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The Fallout from Sanford's South American Adventure

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Updated 3:40 p.m.
By Dan Balz
For Mark Sanford, the summer adventure to Argentina -- no, he was not on the Appalachian Trail as his aides incorrectly told reporters -- is now a major personal embarrassment, a story of infidelity and confession that has become all too familiar from political leaders.

But it is more than personal. For a Republican Party down on its luck, Sanford's mysterious trip and subsequent apology to everyone he could think of draws more unwelcome publicity to a party that needs but can't seem to get any good news.

The enterprising State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., cracked the case of Sanford's whereabouts by staking out the Atlanta airport, where one of the paper's reporters found the absent governor upon his return to the United States. After days of misinformation, the real story of his whereabouts is out.

"I wanted to do something exotic," he told the State newspaper Wednesday morning upon his return from Argentina. When the full story came out, he was not so flippant. "I've let a lot of people down," he told a packed press conference in Columbia in the afternoon.

Put aside what Sanford's wife and family knew. That is a between husband and wife. Whatever his wife or friends knew, it was a serious mistake in judgment for the leader of the state to simply drop out of sight for nearly a week.

It is also a major problem that he suggested to his staff that he planned to hike the Appalachian Trail while on his unreported absence, rather than telling them the truth about his whereabouts. And it was a serious oversight on his -- and his staff's -- part not to inform other relevant state officials that he was away. Even worse, no one had accurate information about the governor's absence when questions arose.

Sanford is a bright and independent-minded politician, which is one reason he has been touted by some Republicans as a possible presidential candidate in 2012 -- or at least has been until this week. Those dreams are likely over.

Sanford had endeared himself to conservatives by being one of a handful of Republican governors to object to Obama's stimulus and resist accepting all of the money. But he has not been a consensus builder and, say those who know, has left his party in turmoil in South Carolina with the way he has governed.

Sanford has a penchant for speaking candidly and openly about problems facing his state and the country. Upon his arrival Wednesday morning, he expressed surprise that so much has been made of his absence, and that may be an honest expression of his personal views. But as the governor of a state, he certainly knew better than to ask why this became a story. The blogs and comics were having a field day even before he admitted to the affair.

Perhaps he never really harbored serious thoughts of running for president, although there are some Republicans who say he was looking seriously at a 2012 bid. But given his personal situation, he should have known the odds against it were huge.

Presidential campaigns test more than a politician's knowledge of issues or familiarity with the world or political acuity. They reveal character and personality and, perhaps above all, judgment and dependability. Even without the affair, Sanford's governing style and penchant for going it alone would have made it hard to succeed through the rigors of a long presidential campaign without voters wondering whether he is reliable enough and trustworthy enough to lead their party or the country.

For Republicans, the long winter and spring continues. The embarrassments keep coming, as one after another of the GOP bright prospects has stumbled. Sanford's troubles come a week after another nascent 2012 prospect, Nevada Sen. John Ensign, confessed to an extramarital affair with a staffer who was married to another Ensign staffer.

Others mentioned as possible 2012 candidates have had other difficulties. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, still one of the most charismatic politicians in her party, has raised questions among GOP officials about her reliability and political sensibilities. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, one of the brightest young minds in the party, took on water with his performance in delivering the Republican response to Obama's joint session speech to Congress last winter.

Some prospective younger leaders of the party have simply stepped aside. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman chose to accept Obama's offer to become U.S. ambassador to China rather than help guide his party to a brighter future -- although he has plenty of time after that assignment to do so, should he choose.

Republicans have been trying to develop a more effective response to Obama and the Democrats, but polls show they have made little progress since the election. The latest Post-ABC News survey found Republicans lower in favorability than at any point since the early 1990s.

Every step forward has been matched by an embarrassment that has slowed the Republican recovery. Sanford's exotic getaway is the latest, a personal problem that he must still explain to the voters of his state, and another setback for the beleaguered GOP.

Posted at 12:59 PM ET on Jun 24, 2009  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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Mark Sanford and "Maria" what a wonderful love story ... His marriage is over ... now comes the movie. Those emails were deep!!

Posted by: amitchel | June 25, 2009 5:04 PM

Our answer to the Republican woes - Jeb Bush

Posted by: amitchel | June 25, 2009 5:02 PM

Here (and elsewhere) there is the spin attempt of "They didn't beat up Clinton (or other Democrat) like this (or other GOP affair). That's both wrong and beside the point. First, Edwards, Blagojevich, Spitzer, et al were hammmered - those in office resigned. Clinton only survived because it was clear Starr and the GOP were going to do whatever they could to bring him down against the majority's wishes. If the Clinton/Lewinsky affair hadn't come after years (and millions) spent in right-wing witch hunts, public opinion probably would have been different.

More importantly, however, the Democratic Party aren't the ones self-righteously claiming to be the bulwark in defense of marriage against the "assault" of same-sex couples. When you consider the marriage track records of GOP champions (Reagan, Dole, Gingrich, Limbaugh, etc...), actions such as Ensign, Sanford, et al just add further evidence to charges of hypocrisy and Republican political gamesmanship.

Posted by: LeprechaunAngst | June 25, 2009 1:00 PM

Aprogressiveindependent: The media is being hypocritical because they gave a free pass to Clinton and none to Sanford?

You don't get it. For their sexual indiscretions, they both get free passes. Someone comes to me and admits sexual indiscretions, I'll forgive them every time.

But when that same person has condemned others for the same thing, even voting to impeach Clinton when he knew it would not pass in the Senate, well that is downright cruelty. There was no willingness to forgive Clinton on Sanford's part, so why on earth would anyone be expected to forgive Sanford?

I might even mention a little story about a man who owed a large amount of money (33 million) to a creditor. But that creditor was willing to forgive the debt and did so. But then the man who had his great debt forgiven, turned around and demanded the small amount ($60.00) that another owed him. Rightly so, the one who had been forgiven so much but who refused to do the same for those who owed him little, was condemned for his hypocrisy.

Moral: If you expect to be forgiven for your own indiscretions, you'd darn well better be ready to forgive others.

Since Sanford was unable to forgive Clinton, but instead jumped on the condemnation bandwagon, should we now expect that he himself should be forgiven?

If Sanford admits that he has been a true hypocrite and begs forgiveness for the actions he took against Clinton and admits that he made very bad decisions in that case, then I'd be willing to give him a second chance.

But, generally speaking, Republicans would never be that humble.

The "little story" above by Jesus.

