The Morning After, More Questions for Sanford
By Ben Pershing
We are all witnesses now.
What began as a relatively routine Wednesday in the world of politics turned into a stunner, with three distinct stages of scandal. It started as a below-the-fold punchline ("hiking the Appalachian trail!"), became a baffling example of eccentricity ("Argentina?") and finally, the truth revealed, yet another strange and sobering tale of a politician's fall from grace. Dana Milbank compared President Obama's Tuesday press conference to a daytime soap opera but for shear drama and shock value, his midday television spot paled in comparison to Mark Sanford's riveting turn yesterday.
Today, the focus first is on Sanford's emails to "Maria," which The State newspaper publishes in all their uncomfortable detail. Nearly every outlet wrote some form of "Republicans in turmoil" piece, with Sanford's downfall diagnosed as a symptom of his party's problems in a way that Eliot Spitzer's or Jim McGreevey's mostly weren't at the time. Others took a broader look at the long, sordid history of politicians behaving badly. (An actual Associated Press headline -- "Analysis: Why Do They Cheat?" The apparent answer: They have huge egos. Who knew?)
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Posted at 8:38 AM ET on Jun 25, 2009
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