Leadership or Toxic Behavior? Barack Obama and Jan Brewer

Living in Arizona is never dull.  When President Barack Obama came into town on his reelection campaign he was met on the tarmac by Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer. According to interviews with Governor Brewer, upon her greeting the President he launched into his dismay over her book, Scorpions for Breakfast, and walked away while she was speaking to him. I agree with our Governor, illegal immigration on the Arizona border must be better addressed.

I have a problem with his behavior because to me, it is neither Presidential nor does it show a strong, capable leadership style. Are his exceptional oratory skills only present when reading off of a ‘comfort monitor’ aka ‘TelePrompTer?’

On the other hand, should Jan Brewer have tried to diffuse the situation by using my favorite communication technique, fogging, by saying, “You may be right. Would there be a time when we can discuss my intent for my book?” And the finger pointing is never a good choice of gestures.

It is just plain dumb to see this kind of situation happen and it certainly doesn’t position either person well.  What do you think?

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Jan says:

    Marsha – this really got to me – I could not believe she had the audacity to point her finger at the President of the United States – R E S P E C T – no matter what!

    There is a time and place for everything – this was not the time or the place!

  2. Dee Treece says:

    First of all you are correct, Marsha about your observations. I truly believe that the President is very arrogant and does not like to be questioned or have someone come up against him. I think Gov. Brewer has courage more so than most people…the way it was handled was poorly. I applaud her for trying to keep Arizona from paying money to clean up the border. Not only does it cost for border patrol, but the debris left behind is tremendous. Where is John McCain’s border plan? This was one of his running mantras…..he has been no help whatsoever time for him to retire. I believe that the politics of this country have really taken a step back to the power of money and who can be bought and paid for.

  3. Rozanne Hird says:

    My dear friend Marsha,
    I disagree with you on this one. First, the Governor should not have been hand delivering a letter to him at this time and place. This was a meet and greet photo op. That is what email or the US Postal Service is in existence to accomplish. Second, she should never have wagged her finger at the President of the United States. Respect the position even if she can’t respect the man. This just shows what a total idiot she is. It does not show courage on her part, just her ignorance of proper protocol.

  4. JB says:

    It is interesting that you would promote Brewer’s case over the President’s by showcasing her interviews and not providing for the President’s response (not that he should lower himself to provide one). You are presenting a bias here that does not have a place in your leadership newsletter. Now that I see this, if I see it again, I will need to unsubscribe as I do not mix national or state political propaganda with the workplace. In the workplace, airing political propaganda is also inappropriate and unprofessional. The only two that know what was really said are those two people. Brewer is a sporatic politician with radicalism coming to light, like with other notable AZ clownish politicians, when there is a chance at a spotlight for appeasing her extremist supporters. Only in AZ could she elevate as a politician with her ineptitude in tact and with an unclear but perpetuated mission to constantly embarrass the state by attempting to one-up the President. She is embarrassing herself and the state. Promoting her interviews in your leadership newsletter disappoints me because she may not depict the events in the most objective way yet your depiction of it presents it this way. I may have missed some of your past newsletters – did you ever write one on the booing at one of this President’s past State of the Union Addresses? And did you ever discuss any of the many misspeakings or missteps of the previous President? I do not recall seeing you address those, furthering my suspician that you are presenting bias here and it’s just really ever so very disappointing. The office of the President does command a certain amount of respect and he has no time to listen to a blathering AZ politician if it’s just continuing rants as usual and any one would walk away, if that’s truly what happened.

  5. R Harrison says:

    I’m sorry that Jan is upset with Gov. Brewer finger pointing, but she probably took note of the the way Mr. Obama treated the Governor of Texas in a visit this past year and decided not to give him a pass. As for as “respect no matter what”, that’s a load of manure. While I respect the office a man or woman may hold, that person is not due respect simply by election or appointment. Respect is earned by ones character, no by ones station in life. Just as money doesn’t buy class, respect is not a commodity or right of passage.