Posted by: aloliver | June 25, 2009 11:40 AM

If Sanford had not presented himself at all times as a good, christian, above board individual, it would not be as funny as this situation is..... He deserves to be booted out of office and exciled to South America permanently. Just get rid of these rotten, oozing, hipocrits. It is discusting to see him whine and cry. Simply put, he is a liar and apparently has been for YEARS.

Posted by: watching2 | June 25, 2009 10:41 AM

Didn't the Republicans outlaw overseas sex trips ???

Posted by: JoeNTx | June 25, 2009 3:11 AM

Didn't the Replublicans outlaw overseas sex trips?

Posted by: JoeNTx | June 25, 2009 3:09 AM

miniere --

You are absolutely right, and on behalf of myself and all of the other mental pygmies who presumed to post on this subject, please accept my humblest apology for my, and our, failure to live up to your high standards. And please try to understand: a mighty intellectual titan like yourself will always have to contend with lesser beings. It is not fair, but that is life.
At least you can take some comfort in realizing how much others have learned from you.

If I were you, I would not condescend to waste such brilliance on a mere blog. Your refusal to submit any further posts would be a salutary and well-deserved lesson for the rest of us.

Posted by: lydgate | June 24, 2009 10:52 PM

Can we just get over the phony moralizing from all sides?

Nobody needs to defend or cheer for what he's done. The dude got caught with his jewels in his zipper. But it's only up to the elected representatives of South Carolina and the voters there to decide if he can get their work done.

I already had an opinion on whether he's entitled to public service - based on his idiotic politics. But if the people of SC judge that he's the best they can do for themselves they can have him.

If he does get slimed out of office it's thanks to people like SC Senator Lindsay Graham who worked so hard to make Bill Clinton pay dearly for a lesser mistake.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 24, 2009 10:15 PM

I just love the way so many people get together to beat others up and find such bliss and joy in taking cheap shots and making so much over a persons personal failings. There must some psychological definition in the books about such behavior. It's like a hanging in the old west.

I don't care what political persuasion one may be,cause, ... I just don't get it.

So many people pretend their better, smarter or brighter and if you will, more holier than the other. I do tend believe they are probably bigger hypocrites than those who they point fingers at. Some of these posts a so wrong...frankly it makes me sick there are so many people who enjoy cheering for ideals of a hanging crowd.

Posted by: marsca1 | June 24, 2009 8:49 PM

" I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.

Ghandi.

To the pathetic GOP, stop your hypocritical "family values" bull...t, you are full of it, you are no better than the rest of us !!

Posted by: jacaver | June 24, 2009 7:27 PM

The most important thing learned today is that this man is unfit to serve. This confirmed my suspicion based on his refusal to accept bailout funds in the absence of wide spread support for the idea by other governors.

His thinking is not clear at this time and he should step down as governor. If he does not then he should be impeached on the basis of being unfit to serve. I feel for the emotional state that led to this behavior but it is not behavior that a man with this level of responsibility can indulge in.

Whether he is a hypocrite or not is immaterial. He has a temporary state of unsound judgement and needs to seek less demanding employment until he can sort out his conflicted state of mind.


Posted by: Gator-ron | June 24, 2009 6:44 PM

I would not mind in the least if the Republican party went the way of the Federalist and Whig parties. How ironic and unfortunate a party founded on human rights principles, strong opposition to the spread of slavery and moral condemnation of slavery, has evolved into a party subservient to corporate interests, intolerant fundamentalists and bellicose neo-cons.

However, the current media obsession with the private sex lives of some noted Republican politicians is very trivial and hypocritical. The media basically gave Bill Clinton a free pass on this issue in 1992 and during the impeachment proceedings. Yet they dismiss any future high national office for Republicans having affairs.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 24, 2009 6:40 PM

Personally, I don't give a flying fig whether politicians have affairs, as long as it doesn't affect their job performance.

If the Republican Party could get over their "moral" superiority over the "immoral liberal" Dems, they might be more viable today.

Affairs are part of people's personal lives, not their professional ones. This of course applies only if they keep it personal. When taxpayer money is involved, as in favors and deals, it DOES become a public matter.

Hypocrisy is what's killing the "righteous" right.

Leaving the country without telling the chain of command is the primary mistake of Sanford. The affair is his wife's to deal with.

Posted by: nuanceisnecessary | June 24, 2009 6:24 PM

miniere | June 24, 2009 5:18 PM wrote:
“…If you’re going to post, post something worth reading”

Soooo What was worth reading in your June 24, 2009 4:21 PM posting?

One again it's the hypocrisy from the sermonizing crowd.

Posted by: knjincvc | June 24, 2009 6:07 PM

Just another gold old boy republican "Christian" The hypocrisy oozes out of these slimebags like pus.

Posted by: Pearl77 | June 24, 2009 6:04 PM

chantooz: I'll believe his repentance is real when he points out specifically what a monumental hypocrite he actually is, steps down from office for the rest of his life (and that includes lobbying and working the legal end of political issues), admits that he is not fit to handle such things, and points out how unbelievably lame and wrong it is for politicians, all of 'em, to hint that they are on the moral high ground because they are on "God's side".

They wouldn't know "God's side" if it T-boned 'em on an Argentinian coastline road.

Posted by: aloliver | June 24, 2009 6:02 PM

Isn't there anybody on here with any intellect or objectivity for analysis? Besides my earlier post and a few others nobody seems to have anything to offer but cheap shots and sarcasm. Cheap shots are for the small minded. If you’re going to post, post something worth reading (see my earlier post that has been covered up by drivel).

Posted by: miniere | June 24, 2009 5:18 PM

================

I had some trouble figuring out what you about your post that you thought was analytical.

It seems pretty naive to me. You mention the Founding Fathers. Jefferson was almost certainly having his way with Sally Hemmings [if you think it could have been some close male relative of Jefferson that pretty much makes Thomas the family pimp. Alexander Hamilton had an affair with a married woman and Congress made him Secretary of State. And I'll bet a sizable bet that Ben Franklin had more women than Bill Clinton ever dreamed of.

So it seems to me that you've been living in some sort of a fantasy world thinking that politicians of any era are of some higher moral standard than the common people. Get a grip. People of wealth, people of power have an edge over the little people in getting a little on the side. It's always been that way and it will always be that way. It doesn't matter whether the man is holding that Bible high like Ted Haggart or Swaggert or Jim and Tammy Baker.

Just because he says "Praise the Lord" doesn't mean he wouldn't bang your wife, [or maybe your son] at the first opportunity. Get a grip.

What you see as drivel, is just a group of people chuckling over what we knew was there all along. You're just behind in the learning curve.

Posted by: James10 | June 24, 2009 5:36 PM

Bipolar disorder is a real possibility.
Not a joke. This event is way too round the bend irrational. That press conference was bizarre. The messianic religiosity (read: grandiose), the loose associations, the relentless references to emotional overload.

