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Gov. Sanford May Get More Time Away Than He Expected

The planned "disappearance" of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford gets more bizarre by the minute.

Sanford, a Republican governor, deemed to be a rising star in the party, took time off after a legislative session concerning the taking of federal stimulus money.

From The State newspaper:

Sanford's whereabouts had been unknown since Thursday, and the mystery surrounding his absence fueled speculation about where he had been and who's in charge in his absence. His emergence Wednesday ended the mystery.

Sanford, in an exclusive interview with The State, said he decided at the last minute to go to the South American country to recharge after a difficult legislative session in which he battled with lawmakers over how to spend federal stimulus money.

Sanford said he had considered hiking on the Appalachian Trail, an activity he said he has enjoyed since he was a high school student.

"But I said 'no' I wanted to do something exotic," Sanford said "... It's (Buenos Aires, Argentina) a great city."

The governor said he cut his trip short after his chief of staff, Scott English, told him his trip was gaining a lot of media attention and he needed to come back.
When asked why his staff said he was on the Appalachian Trail, Sanford replied, "I don't know."

Sanford later said "in fairness to his staff," he had told them he might go hiking on the Appalachian Trial.

Sanford said the legislative session was a difficult one for him, particularly losing the fight over whether he should accept stimulus $700 million in stimulus money he wanted lawmakers to spend on debt instead of urgent budget needs.

"It was a long session and I needed a break," Sanford said.

Allegedly, in addition to his staff not knowing his location, his wife was not aware of his trip, as well.

Stanford, a prospective GOP candidate for a 2012 Presidential run, may have just ruined any credibility he possessed.

If he can't handle a debate in his own state legislature, it bodes ill for his ability to be able to handle a crisis on a national level.

This action was not just irresponsible regarding his leadership ability in his role as Governor, but it creates a credibility gap from which no amount of explaining or spin can help to erase the self-inflicted harm done to his reputation.

This was not only a bizarre display of irresponsibility, it was just plain stupid.

UPDATE:

Surprise! He had an affair.

He is resigning as Chairman of the Republican Governor's Association.


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Comments (19)

Better to clear out the bad... (Below threshold)

Better to clear out the bad apples early. We should thank him for taking himself off the list so early.

Why let something like prov... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

Why let something like proving you are qualified stop you from becoming president. Anyone got a link to our mysterious interloper sitting in the presidents office. I would like proof he he qualified to be president.

Sanford will be fine ... Just another state run media hatchet job.

Here is your chance state run media.

What will Sanford blame his... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

What will Sanford blame his disappearance on:

o Alcoholism
o Prescription pain medication addiction
o Bizarre double life
o Sexual abuse flashbacks
o All of the above

VOTE now!

Actually, this smells of "c... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

Actually, this smells of "creative incompetence" to me. I just don't think Sanford is so stupid as to think he could get away with this. A Democrat could, but Republicans have higher standards for their presidential candidates' behavior. It makes me think he doesn't want to run and also doesn't want the endless barrage of publicity and will-he-won't-he speculation. So he did something to definitively take himself out of the running, once and for all.

On what will Adrian Brown b... (Below threshold)
Adriane Brownie:

On what will Adrian Brown blame his stupidity:

o Alcoholism
o Prescription pain medication addiction
o Bizarre double life
o Sexual abuse flashbacks
o All of the above

VOTE now!

A Colorado newspaper has pu... (Below threshold)
lori rasmussen:

A Colorado newspaper has published allegations from male prostitute Mike Jones (of Haggard fame) that Sanford was in Colorado with Jones. Jones claims to have Sanford's airline boarding pass from ATL to DEN. This could be interesting to watch.....

Perhaps Sanford and VA's Go... (Below threshold)
chsw:

Perhaps Sanford and VA's Gov. Kaine (also missing) were discussing finer points of the gay marriage debate. Alternate hypothesis - Sanford was checking on the progress of the US-funded study of South American bar prostitutes and HIV.

chsw

This really is a strange on... (Below threshold)
Hank:

This really is a strange one.
With the little info available so far, it reminds me of NH's Gary Dodds, 2006, who went missing and concocted a story to explain his absence.

Wolfwalker may be right.

The people of SC deserve an... (Below threshold)
MPR:

The people of SC deserve an explanation. If he had planned this in the open he could have stopped all of this speculation. No one says he doesn't deserve time off but, being AWOL is just stupid. It is stupid because of the scrutiny he has to know he would be under being a possible major candidate. Liberal Democrats have every right to remain stupid. Republicans or Conservatives can't. That's how the world works. Grow up.

The GOP needs to create a c... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The GOP needs to create a code of conduct by which elected and prospective candidates adhere or lose all support from other members of the GOP. This way current politicians and people who want to get into politics can know what's expected of them to be in the GOP. If they can't or are unwilling to live by that code they can become a Democrat.

