September 5th, 2010
01:44 PM ET

Letters to the President #594: 'Losing her head'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: A weird thing about politicians is how hard it seems to be for them to admit they’ve made a mistake, no matter how obvious it is. I’m not accusing the president of that (at least not at the moment) but I’m wondering if he has any thoughts on the matter.

Dear Mr. President,

One of the rarer things to witness in these days of corporate-speak, "stay on message" and, "at all cost avoid spontaneity" campaigning is a full political meltdown. But boy, are they fun. Frankly I don't care if we're talking about a Republican, a Democrat, or a wandering leftover from the Whig party.

And this wacky dinner theater that passed for the Arizona governor's debate a few night's ago was a classic. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gov. Jan Brewer.

Now, I'll admit that the evening started with an unfair advantage over a lot of other debates when it comes to sheer, raw potential for goofiness. I mean, how many times do you have a candidate...a sitting governor no less...suggest that headhunters are stalking her counties? Come on. With that on the table you, me, and Fred Flintstone all knew before the first question that some great television was being warmed up in the microwave.

Actually, what came about was a series of ridiculously squirmy moments courtesy of the Ghouls Gone Wild Governor. From that crushing, mind-blowing, Hindenburg of dead silence she served up right in the middle of her opening statement, to the stony refusal to answer anything from anyone about her assertion that someone is leaving decapitated bodies in the Arizona desert, to her hilarious Bad Houdini escape from reporters after the debate. It was all just priceless.

I didn't really have much interest in the Gov's race down there up until this event, but now I am fascinated. Who knows? Maybe Gov. Brewer will hang tough despite the disaster in the desert and win this race after all. She has been pretty much hammering her opponent in the polls. And she has finally said that she misspoke about the idea of headless bodies being strewn around the countryside. The debate, she says, was not her finest hour. Ha! Paging Captain Understatement.

Anyway, I’ll never understand what is buried in the DNA of you political types that makes it so, so, so difficult to just say something like, “Headless bodies? Oh yeah. Well, turns out I was mistaken on that. Jack rabbits. We have a lot of those.” That would have worked. Instead, apparently the governor lost her head.

That kind of mistake ought to be a warning to pols everywhere. But I’ll bet it won’t. Give me a buzz if you have any thoughts on this. Or anything else for that matter. I’m around. Phone is on. Operators are awaiting your call.


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