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

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David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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