We conservatives in Wisconsin, especially in S.E. Wisconsin have had the distinct pleasure of watching Sheriff David A. Clarke become more a national presence than simply a county or state presence since he took office by appointment in 2002. He obviously has been re-elected at each opportunity since that appointment and runs as a Democrat given the political make-up of Milwaukee County. That has to drive the liberal Democrats nuts since he is not the stereotypical Democrat.
Sheriff Clarke casts quite a shadow. He infuriates people who seem to think that a black conservative is an anomaly that cannot be tolerated. Those people have a tendency to be liberals and those liberals who are also black seem especially intolerant of Sheriff Clarke apparently since he has strayed from the ‘reservation’ they occupy and cherish.
I have mentioned a chance meeting of the Sheriff in Washington, D.C. some years ago and my impression that he was a very real, very caring, very comfortable-in-self human being who knew how to smile and exchange small talk with a fellow Wisconsinite even though one not able to cast a vote for him in Milwaukee County.
Since that chance meeting, I have followed the Sheriff closely. I have to say that he has impressed me at every turn. There is not a single episode in his tour of duty as the Sheriff that I had to cringe over as a fellow conservative. Clarke is the genuine article and the nation is coming to understand that he is the real thing. He is not a Sheriff Joe Arpaio imitation although it is tempting to think of him in that context; he is his own man.
Sheriff Clarke has developed a national presence especially among those of the conservative persuasion. He has honed his speaking skills, he calls it as he sees it, and is a popular person for those bookings by national conservative groups.
In short, this guy is the real deal and you will hear more and more about him unless I miss my guess. I have no idea if he has a plan, but it sure seems he is working a ‘plan’. He is building on his national presence. He is a very real and identifiable black conservative, and that has to drive some people nuts. I do not have any inside information, but I’ll not be surprised to see this man running for statewide or national office in my lifetime. He is 60 years old and I cannot believe he’ll be satisfied to stay as the Sheriff of Milwaukee County although that seems to be his if he wants it. Whatever he decides to go for, I’ll be a supporter.