|"And another thing--" Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has a word with the president|
Yeah, I know, you could ask that question ("What the hell is going on in Phoenix?") fairly regularly, but the fact is, strange things are happening (again) in Phoenix.
You haven't heard much about this because the news media in Phoenix and Tucson so far aren't on the story, but here's the latest:
Gov. Jan Brewer -- she of that bony finger stuck in President Obama's face -- seems to have gone missing. Brewer hasn't been in the state all week, though she didn't do what governors are supposed to do, which is announce that they're going away and let people know where they went. The only word about Brewer is a report that she was seen at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland visiting a wounded soldier.
An AWOL governor playing candystriper in Maryland? A news media that isn't motivated, as the media would be in any place I ever worked, to, you know, go find her?
Wait, it gets weirder (it always does, doesn't it).
Last week, before she went missing, there was a strange contretemps in Phoenix between Brewer and a television reporter who asked her about global warming during a press conference. The question was based on the fact that Brewer was due to speak this week at a meeting on energy policy (which she was a no-show at, subsequently).
After mumbling a reply to the effect that global warming was not caused by humans, Brewer went blank for one of those long vacant stares of hers, you know, the ones that make you wonder if she is seeing visions in her head of demons or prehistoric birds of prey.
That's when it got weird. In a report on the media insider site Romenesko.com, a local news photographer who was there, Michael Clawson, said this:
"After her answer, a handler swooped in and whisked her away, but about three paces out she turned back around to face the reporter who asked the last question. He had turned to a camera operator and seemed to be putting his microphone away. Brewer took her left hand, balled it into a fist and with the back of her hand she slugged the reporter on the back of his right arm. Not hard, but with enough force that he spun around to see what was going on. She leaned in real close and looked up (she’s a shorter lady) and said in a whisper loud enough for most of us to hear, “Where the hell’d that come from?”
A video snippet of Brewer storming away went viral days ago, but the fact that she also actually slugged the reporter had not previously been reported. Not that the reporter was harmed. Despite that Gidget doo from 1963 and the chronic belligerence, Brewer is a tiny old lady, and getting slugged by her would be like being hit by a jelly doughnut.
And after that, Brewer went AWOL. And her fate is still unknown, as they used to say about Charlie and the M.T.A. Pressed by the A.P. this week, a Brewer spokesman would say only that the governor is out of state on undisclosed "official business."
Online, Brewer's AWOL is getting some national attention. Wags online are joking that, oddly, no reward has yet been offered for Brewer's safe return. Others suggest she's "hiking the Appalachian trail." Or that she went to find John McAfee to have him fix a virus on her computer.
My suggestions are that she's actually out getting her hair done at Maaco. Or that she and fellow loon Sheriff Joe Arpaio are holed up in Laredo, checking Mexicans' IDs. Or that she has been gone all Aimee Semple McPherson and been kidnapped and spirited to Agua Pieta by desperadoes named Steve and Mexicali Rose.
UPDATE: Okay, I said it probably gets weirder and it does. It seems that Brewer's "official state business" is to go to Afghanistan and get her picture taken with soldiers. And here's weird on a stick: Some people think she's positioning herself for a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. I mean, people who actually seem to have mailing addresses on this planet.