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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Brewer must answer for poor behavior

While we wait for a Saturday Night Live parody of last week’s gubernatorial debate, someone needs to call it: Gov. Jan Brewer is a crybaby.

Her opening statement had a slow-motion train wreck quality to it, and everything she said was a stubborn deflection of opponent Attorney General Terry Goddard’s questions.

The real concern, however, was her behavior after the debate. When reporters asked her to address her claim that decapitated bodies had been found in the desert (a point that she dodged during the debate), she thanked them. Then she turned around and walked away.

Brewer later said, “”All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings. That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on.””

She certainly did. She moved so far on that she will not waste her time again by participating in any more debates, citing their “”adversarial atmosphere.””

She was embarrassed, and her feelings were hurt. So, no more debates. She did say she would still be available for interviews. Unless the reporter asks her a tough question. Then she’ll walk away again.

Brewer knows how to put on a confident front, with all her big talk about securing the border and cracking down on those job-sucking, drug-peddling beasts we refer to as illegal immigrants. But her showing at and after the debate could not be further from the image she’s cultivated.

When she did finally address her remarks about the beheadings, she said her quote had been taken out of context. “”That was an error, if I said that,”” Brewer told The Associated Press. She added, “”I never said ‘Arizona’ and it’s unfortunate that it was construed as ‘Arizona.'””

The original quote was: “”Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded.”” Our law enforcement agencies, but not our desert? Yep. Got it.

Brewer’s lack of public speaking skills, her inability to veer away from simple sound bites and her sheer incompetence at grammar are all valid concerns. But the incredible lack of respect she demonstrated for the media, and therefore the public, ought to be a deal breaker. Say what you will about “”liberal media bias.”” The media is still the public’s best bet at holding its government accountable.

When a public official seeking election fails to answer a reporter’s question, blames others for her mistakes and refuses to participate in a forum of discussion, his or her constituents have to realize transparency will never be a priority. The only priority Brewer has is covering her own behind until Election Day. If that means dismissing the press by physically fleeing, pointing fingers at others and avoiding as much confrontation as possible, so be it.

But isn’t holding public office all about confrontation?

This isn’t the playground, Jan. You can’t run away crying every time another kid makes fun of you. It’s time to own up to your mistakes.

— Kristina Bui is a sophomore majoring in journalism and political science. She can be

reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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