Video of the Day: Brewer's 'Cordial' Arizona Welcome for Obama

What led to a finger-wagging exchange between the president and the Arizona governor on the tarmac in Phoenix?

President Obama was in Arizona yesterday, and he was met on the tarmac in Phoenix by Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican. It started out with a standard handshake, then devolved into a tense confrontation, with the governor wagging her finger at the president. Moments later, Obama -- looking mostly unruffled -- emerged from behind a limo, alone, and continued without Brewer. So what happened?

"I was trying to be very gracious to [Obama] and he just reacted in just a very negative mannerr of which took me back - kind of left me breathless to tell you the truth," Brewer said Wednesday night."I had written a hand-written note to him to deliver, welcoming him to Arizona and to thank him for being here and gave him the letter and he immediately took umbrage if you will with the book that I wrote 'Scorpions for Breakfast' and was somewhat disgruntled."

In the book, Brewer referred to Obama as "condescending" during a White House meeting. She's built her brand on her willingness to stand up to him. Administration officials suggested there was no tension, but pool reports said Obama walked from her away mid-conversation. Unfortunately, there's no direct shot of the conversation.

Image: YouTube

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In