  6. Richard says:

    I think the president probably walked away from ms. brewer becasue since he first took office he has nothing but disrespect from, the public, the media, the congress. I think there comes a point when you realize you are not going to get any respect no matter what you say or do. George Bush got a lot of respect fro the above mentioned and as far as I’m concerned he couldn’t even read the teleprompters, you folks didn’t say anything about that. However i guess you didn’t have to the fact was apparent. The govenor is a disrespectful beyotch, I think it’s probably like the army, you don’t like the commander, but you don’t disrepect him or you may find you self sitting in a brig. This is the first president I have ever seen who has been blatantly disrespected by his country and media and no one of the edia ever seems to say anything about this. like it’s the norm. I think it’s time to play the black card, the majority of folks will say that, never mind…..

  7. Dee Treece says:

    Obviously, people cannot see past their own blinders as to what is happening in the US of America. The politicians are not about what is Democratic or Republican it is about political clout…..money the politicians are bought and paid for….period. Look and google what New World Order is about and then make a rational decision……..

  8. Andrea says:

    Marsha, Marsha, Marsha… tell us how you really feel! Your viewpoint was totally biased – you took one position and ‘ran’ with it. I am very disappointed with you – I thought you were more fair-minded.

    jan brewer (I intentionally did not capitalize her name) has no class. Her arrogant, disrespectful approach to our President compounds the disdain I have for her. His choice to walk away from her speaks to his control – someone else would have slapped her (even more) senseless.

    We have a President that works diligently to be inclusive; and at every turn he is challenged. I do not agree with everything he does or says, however, at least he tries to work with everyone – I cannot say the same for the GOP.

    Marsha you say his behavior is not Presidential? Would you prefer he have affairs, hide money in Swiss bank accounts, have two or three previous wives – one of whom would say he wanted an open marriage and that he had no moral compass? Would that be more presidential for you? *shaking my head*

  9. […] a wide variety of comments were posted on the Leadership or Toxic Behavior post! Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their perspective. My goal is to help people […]

  10. Ken Sayar says:

    Hmmm, perhaps POTUS is a bit too thin-skinned to be the Leader if the Free World.

  11. Ann Rohn says:

    I enjoyed reading your comments and the responses.Thanks for getting a discussion going.
    I think it was unfortunate incident that could have been avoided.. I side with the President.

  12. Mary Ann O'Connor says:

    It does seem, and hopefully you will be honest with yourself, that you do have a bias here. If, during your watching of different news channels, you’d seen the video of a smiling Jan Brewer telling reporters that she had had a very positive, cordial meeting with the president when she was in Washington awhile back, you’d understand the response from the President regarding her different and negative version of that same meeting in her book. Assuming she was truthful shortly after the meeting, it makes perfect sense that President Obama may have wanted to make a comment about being disappointed in what was written later. Wagging your finger at anyone who is bringing up a disappointing discrepancy between what is written and what really happened, as seen in her own words on film, is completely uncalled for and “toxic”. She could have provided her own reasons, likely “political”, in changing what occurred for the pleasure of her constituency.
    The sad thing is that her “toxic” behavior only adds to her being raised in the esteem of her constituency, who seem to relish disrespectful, “toxic” behaviors toward this president. I agree with those above who point out that President Obama has continually had to experience “toxic” behaviors on the part of those who don’t seem to accept him as having been elected by a majority of voters in our democracy. And, I must say that from all I have seen and heard, this man remains calm and never has there been a mean spirited response by him.

  13. Susan says:

    Sensationalized by the media. Perhaps a good topic –‘ are the masses controlled by media, and are we in that mass (pun intended).’ Most people, including politicians, including governors, easily tremble and feel self conscious in the presence of the President of the United States. Someone said on one media panel that ‘the President is not royalty.’ Really? Are you sure? It’s the closest this country will ever come and we certainly treat them as such. Royalty or not, it is a position that is due respect. It’s easy to accuse someone else of your own self consciousness. She should be able to take what she dishes out. Finger pointing, no matter how high you have climbed, is never pretty – on anyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *