September 3rd, 2010
10:43 AM ET
8 years ago

Will Brewer's 'meltdown' hurt her chances?

(CNN) - It was the silence heard 'round the world.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's now infamous opening statement during a debate Wednesday night has gone viral many times over - as watching the cringe-inducing moment again and again just proves too tempting.

On Thursday, Brewer herself weighed in on what some are calling her 'meltdown,' joking with an Arizona radio station her deafening pause was the "longest 16 seconds of my life"

But will the performance prove fatal to Brewer's election bid?

Probably not, says Christina Boomer - a reporter for ABC15 in Phoenix - at least so long as Brewer is able to make light of the situation.

"The good news is it happened in early September," Boomer told CNN. "It is a long way until November. And, you know, when you cover these contests, you know a lot can happen in this stretch of time."

"What she did on a local radio show yesterday by making light of the situation …that's the kind of thing she should be doing," added Boomer. "It is laughing it off and moving forward."

Of course, Democratic opponent Terry Goddard almost has a ready-made TV ad at his disposal and will likely make every effort to ensure voters don't forget about the moment between now and November.

But Brewer – the former Arizona secretary of state who was appointed to her post in 2008 when then-Gov. Janet Napolitano joined the Obama administration – has seen her popularity grow over the months she vigorously defended the state's controversial immigration law and has a healthy 10-point lead over Goddard according to many recent surveys.

It's also likely voters might empathize with Brewer's seeming bout with nerves – after all, who hasn't been in a similar situation?

"I think at that moment, there was just a lot of empathy for her," said Boomer in describing her experience watching the debate in the pressroom. "You felt badly because a lot of us have been in that position and we know what it feels like to be there.

Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • Jan Brewer
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Riley

    She may not be a good debater, but she's a great American and a great governor. I'd take one of her over ten Obama's any day of the week.

    September 3, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. GI Joe

    She's another on of those loud-mouth t-baggers that just yells for attention. And the idiots go to watch.

    September 3, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. carol

    Sad to say this talking figure head is my governor. Hate and politics are just sad. No beheaded bodies, No father that died fighting. Just hate. So sad!

    September 3, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. gg

    This utter incompetent is intent on spreading her neo-fascists policies to destroy America. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Eva Braun, a right wing role model of the first order.

    September 3, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. carlos

    this boomer lady from abc phoenix must be lobbying for the ad money that the arizona hag took away from cbs because of the expose on the corrupt corrections business she is involved not defend her stupidity

    September 3, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Ben

    Of course the Dems will try to make a big deal out of this, but it really isn't. Brewer has already proven herself to the people of Arizona. Goddard can spin this all he wants, it won't work.

    September 3, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. jim

    CNN is making more of this than what it was.It's her policies that matter and her performance as Governor.So far she has been spot on.

    September 3, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Irma in North Carolina

    Oh Jan the gracious governor of Ariz got caught big time, she could not defend her self in a lie that she told. As it gets closer to the election people are going to remind her of this. Looks like she is trying to fall in Sara's footsteps her, by telling lies.

    September 3, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. diridi

    Jan Brewer is a total idiot, I do not know which idiot voted for her, I bet bunch of old GOP thugs, and innocent uneducated ones from that desert voted for her...I brainy educated votes for this kind of idiot...and GOP thug...well, it is Arizona, any thing is possible in this unpopulated desert.. there is a saying, if there is no tree, Castor oil tree is big tree...I would not have voted for this lady had I been there in election.....

    September 3, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. AB

    Brewer: I can see Mexico from my back porch!

    September 3, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. HypocriCNNation!

    Arizona Governor And Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Jan Brewer's Debate I Hope Was Close Captioned (Or Sub Titled) So That The Audience Who Could Hear Her Could Interperate Wednesday Nights Debate (Train Wreck Performance). From The Arizona Cannibals (Headhunters Out In The Desert), To Her (Alleged) Balanced State Budget! I Believe Is Was A Milestone (Or More Like Passing A Kidney Stone) For Governor Brewer I Bet. She's Even Given New Life To A Simon And Garfunkel Classic "The Sounds Of Silence!" (Incorporated With Her Dear In The Wilderness Glares Into The Camera).

