Brewer flooded with mail after Obama encounter



By: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez

Posted: March 26th, 2012

In the days after Gov. Jan Brewer pointed her finger at President Barack Obama, her office received more than 12,000 letters and e-mails from people across the nation. Most of the communications condemned the governor, according to her office.

The Arizona Republic filed a public-records request and obtained 100 letters randomly selected by the Governor’s Office after it received them in the wake of the Jan. 25 encounter on an airport tarmac.

The governor wagged her finger at the president as she awaited his arrival at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The pair spoke intensely for a few minutes and talked over each other before Obama appeared to walk away from the governor while they were still talking.

The photo of the encounter immediately went viral and for days dominated TV news and the blogosphere.

The letters were written by housewives, veterans, middle-school students from New Orleans and even a former gubernatorial counselor who now lives in Peoria. The letters were e-mailed, handwritten and composed on old-fashioned typewriters.

Each of the e-mails was read by Constituent Services staff. Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson could not say if the governor actually read any of the letters.

Many of the writers were disgusted with the governor, calling her “trashy” and “tasteless.” Others offered etiquette tips on how to behave when welcoming a head of state.

“If you approached me like you did the president I would have taken great comfort by poking you in the nose,” wrote Eleanor Tafolla from Cathedral City, Calif. “You might want to work on you (sic) prissy attitude you project. Whoa lady you did not deserve a talk with the president or anyone else for that matter.”

Some questioned whether Brewer would have pointed her finger at a White president and behaved as though she were in the Old South.

Deborah Gross of Michigan wrote, “Your racism and crude behavior is typical of the GOP. Karma will not be kind to you and your fellow regressive, racist Republican friends.”

Still others said they would never again visit Arizona or support the state while Brewer is governor.

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  1. Arizona does not need visitors to our state. They come because they like the weather, but they are registered to vote in their own state – not ours.