We see this in my business a lot and it is readily treated. On the other hand, he may just be a "conservative" version of Edwards.

We will know soon enough, the rest of the story will soon be told.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 24, 2009 5:29 PM

You know miniere, in the political realm, when you've earned cheap shots, you're mostly likely gonna have to take 'em.

May as well learn that now. It ain't gonna change.

Posted by: aloliver | June 24, 2009 5:25 PM

Posted by: aloliver:

You see dummypants, you just not getting it It's not that Democrats don't cheat on their wives as much as Republicans, though I think the GOP has taken a commanding lead.

But the point is that Republicans are much better known for taking the holier-than-thou position, aligning with the Religious Right, and preaching "my way or the highway", "love it or leave it", "proud to be an American" rhetoric. ....

=========

For whatever reason conservatives aren't bothered by hypocrisy. Maybe because there is no commandment:

Thou Shalt Not be a Hypocrite.

Perhaps if they understood that fell under:

"Thou shall not bear false witness." ....

Wait a minute. That's it. I've got it now.

It's in Matthew 19:18 that Jesus says 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, ...

Which is the lying, hypocrite thing issue. But they're operating from Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

That's it. The commandment says don't lie about you're neighbor. Lying about yourself [hypocrite] isn't covered in Exodus 20.

Hypocrisy is OK.

Praise the Lord. Amen.

Posted by: James10 | June 24, 2009 5:22 PM

Okay, okay, so he shouldn't have gone AWOL. But this doesn't look like the usual cynical pol having an affair out of a sense of entitlement. This guy apparently had the misfortune to fall in love with a woman other than his wife while being governor of a state. He looks utterly wretched. His struggle to master his heart is palpable. I wish him and his family all the best.

Posted by: chantooz | June 24, 2009 5:20 PM

Isn't there anybody on here with any intellect or objectivity for analysis? Besides my earlier post and a few others nobody seems to have anything to offer but cheap shots and sarcasm. Cheap shots are for the small minded. If you’re going to post, post something worth reading (see my earlier post that has been covered up by drivel).

Posted by: miniere | June 24, 2009 5:18 PM

He'll have to talk to HR to see if he qualifies for the Family Medical Leave Act.
That way he can get paid by all the people who voted for him for the time he took off from work, the better to cry with his dear friend in Buenos Aires.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 24, 2009 5:17 PM

There is a simple solution. If they worked regular hours for the good of their state and this country, their play time would be curtailed.What are we paying for and will they take their next cost of living?
Not sad, not surprising, not disappointing, just disgusting.
Gee, I always wanted to walk the Appalacian Trail, but my husband was at sea and no baby sitters.

Posted by: oldanddisgusted | June 24, 2009 5:14 PM

"Of course, if Oboobma managed to pull off a stunt like this, the media would be cooing that he's S-E-W K-E-W-L."

Uh, I don't think so ...

Posted by: crm1951 | June 24, 2009 4:13 PM

******
Who is Oboobma, you're Daddy? And what is SEWKEWL?
Why aren't you in some daycamp or summer school? Does your Mother know you're on an adult blob board? You're obviously too damn young to be reading this stuff.

Posted by: papafritz57 | June 24, 2009 5:13 PM

As a conservative I am more outraged by this admission then I have been by any past political blunder I can remember. What an idiot!!! A junior senator couldn't get away with a scheme like this much less the most high profile governor in the union!!! All he did is give his party a black-eye (or two, they already had one healing), and discredited himself. With all these degenerate politicians on both sides sneaking, lying, and cheating it amazes me that people (like the liberals chiming in on this) want to give these people more power. Now who's the idiot? Give the power to the people and away from these narcissists! Our founders were wise enough to know that people are flawed and that power corrupts. Wake up people!!! On both sides and the middle :-(

Posted by: miniere | June 24, 2009 4:57 PM

==============

I'm in the enviable position of being unaffiliated. I highly recommend it. Having a party affiliation is like saying you hang our with pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. Expect the pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers don't claim to have "family values". They tell it like it is.

miniere, you have every right to fly to Argentina and get whatever you can. You should be careful not to bring anything back. I don't see getting rid of governors as anything likely in the near future ...

Posted by: James10 | June 24, 2009 5:12 PM

You see dummypants, you just not getting it It's not that Democrats don't cheat on their wives as much as Republicans, though I think the GOP has taken a commanding lead.

But the point is that Republicans are much better known for taking the holier-than-thou position, aligning with the Religious Right, and preaching "my way or the highway", "love it or leave it", "proud to be an American" rhetoric. Kinda of a hidden KKK, whitey knows best, red-neck, fire and brimstone message that purports that they are somehow closer to God and that God's message is being disseminated through the Republican party. Basically, they claim, much more so than democrats, that they are "on God's side".

But then their leaders regularly get caught with their hand in the "cookie jar", so to speak. See the hypocrisy? Do you get it now?

Know what? A democrat is gonna get caught doing the same thing, probably sooner than later. But then chances are that he will never have intimated to be "God's messenger" or to be doing "God's will", at least not as much as Republicans do. (Of course, Republicans usually don't outright claim that, but the underlying message is there)

See, if you take that road and condemn everyone who isn't on that road, you darn well better be living up to it yourself. Otherwise, the have become the true definition of hypocrite, and I giggle.

And may I add that I am neither Republican or Democrat, but I do enjoy the show.

Posted by: aloliver | June 24, 2009 5:12 PM

So, he cried for four days, re this with,' her.'

What about her husband and two sons? His wife and 4 sons? ..
and their extended families.. once proud to be related... now ?!?

So back to Church, the fasc-evagelist 'God' forgives Republicans anything (except being gay, of course.)

Posted by: LOrion | June 24, 2009 5:09 PM

A South American adventure? Isn't it more like a South American sex trip, instead?

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | June 24, 2009 5:07 PM

marSF wrote: I finally watched that press conference. This guy appears to be as dumb as a bag of rocks.

=================

Shhh. Not so loud. You're correct, but that's considered "above average" in South Carolina.

Posted by: James10 | June 24, 2009 5:05 PM

Maybe his staff misheard him, he said that he was going to "hike" the Argentina Trail not Appalachian Trail not the

I just read in the NYT article, he spent "five days of my life crying in Argentina." I'm SURE that's all he did whilst he was there.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | June 24, 2009 5:03 PM

I finally watched that press conference. This guy appears to be as dumb as a bag of rocks.

Posted by: marSF | June 24, 2009 5:00 PM

Argentina, Appalachia--it's easy enough to confuse the two.

