Run, Joe, Run
The Best Thing That Joe Arpaio Could Do For Arizona Is Win A U.S. Senate Seat
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is considering a run for U.S. Senate.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine .com
Feb. 22, 2011 — Back in 1992, when Joe Arpaio was first elected Maricopa County Sheriff, everyone assumed he would be as anonymous as most of those who came before him — public servants that neither sought nor received much public fanfare.
He was assumed to be yet another placeholder until his portrait was painted to fill the hallway.
But Arpaio would dominate the political landscape of the state by way of the sheriff’s office in a way not seen since Carl Hayden did it nearly a century earlier. Now, nearly 28 years later, whispers are reaching a deafening roar that good old “Sheriff Joe” might just run for the Senate.
He may just win in a landslide of epic proportion. Arpaio might pull of the rarest of political feats: getting those who dislike him to vote for him. One could call it the ‘good riddance factor.’
Eventually even those who protest him regularly might realize that the best thing that ever could happen to Maricopa County and its residents might be for Arpaio to run and win the race for Sen. Jon Kyl’s retiring seat.
It doesn’t seem like a rational thought for those who don’t like Arpaio to favor electing him to a higher office. But this is a maddening convergence of the metaphysical political universe. If Arpaio’s opponents really want him out as sheriff, Washington, D.C. might be the perfect solution. Where else could he go to be totally neutered?
Want the crime sweeps to end? Elect Arpaio to the Senate. Want bickering and wasting of a boat-load of cash to end? Elect Arpaio to the Senate.
The list could go on and on. If he is elected, he goes. It is as simple as that.
Most of his controversial programs will disappear initially because whomever fills that office after he leaves will not have the political muscle to keep it going. It took years for Arpaio’s sheriff’s office to become the well-oiled political machine that it is today.
Sure, some of the sheriff’s opponents might worry about providing him with the power of a U.S. Senator, but if one looks deeper, he would merely be neutralized. If Arpaio would become a U.S. Senator, he would merely be one of 100. And, since he would be replacing Sen. Kyl, who was one of the most party-minded senators of the past decade, his impact would be negligible. A republican party-line vote is a republican party-line vote. It doesn’t matter if that vote is recorded as coming from Kyl or Arpaio.
As Maricopa County Sheriff, on the other hand, he is the leader of one of the largest police forces in the state that answers to no one (at least, that is what the sheriff thinks.) A U.S. Senator might have power, but no one is more powerful in Maricopa County than Sheriff Joe. Just ask him.
That attitude does not fly in the Senate. He pulls all that bravado while a sitting U.S. Senator and he will get persecuted — and may be prosecuted— or worse. Starting a senatorial career at his age is a bit of a folly as well. If he wins the seat, he might be able to manage a committee chairmanship when he is 90.
Actually, those who love “Sheriff Joe” might actually want him to just stay where he is. If he traipses off to Washington, D.C., crime might run rampant, pillaging could result. Dogs and cats might even begin living together.
OK, so maybe it won’t be as bad as Bill Murray mused in Ghostbusters, but if Arpaio is the true savior for peace and order in the county, imagine what might happen if he was gone.
So if his election might be best for those who oppose him as Sheriff, why would he think it is a good idea? Well, does anyone think most of his problems with the Board of Supervisors and the Department of Justice might be a bit deflated by the force of his new senatorial office?
Maybe, too, it might be a good time for him to go a different direction because he has lost most of his local cronies in the recent purge thanks to the multitude of investigations that have hounded him for half a decade. His act is getting old and maybe he knows it.
Or, maybe he knows that he too, is getting old. He will turn 79 in June.
And maybe, just maybe, Arpaio knows that getting elected to the Senate might just be the best retirement package anyone ever got.
He’s got my vote. Arpaio for Senate in 2012.