Thursday, January 11, 2018


Joe Arpaio has announced that he's running for Senate in Arizona. After his announcement, he was quickly invited to do an interview on Fox & Friends that was about as hard-hitting as you'd expect:
These are the weakest interview questions you'll ever see....

Here are some of the verbatim questions that the folks at Fox and Friends elected to ask Arpaio....

1. “At 85, why do you want to do this?”

2. "How would you like to respond to Senator Flake"?

3. "With your long career as a sheriff, what part of that experience would be helpful in the U.S. Senate?"

4. "Do you think you would be using [your] experience—that it would be helpful to drain the swamp?"

5. "During the commercial, you said Donald Trump was a heroic figure to you, and he wants to drain the swamp. If you were in the Senate, would you do that as well?"
And as News Hounds notes, host Steve Doocy addressed Arpaio as if he'd already been elected:
After Doocy gave Arpaio an opening, which he took, to attack current (and retiring) Sen. Jeff Flake, Doocy closed the interview by saying enthusiastically, “Well, I tell you what: nobody’s got better name recognition down in Arizona than Senator Joe Arpaio.”

Yes, Doocy inadvertently spoke of Arpaio as though he were already a member of the U.S. Senate.

Watch the Freudian slip below....

But it wasn't just the right-wing media covering Arpaio. There he was on CNN last night:
Disgraced sheriff Joe Arpaio, just one day after announcing his bid for Senate, doubled down on claims that former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is “phony.”

In a Wednesday night interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN, Arpaio said there was “no doubt” Obama’s birth certificate is fake.

“We have the evidence,” he said. “I’m not going to go into all the details. It’s a phony document.”
And he was on NPR this morning -- arguing, among other things, that allowing Dreamers to stay in America rather than deporting them to dangerous countries they don't know is like forcing foreign countries to accept citizens of dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago:
But asked about the risks many could face going back to dangerous countries, places some of these DACA recipients have never been or where they don't speak the language, Arpaio pushed back.

"We have danger here, so should we deport all the people in Chicago with all the shooting and murder?" Arpaio asked. "If they want to get out and go to another country, should the other countries welcome them? I don't think they would."
As I type this, the Arpaio announcement and interview are the lead story at

As I pointed out on Tuesday, only 21% of Arizonans approve of President Trump's pardon of Arpaio, while half disapprove. Arpaio lost by double digits in his last race in Maricopa County, where Trump won. But on the right he may be seen as a hero/martyr now that he's out of office, and now that Trump has portrayed his conviction as an Obama-era frame-up -- a new poll shows he's in a statistical dead heat with the GOP establishment's preferred candidate for Jeff Flake's seat, Martha McSally, and he's beating the woman who used to be the talk radio crowd's preferred candidate, Kelli Ward. The poll shows that he'll shoot into the lead for the Republican nomination if Trump endorses him.

This is a valid point:

How much TV coverage waill Arpaio get relative to other candidates, both Republican and Democratic?

How did Trump win the presidency? He was helped immeasurably by the hours and hours of coverage he got on cable news, particularly CNN. And what was cable's excuse for the saturation coverage of Trump? That he's great television.

Well, an Arpaio interview is great television, too. So will he get a disproportionate share of the media attention, just like Trump, and not just on Fox (which will go into "no enemies on the right" mode and favor him over other Republican candidates), but on non-conservative outlets, national and local?

I still don't think this will be enough to make him the general election winner in Arizona. But it really might be enough to give him the primary win. And although the wind is at the Democrats' back in 2018, after 2016 I wouldn't make any large bets on the general. Even with Arpaio as a candidate, I wouldn't bet the house on Democrats in Arizona, a state where the "emerging Democratic majority" is always just about to emerge, but never quite does.

No comments: