The Enduring Arpaio

Through all the fights, all the criticism, all the lawsuits, they still come. A parade really. Especially this year, when many thought the Sheriff of Maricopa County was on the decline.
It must be rewarding to the octogenarian. Sheriff+Joe+Arpaio
All of the 2014 candidates for Arizona governor wanted his endorsement. Doug Ducey got it. And is showcasing the Sheriff on television. By himself. And with Jon Kyl.
Embattled Attorney General Tom Horne is doing likewise. His thinking? If anyone can save me, it’s Arpaio.
Even State Treasurer candidate Randy Pullen has the crime fighter doing radio ads for him, even though his nexus to the office is remote to say the least.
So how and why does Arpaio maintain such an aura?
Perhaps it’s that sixth sense serving his country in pretty tough places for the Drug Enforcement Agency. Or maybe it’s an uncommon decency away from politics and his media persona. Attending charity event after charity event. Talking to anyone, anytime. Being a good husband. Being a good friend to unexpected causes like fighting animal cruelty.
While ardent fighters of illegal immigration have been vanquished, Arpaio has not. These are  some of the reasons. But so are all of the innovations that were done, and continue to be done, prior to becoming a hero on Fox News and the Drudge Report. Time should not diminish the creativity and resonance of reforms from Tent City to chain gangs.
Critics remain. But so do fans. Lots of them. Just look at the line of Republican candidates this year. And the thumbs up, honks of horns and handshakes America’s Sheriff gets after interviews with the world’s biggest media outlets, or just walking in a crosswalk, when the driver of a pick-up truck reacts to him like no one else in the state. Enthusiastic. Glad to meet his Sheriff.