Brewer's dust-up with Obama sends sales of her book soaring

Was 343,222nd at Amazon - then exploded to No. 10
2012-01-27T00:00:00Z Brewer's dust-up with Obama sends sales of her book soaringHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
January 27, 2012 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - It's debatable whether arguing with the president of the United States is a bad move politically.

But it appears it can be financially beneficial.

On Wednesday, sales of "Scorpions for Breakfast" were tepid. Amazon.com, where Gov. Jan Brewer has been marketing her political book on border security, federalism and the "liberal media," reported that sales ranked it No. 343,222 of all the titles on its list.

By Thursday morning, it had skyrocketed to No. 56. And by 8 p.m. Thursday it had made it all the way to No. 10 on the bestseller list.

No other book on Amazon's list increased its sales by so much in the last 24 hours.

That sudden demand to see what Brewer wrote coincides with the highly publicized on-the-tarmac confrontation Wednesday between the governor and the president as he stepped off Air Force One to make a speech in Arizona.

When Brewer handed him a note asking for a meeting, the president took the opportunity to complain to the governor that he felt a bit burned after the last time they met nearly two years ago.

According to the White House, the president described that conversation as "a cordial discussion in the Oval Office." Brewer's recollection - at least as told in her 228-page book - was quite different.

"It was as though President Obama thought he would lecture me and I would learn at his knee," the governor wrote. "He was patronizing."

Brewer said Thursday she was surprised by the president's decision to confront her over the book, which has been on the shelves since early November.

Their brief airport conversation ended, Brewer said, when the president walked off while she was in mid-sentence - but not before a photo of the two of them nearly toe to toe, with Brewer pointing her finger at the president's face, went viral.

That generated extensive nationwide coverage about the dispute and put a spotlight on the book, with many video news reports even including screen shots of its cover, complete with a photo of Brewer with her hand over her heart.

The White House, clearly surprised over all the publicity, is trying not only to downplay the whole incident but also discourage further news stories.

"I really assume you guys have more important issues to cover," press secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the president on Thursday as he continued his multistate tour.

But the story continues to develop on its own.

Sen. John McCain added fuel Thursday with a comment that what happened at the airport confirms that the president "has a prickly personality."

And the governor herself is doing nothing to quell the publicity. In fact, she has been fanning the flames a bit, saying on Thursday that the president is "a little thin-skinned and a little over-sensitive."

Brewer laughed off a question of whether she engineered the whole incident to bolster book sales.

"We could have never been this successful at it," she said. Anyway, the governor said, it was the president who brought up the subject of the book, not her.

"It's unfortunate we couldn't have talked about jobs and the economy," Brewer said of her brief time with the president at the airport, saying Obama was more focused on how he was portrayed in the book. "But if he wanted to talk about my book, I think it's sad that he didn't want to talk about the issue the book is about," Brewer said, meaning border security.

The governor is not disclosing how much all the additional book sales will be worth to her, saying that is a private contract between her and her publisher.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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