Over at Washington Monthly, Elon Green finds Maureen Dowd going on about the Obama-Brewer supposed confrontation, warning:
The problem is, by Thursday this narrative was already shaky. Mayor Scott Smith, who accompanied Brewer on the tarmac, told Nick Martin that contra Brewer, Obama “simply began talking to the other two elected officials who were there to greet him.”
Then on Friday, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (who was also on the tarmac) confirmed Smith’s story. Obama not only wasn’t “bristly”, per Dowd, “[h]e wasn’t tense at all.”
Why do I bother pointing this out? Particularly during Presidential campaigns, this nonsense so easily metastasizes into a factoid, Norman Mailer’s term for “an item of unreliable information that is repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.”
Al Gore is a notorious cautionary tale.
You know I’m with Bob Somerby on the role of the press in the 2000 election. Leaving that aside, though, what’s different here is that this incident/myth clearly helps Obama politically (to the extent that it makes any difference at all). The voters who care about this at all are mostly voters who care a lot about immigration policy. And those voters are mostly immigrants and family of immigrants who like the idea of Obama sticking it to Brewer.
This whole thing is stupid, but I don’t understand why the right wants to play up a mythical event that hurts their own cause. For Obama, it’s better than a “dog whistle” to Latino immigrants that anti-immigrant types can’t hear, because he didn’t even have
to blow a whistle at all. It’s strange that the right likes this story so much.
Is this about Obama being uppity or about Brewer putting him in his place? I thought it was the former — that Obama was a dick, here, to use Halperin’s terms — but a lot of people seem to think the idea is that Brewer smacked him down.