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Chatting Sanford

In the event you haven't gotten enough of the Mark Sanford saga yet, the Fix did a live chat earlier today in which we answered reader question on this whole sordid affair.

Here's a sampling:

Washington, D.C.: How on earth did he not think his leaving for a week, with no one able to contact him would go unnoticed?

What would have happened if there had been an emergency in his state?

Chris Cillizza: For the past 48 hours I have been asking myself the same question.

I took some flack for initially seizing on the reports that Sanford had been out of pocket for five days -- people said that he was entitled to his privacy etc -- but something just seemed wrong.

I kept hearing from sources inside the South Carolina government that no one knew where Sanford was and that his staff hadn't spoken to him in days.

It seemed too odd not to follow up on.

Did I ever think it would end like this? Absolutely not. But politics is a STRANGE business.

The full transcript is here.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 24, 2009; 7:28 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Governors  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sanford Admits Affair, First Thoughts
Next: Morning Fix: Scoring the Sanford Saga



Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: opp88 | June 25, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

In a word, he is crazy.

Posted by: shrink2


Yeah I thought about this more after I posted it and I agree with you.

Haven't read the whole transcript but the excerpts I've seen are wildly disjointed, not only winging it but associating wildly, frantically, almost hallucinating.

I agree. He's crazy.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Affective disorders and cognitive disorders are not discrete. Bipolar people get psychotic and psychosis usually though not always involves wild mood swings or what we call affective lability.

Meanwhile, this is not a male female problem. In our work we see women with mental illness destroying their marriages, torturing (even murdering) their kids, suffering the full range of signs and symptoms and taking people around them into the morass of their illness.

If you take the time to read the full transcript of his press conference, to study how this has gone down, you will see fundamental differences between his disaster and all of the others. He is no Clinton, Craig, nor Edwards.

In a word, he is crazy.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 25, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Shrink2 and Chrisfox, you must have a Y chromosome, 'cause when the x chromosomes look at this the only mental illness we see is greedy grabbing.

Sanford wants to be a prominent man, a more-conservative-than-thou politician, a voluble Christian, a married man and father, and a conspicuous Family Values stalwart. Only *problem* is he wants to be all that while he's having an affair with a family friend, keeping it a secret from his wife and not ending it when confronted, and sneaking away from his family and his elected responsibilites without a respectful explanation to anyone. That and he wants us to believe it took him 6 days to break-up with his friend, which the X chromosomes are not buying either (Oh my ovaries!).

His Winnetka-heiress-busine-woman wife can do better than this spoiled baby.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 25, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

If you don't believe me, ask his wife, ask his kids, ask the woman in Argentina.


... si puedes ella hallar.

I don't think there is much doubt the guy is mentally ill, but psychosis is a cognitive disorder, Sanford appears to have more an affective disorder.

Either he didn't think he would get caught, or he didn't think about what he was doing at all.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 25, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Ok, after going back through this.
I pledge not to make fun of him anymore.

He is close to the edge of psychosis.
He needs to get help.

If you don't believe me, ask his wife, ask his kids, ask the woman in Argentina.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 24, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Chris!

Human nature can be so quixotic (yet fascinating), but also sooooooo predictable. As my grandmother used to say, 'It's so often in life that the most sordid explanation is the correct one. I find that by suspecting the worst at the outset, I'm rarely disappointed'.

There are only two aspects of this sordid, but all too frequent story which I find fascinating:

1) Were there any SC gov't. funds--or other improper use of the Governor's office--involved (other than Gov. Sanford's rather stupid use of the office e-mail system: i.e., 'I love your tan line')?

2) While not discounting the basic pathology which all presidential hopefuls seem to possess, it's jaw-droppingly stunning that Gov. Sanford could possibly have deluded himself into believing that a six-day unexplained, undocumented absence by a public figure (and almost Vice-Presidential candidate), over the FATHER'S DAY weekend (Family Values be damned!) would pass unnoticed. At least he could have come up with a better story!

And to 'Aprogressiveindependent' I say: If you think speculation in the press about whether one's genitalia curves to the right or not, a scandal that rocks the country and derail's one's political agenda, not to mention being only the second President in history to be impeached comes under the heading of 'being given a free pass', you must have a very skewed perspective.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | June 24, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Will forensic accountants scrutinize Governor Sanford's expenses to determine how much state money and services he spent in pursuit of his extracurricular activity? Phone calls, emails, Internet access, use of state vehicle, more? Such illegal use of state assets would be most telling re his true nature in the face of his efforts to decline federal stimulus funds.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 24, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Yet Bill Clinton was essentially given a free pass on this issue in 1992 and during the impeachment proceedings.

Chris, why the hypocrisy?


Clinton got a free pass?

Fift million bucks and weeks of congressional preoccupation is a "free pass?"



Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party on most issues has become so irrevelant to me and most people in this country, I would not be concerned if it went the way of the Federalists and Whigs, other than knowing the Democrats would be tempted to significantly raise taxes on everybody and enact an open borders immigration policy, while pretending to rigorously enforce the border in the future.

However, most in the media seem obsessed with the private sex lives of notable politicians. Many reporters seem to dismiss their chances of attaining higher political office, solely for having affairs, as if they decide such matters, not the voters.
Yet Bill Clinton was essentially given a free pass on this issue in 1992 and during the impeachment proceedings.

Chris, why the hypocrisy?

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 24, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse


His story doesn't resonate. It's not all that common to develop sexual attraction to one's friends. Maybe it can happen but it's unusual. There're several things wrong with Sanford's story.

A six-day trip to break off an affair? This fails the sniff test. Four days of sex and two of travel, maybe. Wonder if he turned on the TV in all that time and saw that the whole country was wondering where he was.

And he thought he could just skip out and nobody would wonder?

I think there is more to come here.

Sanford looks like a guy who's doing something self-destructive. I bet the reality is more like a day of travel, three days of cocaine and sex, a day of recovery (peering bug-eyed out the venetian blinds), a day of travel (trying to put together a coherent cover story).

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd be curious to know what the Argentine press is doing. Have they ferreted out the woman's identity? Do they have any comment on American politics? etc...

Posted by: Vosora | June 24, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

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