These guys make the jobs of late night TV comedy writers too easy. "Hiking the Appalachian Trail"? That's as good as Larry Craig's "wide stance." They should convene a panel of former affair admitters (easy to make that bi-partisan)--Gingrich, Livingston, Clinton, Kennedy, Edwards, etc.--to weigh in on this latest. And the tears? That ups the ante for future affair admitters. Now they'll have to rain too. Don't make the mistake of falling for the tears. Actors of both genders can make them flow at will. What's delicous though are the details of this guy's affair: that a state governor went incommunicado to his staff, colleagues, and family with a vague excuse of hiking and then hopped a flight to be with his Argentinian "dear friend." Dear indeed. Don't cry for him Argentina. His wife said he'd gone away to write. Did he tell her that lie? And he said he'd spent the last five days in Argentina crying. Why jeopardize your career to be with your lover and then spend the time with her crying? If he did that she'd be glad to see him go. I wonder if the couple followed the news about him while they snuggled in bed. Now the mistress'es life will be hell. What comedy.

Posted by: aguy7 | June 24, 2009 4:59 PM

As a conservative I am more outraged by this admission then I have been by any past political blunder I can remember. What an idiot!!! A junior senator couldn't get away with a scheme like this much less the most high profile governor in the union!!! All he did is give his party a black-eye (or two, they already had one healing), and discredited himself. With all these degenerate politicians on both sides sneaking, lying, and cheating it amazes me that people (like the liberals chiming in on this) want to give these people more power. Now who's the idiot? Give the power to the people and away from these narcissists! Our founders were wise enough to know that people are flawed and that power corrupts. Wake up people!!! On both sides and the middle :-(

Posted by: miniere | June 24, 2009 4:57 PM

Posted by: D2Boston | June 24, 2009 1:48 PM
"..I suppose what makes this story so incredibly exciting for the press is that here in Sanford, we have a public official who decides to "go" somewhere without a media circle-jerk unlike our president.Yawn."

Yeah, when you lie to you constituents, wife (I bet she knew), security detail and the entire staff you sure as HECK don't invite the media along to visit a girl friend.

Posted by: knjincvc | June 24, 2009 4:56 PM

Posted by: dt72 | June 24, 2009 4:14 PM
"...Have you forgotten President Clinton, John Edwards, McGreevey, Spitzer, just to name a few...? or does hypocrisy not apply to Democrats? ...."

Hypocrisy applies to everyone especially those who champion family values.

Bill Clinton was impeached, Spitzer resigned, Edwards was not holding public office and had lost his presidential bid, McCreevey resigned and Mark Foley resigned.

Vitter, Ensign, mayor Newsom,when are they going to do the right thing and resign?

Posted by: knjincvc | June 24, 2009 4:52 PM

He went for some pampering on the Pampas. Now the press has him by the bolos.

Posted by: dobiaslaw | June 24, 2009 4:42 PM

I'm a 57 year old man and I can't stop giggling. From the Appalachian Trail, to the Argentinian coastline, to infinity and beyond!

And it's not so much that he did what he did (as bad as that was-especially for his family), but it is that the elected officials of the GOP have, once again, undeniably proven that they have supremely duped the people who voted for them. Just as Rove stole the two W elections by lies, smears, whispering campaigns, etc., so the GOP contenders, like TV evangelists, take advantage of the gullibility, prejudices, and ignorance of so many.

Yeah, it's a way one can go. But the consequences can be rather harsh, eh Sanford?

Posted by: aloliver | June 24, 2009 4:42 PM

THIS FORUM IS ENTITLED "44: THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY" wHAT DOES SANFORD, OR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S CHANCES IN 2012, HAVE TO DO WITH THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY? IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE 2012 CAMPAIGN, CALL THIS BLOG "2012".

Posted by: chatard | June 24, 2009 4:37 PM

Spitzer RESIGNED. Edwards is not in office! Clinton got put through the freaking wringer at a huge cost to taxpayers, for what? Was it any worse than what the Grand Old Pervert Party has done?

Last time I checked David "I pay hookers to make me wear diapers" Vitter, Larry "toe tapper" Craig and Good Christian Cad Ensign were still in office.

Posted by: marSF | June 24, 2009 4:35 PM

ha! i like this guy's style!

now all the dems who skewered those who went after clinton will go after sanford.

can you say HYPOCRITE???

they'll also try to connect this to republican opposition to gay marriage (nevermind democratic opposition to gay marriage) as if the two are somehow connected.

Posted by: dummypants | June 24, 2009 4:31 PM

Yes DT72, you can name Democratic politicians who have has affairs but Democrats don't run on a Fundamentalist Christian Platform that seems more concerned with what everybody does with their reproductive organs than with actual competent governing.

If Ensign and Sanford had spent less time bible-thumping and judging others then believe me, Progressives would not pay that much attention to their marital woes.

It's the hypocrisy, stupid."

Posted by: marSF | June 24, 2009 4:28 PM

Once again, the party of the "Moral Majority" is proven to be the

party of "Moral Hypocrites"

No wonder no one wants to be associated with the GOP anymore

Posted by: bobnsri | June 24, 2009 4:27 PM

"Sanford is a bright and independent minded politician" - really, Dan, is that what you call someone who betrays his wife, children, employees and entire state?
If that's what you really think, then the Post needs to find a new political writer.

Posted by: gmcduluth | June 24, 2009 4:27 PM

I don't care about Dan Balz's Take!
I care about Jaked's take!

Hey Jaked... Kate and WHO are getting a divorce????????

Posted by: knjincvc | June 24, 2009 4:26 PM

An elected Governor has responsibilities toward the people who elected him, the very least of which is TO BE THERE. The people of his state should impeach him.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | June 24, 2009 4:21 PM

I as a Charleston, SC am shocked and appalled by this admission. I almost chocked on my lunch when I saw the headline. I knew the Appalachian Trail story was B.S. but I never expected this. It only goes to show you to put your faith in policy and principals and not in people, especially in politics. You libs out there are probably beaming right now.

Posted by: miniere | June 24, 2009 4:21 PM

re: Taylorsucram's comment, "The hypocrisy of the Republican Party knows no bounds."
Have you forgotten President Clinton, John Edwards, McGreevey, Spitzer, just to name a few...? or does hypocrisy not apply to Democrats? Seems to me both sides have their fair share of "debased, amoral hypocrites" who were elected to political office, Mr. Holier-Than-Thou.

Posted by: dt72 | June 24, 2009 4:14 PM

"Of course, if Oboobma managed to pull off a stunt like this, the media would be cooing that he's S-E-W K-E-W-L."

