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As much as I dislike Arizona's appointed governor, this moment in her one and only debate last month made me squirm. There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as watching someone completely blank out for no apparent reason. We've all done it for a couple of seconds, but I can't recall ever just completely disconnecting for 16 seconds when I had notes and talking points in front of me.
When investigative journalist John Dougherty sent the tweet below, it got the attention of several Arizona journalists, mostly because of Dougherty's reputation as an investigative journalist. Despite his foray into politics recently, he's also known for his investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Keating Five, and Mormon polygamists.
Yet, it appears that there may be a reason for those lost seconds. As early voting opens, some Arizonians have called for Brewer to release her medical records on the strength of rumors about her health and a recent Psychology Today article naming specific reasons why she may have suffered such a complete blank.
But wait a minute! Brewer didn't forget her lines. She wasn't relying on memory. Her speech and/or notes were printed on the pages before her. She was staring right at them. But she couldn't see them, or make sense of the words on the page. She seemed literally uncomprehending of the words in front of her. They might as well have been written in Spanish or Farsi.
Indeed it seemed that Gov. Brewer was in the throes of -- you call it: prescription drug abuse brain dysfunction, drunk, early stages of senile dementia, or she had suddenly been afflicted by a mini-stroke or seizure.
Whatever the culprit of disruption, since Brewer couldn't read the language of the preformed talking points, notes, outlined cues, etc., before her, she was forced to improvise from memory, come up with some way to fill the airtime as an audience of eyes and cameras kept the focus, the heat, on her.
If there is any truth to this, Governor Brewer owes it to Arizona voters to release her health records immediately. Early voting has already begun in Arizona, and voters deserve to know if she has a health condition that might prevent her from serving out a second term.
I'm told there will be more details coming soon. I'd like to think they would include something specific, because as uncomfortable as I am about posting what is essentially a rumor at this point, I am even more uncomfortable with Arizona establishing a system where ascension is the way one becomes Governor, as opposed to election.