When I read the political news, I often feel like I’m in high school again. That was my reaction when I read the story this week about an apparently testy exchange between President Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on an airport tarmac.
President Obama, fresh from his State of the Union speech, flew to Arizona to talk about his policy proposals. Brewer met him at the airport tarmac, and the two had a terse discussion. The President’s press secretary says the President told Brewer her version of a 2010 Oval Office meeting they had, described in a book Brewer recently wrote, was inaccurate. Brewer says she went to meet the President to talk about “Arizona’s comeback” and instead he focused on the book and seemed “thin-skinned” and “a little tense.” The President says the little snit was “no big deal.” No kidding!
I find this kind of story embarrassing, because it exposes the unflattering qualities of our political leaders. With all of the problems besetting America and Arizona, why would the President need to bring up the characterization of a meeting that happened two years ago in a book that almost no one has even heard of, much less read? Isn’t he big enough to shrug off such things? If not, how much time is he spending fretting about other minor stuff? As for Governor Brewer, can’t she give the President a break and simply report that they had an animated discussion without calling him “thin-skinned”? Couldn’t she be a big enough person to resist the temptation to score cheap political points from this silly, meaningless incident?
Next thing you know, we’ll learn that the President and the Governor were passing notes in study hall.