Uh, I don't think so ...

Posted by: crm1951 | June 24, 2009 4:13 PM

Will the first Family Values Republican who has not cheated on their spouse please call the Washington Post. I may try starting a new clothing line. Republican Pants, no zipper. Geez, these idiots never learn.

Posted by: Crapshooter102 | June 24, 2009 4:11 PM

Highly amusing that he's first hiking the Appalachian trail and writing, then he's in Argentina on an "exotic" vacation, then he's having an affair in Argentina.

I suspect there's even more. Is the woman married?

Is Sanford in love?

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | June 24, 2009 4:11 PM

Posted by: marSF | June 24, 2009 4:09 PM

Proof that Sanford was lying: nobody goes to Argentina in search of exotic anything;Argentina is not an exotic country.

Posted by: nepenthe | June 24, 2009 4:06 PM

Mark Sanford is neither has a Family nor any Values as of today! He should explore an affair with Jon from the Jon & Kate TV drama, now that she's free and available to anyone for a song.

Posted by: Nparry | June 24, 2009 3:59 PM

Sanford had a Dirty Little Secret:

http://tinyurl.com/aukh38

Posted by: caraprado1 | June 24, 2009 3:59 PM

It would be a real treat to see some humility and righteousness, instead of hubris and self-righteousness in our leaders. It seems that too much time and effort is invested in attempts to demonize
our fellow citizens and too little trying to move us all forward. That being said---it is an old saying--- "a nation(or a tribe) makes laws against the behavior they most fear in themselves". To err is human,to forgive,divine. Let's let Gov. Sanford make his peace with his family and constituents and hope for and end to the hypocrisy which weakens us all

Posted by: selver | June 24, 2009 3:53 PM

I rescind my previous defense of Sanford. I am disappointed by yet another politician.

Posted by: lkc356 | June 24, 2009 3:52 PM

Welcome to The Republican Sex Club, Gov. Sanford!

Posted by: patriot76 | June 24, 2009 3:49 PM

The hypocrisy of the Republican Party knows no bounds. From Rush(30-pill a day drug addict)Limbaugh,Jim(I have sinned)Bakker,Newt(3 marriages)Gingrich,Bill(sued for sexual harassment)O'Reilly, to Congressmen "David Vitter", "John Ensign","Mark Foley","Jeff Miller" and others. Why do the American people continue to allow these debased, amoral hypocrites the power of political office. Now we have Mr. Sanford, a man(?) who wants to be President of the United States running around on his wife while governor of one of the worst states in the union. One thing about my President Barack Obama, he know's his place, and that's in the White House taking care of Americas business and being with his children on "Fathers Day"........That's what I call FAMILY VALUES. The Republican Party cannot self-destruct fast enough for me.

Posted by: Taylorsucram | June 24, 2009 3:48 PM

So where is the moral majority. Where is Rush, Newt the hypocrite who has been there and done that, and the rest of the true believers?, the silence is deafening.. Sorry can't hear you.

Posted by: jbrubin | June 24, 2009 3:37 PM

He said he wanted to "do something exotic." And someone exotic, too, apparently.

bpai: You called it.

Posted by: mypitts2 | June 24, 2009 3:34 PM

"Another fine example of GOP family values, upholding the sanctity of marriage and most of all, protecting the children.

Classic."

Dale8: That was hilarious!

Posted by: aloliver | June 24, 2009 3:34 PM

The media in Argentina will have a field day finding out who the squeeze is.....figure we will all know by the weekend.....:-)

Posted by: toritto | June 24, 2009 3:32 PM

lonquest very well put thank you you are right on point.

Posted by: devilsadvoc8 | June 24, 2009 3:32 PM

I am $20 richer - Oh lawdy, you poor wingnuts!

Posted by: LABC | June 24, 2009 3:27 PM

"I am absolutely FLUMMOXED as to what the ISSUE is here. Seems like pettiness to deliberate over this.

Posted by: IIntgrty | June 24, 2009 2:37 PM"
----
The issue is it appears he was derelict of duty. A high-ranking public official cannot go AWOL like that, let alone not make for arrangements for someone (like the lieutenant Gov.) to be in charge in his absence.

Furthermore there was one lie after another about his whereabouts.

He is a member of the party that claims "family values" and he was a contender for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Is this the kind of behavior you'd want from your President?

Posted by: JRM2 | June 24, 2009 3:25 PM

If one of my employees disappeared for a week without any word about where they were going (or when they'd return), and their family/friends didn't know either, that person would be fired. I've had to do it. The man needs to be impeached. Good riddance. Where's JakeD at a time like this? ... Argentina?

Posted by: ninjagin | June 24, 2009 3:24 PM


President Obama MAY BE SECRETLY ADMIRING
the Sanford escape?

Dan Balz drags along the stupid bottom
of the pit. Knukles bouncing. Or hopefully it's just that he's senile.

Posted by: whistling | June 24, 2009 3:23 PM

"Not saying his actions were right but for all those that opposed pressing Clinton for similar actions, is it right to pursue Sanford?

Can we all (any party) stop electing people without morals?

Posted by: jim_maryland | June 24, 2009 2:49 PM"
------
On a personal level, yes, on a professional level, NO, he did not lie under oath like B. Clinton.

But I don't think I would vote for the man anyway.

Posted by: JRM2 | June 24, 2009 3:21 PM

"Sanford is a bright and independent-minded politician..." His Big Head may be bright, but he was only using his "Little Head."
.....
dollarwatcher wrote: "It is difficult for me to see how this really damages the Republican Party in any meaningful way."

I agree. They are already toast.

Posted by: dotellen | June 24, 2009 3:21 PM

Another fine example of GOP family values, upholding the sanctity of marriage and most of all, protecting the children.

Classic.

Posted by: Dale8 | June 24, 2009 3:21 PM


Good thing those scary scary gays haven't been allowed to destroy the sanctity of marriage, right?

What a sad state of injustice in America.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | June 24, 2009 3:11 PM

Is he a scumbag?

Is he insane?

Is he both?

What's wrong with our governors?

Posted by: andrew23boyle | June 24, 2009 3:08 PM

Just another holier than thou lying hypocrite.

You leave your wife and 4 sons on Father's Day to visit your squeeze for 5 days? They know about the other babe and you go off to Argentina anyway?

Geez.....

Posted by: toritto | June 24, 2009 3:06 PM

Hopefully Sanford's dear, dear friend wasn't employed by him.

I am surprised that CNN seems to be cutting him so much slack.

Posted by: jdcw | June 24, 2009 3:04 PM

Sanford said he spent his trip driving along the coast. So the governor spent seven days driving back and forth on the two miles of coastline accessible from Buenos Aires?

