Brewer to greet Obama today; no finger-wagging anticipated

2013-08-06T00:00:00Z Brewer to greet Obama today; no finger-wagging anticipatedHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
August 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - The last time Jan Brewer greeted Barack Obama at the airport, it didn't exactly go so well.

So they're going to try again today.

The governor is set to welcome the president to Arizona today, when he comes to speak on housing at a Phoenix-area public school. Gubernatorial press aide Andrew Wilder said his boss offered the greeting as a matter of protocol.

Last time they were on the tarmac at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, it became an event of its own.

Brewer handed him a handwritten note, asking for a meeting. He responded - so the governor said - by complaining about how he was portrayed in her book, "Scorpions for Breakfast," about their earlier meeting at the White House.

The two of them ended up nearly toe-to-toe, with a gubernatorial finger pointed at the nation's chief executive, captured in a photo that went viral. The president eventually walked off.

Wilder said he expects this time to be different. "It is going to be a cordial meet-and-greeting of the president on the tarmac," he said. "We're looking forward to it."

Unlike last time, when the governor wanted to chat about illegal immigration, Brewer is using her face time with the president for a more localized issue.

"Probably first and foremost is going to be the subject of the emergency declaration for the Yarnell (Hill) Fire," Wilder said, a declaration Brewer sought last month.

"We're getting close to 30 days," he said. "And we're understandably anxious to have the president's decision on that."

Wilder said his boss is not looking for a fight. "She will be extending her hand in welcoming him to the state of Arizona," he said.

That last squabble, however, didn't exactly hurt Brewer politically or financially.

Before last year's tiff on the tarmac, sales of her book were tepid. Amazon.com, where the governor 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.

The morning after the incident, it had skyrocketed to No. 56. And by the end of the day it had made it all the way to No. 10 on the best-seller list.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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