June 24, 2009
Now that he?s admitted to having an affair, I guess plans for a Mark Sanford Revolution in 2012 need to be put on hold… This whole saga strikes me as exceedingly odd: first, Sanford refuses Obama?s stimulus money, then he?s forced to take the moolah by the state?s Supreme Court, then he disappears? And upon his return, he claims to have been on a hiking trip—before changing his story two days later, informing us that he partook in a weekend assignation with his Argentine mistress. Am I the only one here who suspects that there might be a whole lot more to this scandal?
UPDATE: Jim Antle writes about the Sanford fallout at The Guardian.
Sanford caught the attention of economic conservatives like the Club for Growth, who lacked a consistent champion in the 2008 Republican primaries. He was also admired by many Ron Paul Republicans, who wanted a candidate who was for smaller government on civil liberties and foreign policy too but hoped for someone more mainstream ? and perhaps more electable ? than Dr Paul himself.
But there was always concern that Sanford might be a little too strange for the national spotlight. There were the long, thoughtful pauses before answering questions. The mangling of simple sports metaphors. The need to be alone. And most potentially damaging, his habit of digging holes on his property, which once led to the accidental drowning death of an eight-year-old.
With the revelation of his long-distance affair, it turned out we didn’t know the half of it. Mark Sanford will not be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. There may not be a strong, mainstream contender who will stand against big-government liberalism at home and belligerent neoconservatism abroad. And that’s how this private tragedy became a public one too.
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