Posted by: TheDukeStir1 | June 24, 2009 1:40 PM
----------------------------------
Oh, we're well past that point. Sanford went down to BA to carry forward an affair that he's had going on for a year now.

Can we now, once and for all, dispense with the tired, lame myth of Republican moral superiority? Republicans no longer have a right to their presumption of an exclusive claim on "family values" when so many very senior Republicans clearly demonstrate that they really don't value their own families.

Let's cut Sanford a break. We're all just as imperfect as he's proven to be. He deserves a break; everybody does. I believe that he lives his family as much as any man, and that he turned to the other woman as a friend long before that friendship developed into something needy and physical.

Never again, though, should any politician get away with claiming God's on his side over a policy issue. We are a secular nation, and the churches have no authority to determine our public policy. Let this be the end of evangelical posturing being passed off as political debate.

Posted by: lonquest | June 24, 2009 2:57 PM

Of course, if Oboobma managed to pull off a stunt like this, the media would be cooing that he's S-E-W K-E-W-L.

Anyway, it wasn't a
"summer adventure to Argentina," but a winter one.

Posted by: zjr78xva | June 24, 2009 2:53 PM

I didn't watch the press conference. Was Sanford's tryst with a girlfriend, prostitute, or both?

Posted by: Renu1 | June 24, 2009 2:51 PM

Not saying his actions were right but for all those that opposed pressing Clinton for similar actions, is it right to pursue Sanford?

Can we all (any party) stop electing people without morals?

Posted by: jim_maryland | June 24, 2009 2:49 PM

I think the reason more conservatives have affairs is because they have sexually repressed marriages. They probably only do it in missionary position -- same bed, same time, same day of the month. So they get their rocks off with prostitutes, bimbo secretaries, desperate cleaning women, h*rny neighbors and Brazilian wh*res.

Posted by: Honest_Abe | June 24, 2009 2:47 PM

Think he met her at bible study class in D. C?

:-)

Posted by: toritto | June 24, 2009 2:47 PM

I am absolutely FLUMMOXED as to what the ISSUE is here. Seems like pettiness to deliberate over this.

Posted by: IIntgrty | June 24, 2009 2:37 PM
___
You're "flummoxed?" If the office janitor in my building did not show up for work for six days they'd be fired on the spot, as would any other employee here...including myself. In fact, I don't really know of a job out there where you can just take off for six days and come back without some heavy criticism and skepticism about your whereabouts.

Clearly, you and other Sanford apologists are homers for the Republican party like fans of a depleted sports franchise. That fandom is clouding your judgment regarding this overt and obvious problem.

Posted by: Grant_x | June 24, 2009 2:47 PM

And Balzy too, is your absurd notion that Sanford is suffering a "major personal embarrassment".
Posted by: Larryw21 | June 24, 2009 2:23 PM

...

You were saying, Larry?

Posted by: exerda | June 24, 2009 2:46 PM

RFLOL!!!

The next Repubican who is touted as a "Presidential Contender" should run and hide - if they don't shame on them. All of the "contenders" have ended up being duds.

Posted by: rlj611 | June 24, 2009 2:42 PM

Is there a politician who has never had an extra-marital affair? There's no such animal.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | June 24, 2009 2:42 PM

Where can a conservative go to find someone who can represent us?

Posted by: jdcw | June 24, 2009 2:41 PM

Sanford went there to get a sex change. He wanted to have his balls lop off since he doesn't need them anyway.

Posted by: jellybean1 | June 24, 2009 2:38 PM

I am absolutely FLUMMOXED as to what the ISSUE is here. Seems like pettiness to deliberate over this.

Posted by: IIntgrty | June 24, 2009 2:37 PM

This just keeps getting better and better.

Posted by: Grant_x | June 24, 2009 2:37 PM

Those who had "its another woman" in the office pool are the winners!

:-)

Posted by: toritto | June 24, 2009 2:36 PM

Another GOPer caught with their pants down!!! Family f'king values! -- HA! Losers!

Posted by: Honest_Abe | June 24, 2009 2:36 PM

OMG.... he DID go to Argentina to get laid.... no wonder the wife seemed so testy!

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | June 24, 2009 2:34 PM

CNY-DC
has to formally turn over the reins to the Lt. Governor AND he has to let people know where he is going and remain accessible. This is not too much to ask of an elected governor!

*Clap* *Clap* *Clap*

This has NOTHING to do with political affiliation, just with responsibility. Has someone checked the SC Constitution to see if there's any requirement re handing over the reins temporarily when the Governor's off-duty or out of commission?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 24, 2009 2:33 PM

Posted by: Larryw21 | June 24, 2009 2:23 PM "Be afraid, Balzy; be very afraid."

Sounds like a typical right wing nut job threat. Hopefully you don't follow through with it like your fellow idiots that murder abortion doctors and Holocaust Museum guards.

Posted by: gogmu012 | June 24, 2009 2:33 PM

It is difficult for me to see how this really damages the Republican Party in any meaningful way. I hardly think the Republican governor of one of the nation's most conservative states has the broad appeal necessary for a successful presidential run. Unless he was really looking forward to a run so he could secure a slot on Fox News channel. But that is more Sanford's problem than a party problem.

Posted by: dollarwatcher | June 24, 2009 2:31 PM

Considering Sanford wanted to deny his state desperately needed stimulus monies, especially for education, public works and extending unemployment insurance, maybe it would have been better for the prodigal governor to have been naked hiking the Appalachian Trail in his own state rather than to off on an exotic, expensive vacation out of the country. Why is the Republican Party full of looney tures?

Posted by: creatia52 | June 24, 2009 2:27 PM

No big deal?! This is a huge deal! The governor of a state cannot just disappear to blow off some steam. Its irrelevant that the state legislature was out of session. It is, however, relevant that the governor commands the state's National Guard units, the State Police, and the emergency management offices. If there is an emergency, the state agencies will be looking to the governor for direction and decisions. I am not even saying that he can't go on vacation, but he has to formally turn over the reins to the Lt. Governor AND he has to let people know where he is going and remain accessible. This is not too much to ask of an elected governor!

Posted by: CNY-DC | June 24, 2009 2:26 PM

Never heard of this guy before. Heck of an introduction to the national media. Why are low-profile Republicans still making the news?

Posted by: lartfromabove | June 24, 2009 2:26 PM

Only a writer whose name is synonomous with gonads could take pot shots at a man who just took a great vacation in an "off" period for his profession, because he took a great vacation during an off period for his profession. How Balzy.