Here are some examples. No GOP member. . .

   •   Commits or seeks to commit adultery
   •   Steals or conspires to steal
   •   Accepts kickbacks or conspires to accept kickbacks
   •   Pay kickbacks or conspires to pay kickbacks
   •   Cheats on their taxes
   •   Acts in an unprofessional manner. For example, disappearing from the public for more than a day unless they are on official business that requires such a public blackout.
   •   Suspends a campaign for office or any reason. If a candidate can't continue they must end their campaign and support whoever the head of the GOP selects as their successor.

When a prominent figure cho... (Below threshold)
Colin Hamilton:

When a prominent figure chooses to "disappear" it seems he can do so without the truth ever emerging.
I seem to remember that rather than try to rescue Mary Jo Kopechne or call for help from the police after his Chappaquidick accident Senator Kennedy reacted in a remarkable manner. He "said" he tried to free Miss Kopechne (although this wasn't confirmed) but then ran away and reported nothng until the following day. Where was he? What was he doing? We still aren't sure!

MacLorry,With all ... (Below threshold)

MacLorry,

With all due respect, you're one of the best commentors here, but .10 is a less than stellar idea. I appreciate your level of frustration with the situation, but a code of conduct sets up GOP members for an increase "GOP failure to live up to its own standards*" in the public's eyes and cries of "hypocrite!" from the left every time some GOP member strays from the path of "family values", etc. A code of conduct is just more fodder for the left.

The party is far better served by publicly condemning the governor's lack of responsibility and stupidity. And I think the GOP is pretty good at critisizing and, if need be, ostrasizing its own members without need of a code of conduct.


*At least the right attempts to live up to a set of moral standards. We often fail because we're human. But when it comes to having moral standars for the left, they collectively shrug shoulders and say, "meh, moral compass and standards? Who needs 'em. Let me go have sex with that lamp...."

Well, at least having sex w... (Below threshold)

Well, at least having sex with a lamp would provide an outlet for some of his urges. :P

I appreciate your ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I appreciate your level of frustration with the situation, but a code of conduct sets up GOP members for an increase "GOP failure to live up to its own standards*" in the public's eyes and cries of "hypocrite!" from the left every time some GOP member strays from the path of "family values", etc.

That assumes GOP members are going to fail. The items I listed only involve being trustworthy, honest and acting professionally. If that's too high a standard then the GOP is really no different then Democrats. A code of conduct and a vigilant membership to remove those who don't follow it at the earliest opportunity would set the GOP apart from Democrats, or make them follow suite. The Democrats would then be the party with no code of conduct or they would also have one, and thus, wouldn't have exclusive rights to make the hypocrite charge. Just being the party of some unspecified "family values" is the worst of all options.

"10. Posted by Mac Lorry | ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"10. Posted by Mac Lorry | June 24, 2009 12:01 PM "

Mac, the MSM already enforces those rules for Republicans (which is a good thing). We just have to find a way to make sure they enforce those rules with equal vigor for Democrats too.
Fat chance, I know, but we should just keep pushing for equal treatment.

Agree with Mac Lorry.... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Agree with Mac Lorry.
Considering the generally low opinion of politicians, a code of conduct would be a refreshing change. Admittedly, it might immediately result in a lot less repubs in office, but that's how it goes.

And just saw the update, Sanford should resign.

That assumes GOP members... (Below threshold)

That assumes GOP members are going to fail.

They will, Mac, because they're human. And liberals and the MSM will be like white on rice the instant any GOP member violates "the code." (And imagine the hyperbole and further comparisons to NeoCons being brown shirts in nicer suits should some official "code of conduct" be announced. The Kossacks, et. al would have a public relations field day.)

Just being the party of some unspecified "family values" is the worst of all options.

It's not really option any more. As the old phrase goes, "it's already out there, so you can't take it back", and liberals--like Lee's post over Blue--will use it ad nauseum despite no matter far the GOP tries to distance itselt from the emptiness of "family values" now.

I just see a can of unintended mediaconsequence worms being opened here, Mac. Again, no disrespect.

They will, Mac, be... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
They will, Mac, because they're human.

Let me get this right. You're saying we can't expect politicians to be trustworthy, honest, and act professionally. That to make such conduct a requirement for membership in the GOP is too high a standard and would actually damage the GOP.

If you're right then no one should wonder why the country is going down the shitter.

Mac,What you propo... (Below threshold)

Mac,

What you propose is a fine idea. As a concept, it's principled, honorable and forthright. However, if it were ever executed, and if any member were to breach the code, well, it would a be turd boomerang just like "family values" has been for years.

Maybe I'm jaded or just a realist, but my expectations for politicians to be trsutworthy, honest and act professionally, even if they signed a code of conduct, are low. That's pretty pessimistic, I know, but I'm never surprised at the low levels to which politicians often sink.




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