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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 01/27/2012

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s finger-pointing problem


I see your point. (Haraz N. Ghanbari - AP)
“Don’t point! It’s rude!”

Thursday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pointed at the president of the United States — and the photo has been generating quite a stir. It’s already a meme.

I have some sympathy for Gov. Brewer. She was, apparently, discussing her book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” and anyone with a book title like that cannot be having a great day.

Besides, this is every kinetic talker’s nightmare. Kinetic talker, in my case and Brewer’s, apparently, is a euphemism. It’s a nice way of saying that “whenever you speak, you gesture as though you are fighting an invisible demon of the air and losing.”

To say that I talk with my hands is an understatement. Compared to what my hands say, my mouth barely gets a word in edgewise. If I spoke sign language, I would be constantly yelling.

No one will ever know quite what transpired between the two. According to Brewer, the president walked away mid-sentence, leaving only this picture.

Even if Brewer is a naturally handsy talker, this is quite the image. Generally, giving the president the finger is frowned upon, no matter which finger it happens to be. And this is the schoolmarm point, the Listen Up, Mister, I Haven’t Finished With You Yet, the Let Me Tell You A Thing Or Two. The captions capture it.

But this raises a larger question. Is it ever okay to point at the president? What if he’s got a thing on his lapel? No, not there. There. Little higher. Let me just get it for you.

Doubtful.

If a thing is frowned upon in general, it’s even worse to do it to the president in particular. Belch? Frowned on. Belch at the president? You won’t get invited back to the White House again. Check your BlackBerry while talking? Faux pas! Check your BlackBerry while talking to the president? You might be appointed an aide, actually. Call someone’s wife fat? Definite no-no. Call the president’s wife — Well, you see my point.

And Jan Brewer’s.

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 01/27/2012

Tags:  Obama, Jan Brewer

 
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