And Balzy too, is your absurd notion that Sanford is suffering a "major personal embarrassment". You clearly have not a clue as to how Sanford is put together emotionally and mentally. Only your narcissism makes you think it is so.

Sanford has three delectable qualities that make him a very desirable candidate: 1. He values Individual Liberty above all else. 2. He is very secure in his ideas and philosophy and, so, views it as idiomatic that the media questions his decisions and wonders how he can be so secure in his ideas and philosophy. 3. He abhors the Income Tax in all of it's vagaries and incarnations.

Thus, I will support and work for him should he decide to run for President.

Be afraid, Balzy; be very afraid.

Posted by: Larryw21 | June 24, 2009 2:23 PM

What a joke! Goodbye political career, you nut job!

Posted by: jpmcad | June 24, 2009 2:23 PM

When you're elected President in 2012 Mr. Sanford are you going to secretly fly off to Bangkok for a little R & R when things get rough with Congress? The GOP seems to be on the road to becoming a regional party of angry, old white men.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | June 24, 2009 2:21 PM

Considering Sanford wanted to deny his state desperately needed stimulus monies, especially for education, public works and extending unemployment insurance, maybe it would have been better for the prodigal governor to have been naked hiking the Appalachian Trail in his own state rather than to off on an exotic, expensive vacation out of the country. Why is the Republican Party full of looney tures?

Posted by: creatia52 | June 24, 2009 2:20 PM

If the average person I know "got lost" for a week with different stories of there where abouts; they would neither have a Job or Marriage when they decided to saunter back into town. AWOL Governor Sanford will be facing Impeachment Hearings and probably be hearing from his wife attorney. He never should have came back. If he left because he was having a "tough time" and needed a break, the Time just got tougher. Govvv, PLEASEEEE! Give me a break.

Posted by: dmscontractor | June 24, 2009 2:14 PM

If Sanford says it was really about sex, then he's allowed to lie about it.

The Democrats went to great lengths to establish that American policital sensibility.

Posted by: NeverLeft | June 24, 2009 2:13 PM

Hey FactChecker:

I said I read some of the empty headed piss ant remarks....didn't lump everyone into that category. But you;'ll do! I just realized this site has a lot of hatred and bias in it. Shame on you.

Posted by: marsca1 | June 24, 2009 2:12 PM

R Maddow: "The Republicans are winning the war against themselves."

Ha! Too true. Nice addition to that war by Sanford though. Can't wait to see where it leads. Perhaps they can somehow make it Obama's fault! Karl where are you when they need ya?

Just read some neocons email with the usual, "Be afraid. Be very afraid" addition to it that Republicans regularly use to try and scare folks into siding with them. It's just all so embarrassingly lame. Republicans: Don't you hear the laughter? You are being laughed at like a human laughs at the antics of a monkey.

Posted by: aloliver | June 24, 2009 2:06 PM

marsca1, a major political figure who runs off for nearly a week without telling anyone (not even spouse, family, Lt. Gov., staff) that he's even going, let alone his destination, and especially one who abandons his children on Father's Day weekend, is just plain irresponsible, irrespective of political affiliation.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 24, 2009 2:06 PM

Republicans are a threat to themselves and others. Best just to let them die a slow painful death.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | June 24, 2009 2:04 PM

Heaven forbid that we have "a bright and independent-minded politician" that also "has a penchant for speaking candidly and openly about problems facing his state and the country" instead of the boiler plate candidates that we currently have. And can we stop calling these people leaders. They are our employees!

Posted by: Tonemiester | June 24, 2009 2:03 PM

Sanford is proving himself to be a few bricks light of a full load. The Sanford/Palin ticket is looking like a barrel of laughs

Posted by: LeftGuy | June 24, 2009 2:03 PM

marsca1 wrote: 'I couldn't imagine lumping all the left into one group, because I believe in the basic values Americans live up to.'
----
Hey marsca1, then who wrote the comment that preceded the one above? 'It really disappoints me that so many people, usually of the left persuasion, find it cool to knock everyone.' Might want to have that schizophrenia problem checked out.

Posted by: FactChecker1 | June 24, 2009 2:02 PM

Just dumbfounded. No one questions his need for a break, but you'd have thought he'd have handled it like a professional. Makes you wonder what really was going on.

And isn't it winter in Argentina? Huh.

Posted by: SeeMcSee | June 24, 2009 2:01 PM

02Boston wrote:

Obama goes golfing.
Obama goes body-surfing.
Obama goes to NYC for date night.
Obama goes out for burgers with Biden.
Obama goes out for ice cream.

----
and Sanford goes......hmmm, where did Sanford go? Anybody know?

I think you missed the point.

Posted by: FactChecker1 | June 24, 2009 1:59 PM

The new GOP “rising stars” crop (e.g.Gov. Sanford, Sen. Ensign, etc) are worse than now fallen former GOP “rising stars” (e.g. Gingrich, Livingston, Foley, Craig, etc)!

There is something inherently whacky about the GOP’s family values.

Posted by: JJames081 | June 24, 2009 1:57 PM

It really disappoints me that so many people, usually of the left persuasion, find it cool to knock everyone. I read some of the empty headed piss ant remarks above about Gov. Sanford, with the inclusion of mentioning nasty innuendos about Republicans in general as a means to disparage and malign them. It seems to me that some Americans are not what they should be...people with some class. Now some stoop to a level below the lowest level in their ignorant remarks, which means to me they protest too much! I couldn't imagine lumping all the left into one group, because I believe in the basic values Americans live up to. So for those who like to talk crap,,,,,,get a life!

Posted by: marsca1 | June 24, 2009 1:56 PM

Can these Republicans get any wackier?

GOP -- got odd politicians

Posted by: abby0802 | June 24, 2009 1:53 PM

Mark Sanford is the candidate of "NO". That's what he was when he slept in his congressional office for three terms and voted against money for a bridge in his own district. That's what he's done as the state of South Carolina's chief executive for two terms. If he doesn't get his way - he says NO. Then, like a pouting child, he takes his ball and goes home. I hope the GOP forgives him and he wins the nomination for 2012. And if he won?!? Four years of that man as President would make Warren G. Harding and James Buchanan look like successful administrations.

Posted by: jrs3usc93 | June 24, 2009 1:53 PM

Obama goes golfing.
Obama goes body-surfing.
Obama goes to NYC for date night.
Obama goes out for burgers with Biden.
Obama goes out for ice cream.

I suppose what makes this story so incredibly exciting for the press is that here in Sanford, we have a public official who decides to "go" somewhere without a media circle-jerk unlike our president.

Yawn.

Posted by: D2Boston | June 24, 2009 1:48 PM

This guy is a complete idiot first he says money for the schools is a bad thing (what it will raise wages because the kids will be educated) then he takes off to where ever and tells no one.

