The XX Factor

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Does Not Emphasize Personal Narrative

We’re in a political moment when using your upsetting family narrative is seen as a way to make the electorate more sympathetic to you. David Cameron, the conservative candidate in the U.K. election, recently gave a “tearful interview” about the death of his young son Ivan . And we all remember when Sarah Palin was accused of exploiting her son Trig , who has Down syndrome, by toting him on the campaign trail. So it struck me that in yesterday’s New York Times profile of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewe r, who has just signed a controversial immigration enforcement law, there was a just a single sentence devoted to Gov. Brewer’s grown son, John, who died of cancer in 2007. If you look at other press about Brewer or her official bio , she has made her image about policy, rather than her personal life . Whether you agree with her politics, that’s worthy of respect.