Arizona’s fiery Sheriff Joe Arpaio has chosen his candidate for 2012, and it’s Rick Perry. The self-styled “America’s Toughest Sheriff” will endorse the Texas governor next week, a source confirms to ABC News and NBC News. Perry has reportedly spoken by phone with the illegal immigration hardliner since entering the race. Arpaio will campaign with Perry in New Hampshire next week, the source says.
ABC News calls his endorsement “much sought after,” and notes that Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney also courted him. But in the Atlantic, Andrew Cohen wonders, “Why would anyone want Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s endorsement?” The fact that the candidates competed for Arpaio “is just one of the many mind-bending absurdities of the 2012 race.” Sure, the sheriff is nationally known, “but he's made a terrible mess of his own job in Maricopa County, which is littered with litigation over his policies and practices.” (Read more Joe Arpaio stories.)