What a moron.

Posted by: antonio3 | June 24, 2009 1:48 PM

It is impeachment time for the good Governor. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?p=1930

Posted by: carlyt | June 24, 2009 1:47 PM

I will be stunned if he follows through with the 2:00 pm press conference.

Posted by: nickindc | June 24, 2009 1:46 PM

If that reporter hadn't caught him at the airport, he'd STILL be lying about where he was. The GOP sure loves to deceive.

Posted by: TheDukeStir1 | June 24, 2009 1:44 PM

No preconceived notions -- but what is the real story? Reuters carries a fuller explanation:

Sanford flew to Atlanta early on Wednesday and told reporters for The State, South Carolina's biggest newspaper, he had decided at the last minute to go to Argentina and drive along its coastline.

"I wanted to do something exotic ... to get out of the bubble I am in," he told the paper, adding he had traveled alone.

Since I once lived in Argentina years ago, this explanation sounds very silly. First, it is the middle of winter in Argentina now and the winds off the coast are often near or below freezing temperatures, accounting for chill factor. Second, just Goggle-Map the coastline of Argentina and you'll see there are only a bit more than 100 miles of truly coastal highway to drive on. Most the the public roads near the Atlantic are inland from the coast and surrounded by agricultural pastureland --- something hardly describable as 'exotic' by somebody from Carolina.

Enough outlandish stories -- Governor Sanford is an important public figure. What is the true story?

Posted by: concernedforthetruth | June 24, 2009 1:42 PM

I think it is ridiculous that the media is having such a field day with this NON story. I like Sanford's style. I like that he is an individual that doesn't conform to his uptight party's pretensions. So he wants a few days to unwind after a legislative session where he was one of the few to stand up to Obama's spending - BIG DEAL.

Posted by: lkc356 | June 24, 2009 1:42 PM

Sanford said he spent his trip driving along the coast. So the governor spent seven days driving back and forth on the two miles of coastline accessible from Buenos Aires?

Posted by: TheDukeStir1 | June 24, 2009 1:40 PM

Those of us outside of the south have been getting a closer look at this so-called Republican up-and-comer: an ideologically rigid man who ditches the country without telling his wife, children, and immediate staff his whereabouts. An erratic, irresponsible, and arrogant grand-stander.

Posted by: Ladyrantsalot | June 24, 2009 1:37 PM

Sanford said he spent his trip driving along the coast. So the governor spent seven days driving back and forth on the two miles of coastline accessible from Buenos Aires?

Posted by: TheDukeStir1 | June 24, 2009 1:34 PM

The governor was probably whoring it up in Argentina. Typical Republican behavior.

Posted by: dsrobins | June 24, 2009 1:32 PM

Staunch conservatives know and share the need for a little "down time" to dally and diddle. "Do as I say, not as I do," is the time-honored motto. The sight of Patagonian penguins and seals, frolicking on a winter beach, clears the mind and vanquishes notions of "global warming." Sanford brought back a stuffed souvenir to prove his story. Squeeze it and it gurgles, "Ha, ha, ha."

Nosey skeptics will have a hard time finding any paper receipts to prove naughty deeds. The Bed and Breakfast was just that, or so the sign said. Cristina Kirchner assured discretion. She knows the ropes. The proceeds of the sale of property foreclosed by SC were net of a commission to a firm which paid a consultancy fee to an Anguila account, which transferred funds to a Cayman account, which paid to a Zurich account belonging to a Chilly Willy fund, managed by a lifelong friend of Nestor and Cristina. Woodward and Bernstein, in their prime, might have picked up the scent, but both those dogs are now old, and times have changed.

Sanford remains on the short list of model GOP candidates for 2012. He could share the ticket with Ensign, Newt, or Larry Craig. Conservatives can forgive one of their own, who sins merely in the flesh; but not a lie-bruhl whose very soul is lost to such evil notions as public health insurance.

Posted by: jkoch2 | June 24, 2009 1:31 PM

Where's JakeD to rationalize this one away?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 24, 2009 1:31 PM

Is the story of South America even believeable?

If so, I'd have to rate Sanford ahead of Dick Cheney. This assumes Sanford's absence wasn't taxpayer funded.

But, being ahead of Cheney isn't saying much, now, is it?

Posted by: Spectator | June 24, 2009 1:30 PM

One can only wonder if his wife will demand a STD/HIV test.

Posted by: hadenuff1 | June 24, 2009 1:29 PM

Sanford is a loon and he is indicative of the voting populace of SC. Sanford's initial refusal of the federal education funds shows he has no common or political sense. SC has the worst schools of all the states because "whitey" sends their kids to "private" schools and under funds the public schools. The result is people graduating from public high school, maybe, and reading at a 4th grade level.

Sanford, and his state, have made me ill, since the first time I was there in the 1960's.

Posted by: mortified469 | June 24, 2009 1:27 PM

Mark Sanford, oh why did you wander?
Your aides said you're hiking out yonder.
If you just can't be seen
With a young Argentine
At least you could pack a transponder.

News Short n' Sweet by JFD8
http://twitter.com/JFD8

Posted by: jd121 | June 24, 2009 1:26 PM

First of all I think it a bit overblown that a governor, while the legislature is in recess can't disappear. Short of an industrial or natural disaster he or she really isn't that necessary. And during a disaster they aren't necessary for any reason other than the survival of their political career. I mean the lt. governor, or probably his or her secretary, can sign whatever decrees are necessary to release emergency money. Exactly when has the governor been necessary in your life?

Second why should Jon Huntsman care about the Republican party? I'm sure he is under no illusion that a mormon will not win a Republican primary in any state with a sizable evangelical population. That makes it nearly impossible for him to win the Republican nomination. Much better to take an important foreign policy posting in a Democratic administration. He has executive experience (gov of Utah), he will have foreign policy experience and he comes from a Western state, states the Democrats need to keep the White House. Sounds like a perfect resume for a Democratic nominee for President.

Posted by: caribis | June 24, 2009 1:26 PM

This story was handled so ridiculously badly by Sanford and his staff, I can only assume it was hastily contrived to cover up something even more damaging.

The GOP is looking more and more like the Keystone Kops.

Posted by: bpai_99 | June 24, 2009 1:22 PM

Poor Gov. Sanford...one less Republican opportunist who wanted to deny their constituents much needed Stimulus Money in order to placate the far right in their bid for the 2012 Presidential election.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | June 24, 2009 1:21 PM

Bill Clinton must be laughing his patootie off.

Posted by: nicekid | June 24, 2009 1:20 PM

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