Texas Gov. Rick Perry will campaign with the controversial Arizona lawman in N.H. this week. It's not clear why he thinks that's a good idea.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has had a tough go of it since entering the race for the Republican nomination for president. He's struggled during debates. He's blown some speeches. And he has crashed from first to the middle of the pack in most recent polls. But this week the candidate hopes to start heading up the ladder again with an endorsement he's expected to receive from Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, a vainglorious autocrat of dubious achievement who has made a career out of calling himself the "toughest sheriff" in America.
Over the weekend, ABC News reported that Arpaio and Perry will campaign together this week in New Hampshire. Sheriff Joe reportedly was a "much sought after" endorsement for the candidates because of his sharply conservative views on immigration. ABC says that Perry won the fight for Arpaio's endorsement over fellow candidates Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain, each of whom evidently made their pitch to get Sheriff Joe into their respective corners. Bachmann even called Arpaio one of her "heroes."
That such a battle would have occurred among Republicans, and that the beleaguered Perry would think that Arpaio will help rescue his flailing campaign, is just one of the many mind-bending absurdities of the 2012 race. Arpaio may be nationally known, and raucus on the stump, but he's made a terrible mess of his own job in Maricopa County, which is littered with litigation over his policies and practices. "Do as I say not as I do," is a terrible campaign slogan. And yet it is all Arpaio can candidly say when he vouches for his new pal Perry.