by Dan Gibson
This opinion appeared in an actual magazine. Someone really believes that Jan Brewer would bolster the Mitt Romney campaign for the presidency. Oh man, thanks Edward Morrissey. My allergies are killing me today, so I've been generally miserable all morning, but the laughs provided by this idea brightened everything.
One name that hasn't received much attention — yet — is that of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Brewer replaced Janet Napolitano in January 2009 when Barack Obama appointed then-Gov. Napolitano to run the Department of Homeland Security. Brewer then won her first election in 2010 with a 13-point margin of victory over Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard.
Brewer has a record of fighting the federal government and the media. After Brewer signed a bill from the state legislature requiring law-enforcement officers to check residency status when arresting or detaining criminal suspects, Obama's Department of Justice filed suit against the state. To the cheers of conservatives, Brewer fought back, later writing a book to bolster her case, and squared off against open-borders advocates in the media.
Given Romney's vulnerabilities with the base on immigration, health-insurance mandates, and gun rights, Brewer might be just the kind of candidate that could get the Tea Party back on board. A Brewer nomination might also force the Obama campaign to retire the "war on women" attack line. It would also firm up Romney's standing in Arizona, as one poll this week suggested that the Republican nominee wasn't garnering much enthusiasm in this transitioning interior-West state.
Brewer wouldn't be a risk-free choice. She has made a couple of misstatements in her border-security fight that she had to retract, and her combative style might generate the kind of headlines Romney wants to avoid. Still, if Romney wants to roll the dice to unify the GOP for the general election, Brewer has the battle-hardened experience in national politics that could make her a good attack dog for the fall campaign.