certainly pales by comparison with the monstrous crime of pointing this out.)

Posted by: J on September 3, 2010 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Phenomenally stupid, a compulsive liar and becomes visibly enraged every time she's questioned. What's not to like?

Posted by: Arizona on September 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming anyone in Arizona is paying attention, this seems like a tactical mistake on her part. It means that the ridiculously pathetic performance* is the last impression she leaves with the voters. Unless she has a truly overwhelming advantage in ad money, it's hard to see how she counters that.

*(even aside from the beheading issue, her extended pause and caught-in-the-headlights look during her opening statement was truly remarkable.)

Posted by: tanstaafl on September 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

"It's worth remembering that Brewer never sought statewide office"

Correct me if I am wrong, but she did become Secretary of State after winning that statewide election.

Posted by: Rico on September 3, 2010 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Terry Goddard has, IIRC, come up with a debate schedule that he asked Brewer to join in. He should announce that he will be there, invite the media, and challenge Brewer to show up. If not, leave an empty chair for her and get all the media attention for himself. He can lay out his plans, and criticize Brewer who won't be there to defend herself. Sounds like a win, win to me.

Posted by: Hannah on September 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

The Secretary of State position is not particularly demanding, and is often considered an kind of golden parachute for a long-time party official. More to the point, Brewer is no one's idea of a competent governor. She's not detail-oriented and she has only a vague grasp of issues. Still, she's not a culture warrior zealot. She's simply a low-information Republican who rose through the ranks to an improbable height. She will win unless she has another embarrassing meltdown. And I assume there will be a Jan Brewer Dementia Watch after the election. Yes, it's grotesque and mean but you choose your cross. It's almost Lomanesque but Brewer's choice is a train wreck of her own making. We cannot help but look.

Posted by: walt on September 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

1) Doesn't anybody find it hypocritical that this wanna-be-Bagger only did the debate so that she could collect $1.7 million in taxpayer money for her campaign???

2) Keep an eye on the local CBS affiliate's continuing reportage on Brewer's unseemly, if not unsavory, with the private prison operators who'll be locking up those immigrants whose only crime is being here without papers.

Posted by: Larry McD on September 3, 2010 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

She's pathetic. She only debated to get matching funds for her campaign?

AZ, if you guys don't chuck this moronic woman you are idiots. Sheesh.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on September 3, 2010 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

I can see getting flustered if someone asks a question you're not expecting. But an opening statement? Don't you write that out in advance and go over it a couple of times to get the delivery right? Might be challenging for a shy seventh grader, but for a politician?

Posted by: tamiasmin on September 3, 2010 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

She mentioned that she balanced the budget in AZ. Does anyone know if that is true?
I thought her performance was quite sad. And even sadder that AZ will elect her as GOV. They seem to be the kind who get what they deserve then.
NOT ALL OF THEM...so noone jump on my for that. I am referencing those who would vote for her or McCain.

Posted by: mishanti on September 3, 2010 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Arizona has a huge budget shortfall of about $700M, made worse by Brewer's "Heads will roll" tourist infomercial. She is daft, dangerous and mean. Thankfully, she is also forgetful.

Posted by: Sparko on September 3, 2010 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

I consider Jan Brewer my new bellwether model for how close we are as a nation to finally exiting the toilet bowl we've been circling. If that performance can get you elected Governor of the 14th most populated state, then President Palin can't be far off.

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Posted by: gaga94 on September 3, 2010 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

I blame Obama :) If he had resisted his "let's forgive and forget" impulse towards McCain... If he had not removed Napolitano from the AZ political arena... I believe things in that state would have been looking much brighter than they are.

Posted by: exlibra on September 3, 2010 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Brewhaha is taking a page from that other reprobate when it comes to accountability. When the going gets tough, you get going -- in the other direction, out the door and down the street. Oh, and don't forget to blame it all on the media. I mean, after all, don't they know their job is to present the news the way the candidates want it to be presented? Surely it's obvious by now. It's all so simple, really.

Posted by: Timpanist on September 4, 2010 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Brewer says she only partook in the debate to try qualify for the $1.7 million-plus public funds for her campaign.

So, she only partook in the debate to qualify for Welfare? Somebody PLEASE run with this.

Posted by: Yellow105 on September 5, 2010 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK



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