    September 3, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. BlackBarbie

    Of course white-wash it, as usual

    September 3, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    No, those were not two "senior" moments in less than a minute, Brewer was simply channeling Bailin' Palin's consternation, when as an ex-beauty pageant contestant, she looked down and realized she could not read "world peace" that she had written on the palm of her hand.

    That foible turned her into a forever wannabe Miss Alaska, normally called the "first runner up" and loser.

    She has been a bitter lipstick wearing female pitbull ever since.

    September 3, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Kris

    Jan Brewer is a Mean and hateful person. She is full of false, erroneous facts (beheadings in the desert) and hateful rhetoric is sure to come to light eventually. The world will be better when people like Jan Brewer go back to their hateful cave and get out of our lives!

    September 3, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This woman is worst than Guiliani, she speaks a noun a verb then immigration when that's not the question. What does one expect, she wasn't elected governor, she was appointed after President Obama called Governor Janet N. to Washington. Republicans across the country are speaking out against her and are embarrassed by her pure stupidity and they want her gone.

    September 3, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Marge

    The more we see of the republicans the more we all "cringe". they are nothing but hate spewing and violence urging individuals. The more hate the invoke and the more violence they get going the better the feel. It is a shame that more Americans can not understand these greedy individuals. ALL they want is more. More for the rich, More for the corporations and much more for themselves. Oliver Twist any one.

    September 3, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Pope Glenn Beckdeology Honor God and Be an Anti Govt Radical

    This woman did NOT have a meltdown, she is mentally insane and should be commtited to the "brain dead" ward. The people of the state of Arizona need to seriously question the state of her mental health and her capacity to lead....or she is just be a lackey & puppet of the rightWing NUTS who is signing laws & making false "beheading" statements" she has no clue about?!

    September 3, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Eunice

    Don't worry about it Governor Brewer. We still LOVE your spark and enthusiasm.

    September 3, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. Drew, FL

    She needs to clarify her comments regarding the beheadings. Seems it was just a ploy to push forward with SB 1070 and line the pockets of Corrections Corp of America. She's doing everything she can to avoid that question.

    September 3, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Marcus

    Christina Boomer is right, everybody at least once in his/her life went through a situation just like Mrs. Brewer found herself in last Wednesday, so there's room for empathy for her...
    ...As long as the said situation don't repeats itself too much...
    Given Brewer's lack of 'disposition' to meet the (not always openly friendly portion of the) press, I have my doubts.

    September 3, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Joan

    Although it makes her look incompetent, it might not prove fatal but some of her outlandish comments should do it. Unless she can prove that because of illegal immigration there are bodies found in the desert that have been beheaded, then it looks like she not only exaggerates but also actually lies about some things. The fact that she does few public outings and news conferences makes it seem that she does not want to be confronted and put on the spot. Good politicians have to be able to think on their feet. The worst was when she totally stonewalled the reporters who were asking about the "beheaded victims" and just turned and walked away.

    September 3, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Oy Vey Az

    Hurry, Somebody call Russell the puppet master ... Wacko Jan needs to have the string in her back pulled out again.

    Or maybe it's that really good Mexican chili she hides in the closet to eat ... gotta watch that gas ...

    September 3, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Dave

    So we had Obama, a perfect speaker, cool guy on TV but a useless leader, so if someone is a bit off as a TV celebrity, should we call them off??!!

    September 3, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Drunken GOP Drivers want the keys back

    This GOP garden tool put the U in Ugly,both inside and out.She can always become a prison warden at one of the prisons she is funding for the corporate scumbags.

    September 3, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Nancy, CA

    Jan Brewer is a phony. She fell into the governship by accident, has decided she likes the power, and is now using the illegal immigration issue as a means to get elected. Unfortunately, most of the people in Arizona are playing right into her hands.

    September 3, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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