I've known Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke since before he ran for office and I've always found him a little bit of an enigma.
He runs as a Democrat but is clearly a Republican. And his combative style, with supervisors, the county executive, his officers, the police chief and just about anyone else who crosses him is legend.
I have now finally figured him out.
Sheriff Clarke is really The Marlboro Man.
You know the cigarette icon who was stoic, tough, a man's man, ready to ride his steed into any battle that needed to be fought? That's Clarke.
I was watching a local television news channel this week (which is a rare occurrence in itself because local news channel is an oxymoron) and they were covering an event where Clarke was present.
My jaw dropped when I saw him. Instead of his crisp sheriff's uniform he was wearing a white cowboy hat and cowboy boots. He had on a tight red T-shirt and blue jeans with a silver belt buckle about the size of your average dinner plate. He had a black gun on his hip and a grim look on his face.
If I didn't know better, I'd think that here was a guy wandering the streets looking for the OK corral. I think cowboy hats and big belt buckles ought to be outlawed for sheriff's as well as accountants, retail salesmen, bus drivers and school teachers.
But our very own Marlboro man isn't about to change.