Amazing, just amazing how our septuagenarian (soon to be octogenarian) sheriff plays the media -- both national and local -- like a two-bit plastic ocarina.
Well, usually, his handlers do it for him. In this case, it was Chad Willems of Summit Consulting Group, the sleaze who cooked up the anti-Rick Romley ads and got Joe's new bath sponge, Bill Montgomery, past Romley in the GOP primary for Maricopa County Attorney.
Seems Willems played the role usually assigned to Joe's chief shill Lisa Allen, and planted this notion in the head of some schmuck from CNN: That an Arpaio trip to New Hampshire signaled his interest in running for the highest office in the land in 2012.
The blog item by CNN "senior political editor" Mark Preston, reads thus,
Chad Willems, Arpaio's political adviser, said that the sheriff is "not going back to test the waters," but did acknowledge that "People just don't go to New Hampshire if they are not interested in these things."
Willems went on to highlight Arpaio's ability to raise money, the fact that he is often sought out by the national media and "is well known throughout the country."
"He enjoys being sheriff, but he has been asked by and urged by so many people, thousands of people call and write or email him each week saying, 'Run for president, run for president,' " Willems said.
You know, I found the Hope Diamond in a Cracker Jack box the other day. Reckon I could sell it to Mark Preston for fifty bucks?
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Preston does mention that Arpaio "passed on running for governor earlier this year." But he doesn't do the calculus. Nor does he note that over the decades, Arpaio has toyed with running for governor election cycle after election cycle, with the media speculation inflating his head to the size of one of those Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloons.
That is, until Joe deflates this speculation with the inevitable statement declining to seek the office.
And so once more, with all the fake coyness of an aged divorcée on the make, Arpaio and his minions float his name for a candidacy the hapless alter kocker has no intention of pursuing. All because the jefe likes to see his name scribbled in news articles, typed up online, and bandied about on the TeeVee.
And the hacks in the media? They follow his decrepit lead. Sometimes I think they have less imagination than Arpaio himself.