View Full Version : Mark Sanford should take a hike

12-30-2012, 10:55 AM
By Terry Plumb

That he’s an enduring embarrassment to South Carolina apparently hasn’t dissuaded former governor Mark Sanford from seeking a return to the public payroll.

At this writing dictated by early holiday deadlines, sources close to Sanford say he is considering running for the First District seat vacated by Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who is stepping down to take Jim DeMint’s spot in the U.S. Senate.

A disinterested observer might assume that a disgraced former governor, who was exposed for pretending to hike the Appalachian Trail only to secretly fly down to Argentina to snuggle with his mistress, had exhausted his quotient of chutzpah.

Not our Mark.

This was the same governor, who in a sophomoric exercise mocking state lawmakers for overturning all 105 of his vetoes one year, carried two live piglets into the hallowed chambers of the S.C. House, where they pooped on the General Assembly’s expensive, custom-made carpet.

And, yes, this is the governor who on a nationally broadcast television program trashed South Carolina’s public school system as part of his Howard Rich-inspired crusade to subsidize private schools through vouchers.

He’s also the guy who in 2009 tried to refuse federal stimulus funds on grounds that providing unemployment assistance to an estimated 17,000 of his constituents would be the equivalent of “slavery” and “fiscal child abuse.”

And, of course, this is the governor who vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for little children to operate all-terrain vehicles because, in his opinion, government had no right to tell parents they couldn’t put their children’s lives at risk.

Sanford helped torpedo John McCain’s 2008 candidacy for the White House when, during an interview with CNN, Wolf Blitzer asked him to outline differences between McCain and President George W. Bush on economic policy. After a lapse of several seconds, the red-faced governor said, “I'm drawing a blank, and I hate when I do that, especially on television.”

So far as is known, Sanford has yet to assemble a campaign staff. If and when he does, he ought to hire the Queen of Hearts, the villain in Alice in Wonderland, who claimed she could believe “as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Just the thought of seeing Mark Sanford in public office again would cause many South Carolinians to lose their breakfast.

Unfortunately for fans of irony, rumors that Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny, also was thinking about throwing her chapeau into ring for the First District seat appear unfounded.

Stephen Colbert probably went home and beat his dog after the possibility of that matchup evaporated. Between The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, half-a-dozen gag writers had to be hired to replace the free material the Sanfords had been providing Colbert and Jon Stewart for years.

If Jenny Sanford changes her mind, smart money might be on her in a two-candidate showdown. During their time in Columbia, the first lady functioned as the governor’s unofficial chief of staff. She once committed an astounding protocol violation – not to mention a blow to Southern gentility – when she blessed out a lawmaker in the Statehouse lobby for failing to follow her husband’s wishes on a key vote.

How Sanford has been able to support himself following completion of his second term as governor is unclear. Other than a part time position as a pundit for Fox News, Sanford hasn’t held a real job outside the public sector in years. He claims to be a developer, but what he’s developed is a mystery. Before being elected to Congress in 1992, Sanford held a series of jobs in real estate or finance, none lasting more than two or three years.

Although he represented the same First District for two terms, he’s principally remembered for one accomplishment: Sleeping on a cot in his office every night rather than establishing a residence in Washington.

For 14 years this champion of libertarianism, while haranguing America about the evils of government, steadfastly kept his snout in the public trough.

The kindest thing Mark Sanford could do for South Carolinians would be take a hike on the Appalachian Trail and to disappear from public life – forever.

Email former Herald editor Terry Plumb at terry.plumb@gmail.com.


12-30-2012, 11:01 AM
he's got my donation.

01-03-2013, 03:41 AM
Yeah, I don't see his wasteful spending as bad as others. I think we should champion him right now.

Occam's Banana
01-03-2013, 03:54 AM
This Terry Plumb character comes across as an even bigger yutz than he tries to make Sanford out to be. When snark is your only weapon, your clip must be empty ...

01-03-2013, 03:59 AM
And, of course, this is the governor who vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for little children to operate all-terrain vehicles because, in his opinion, government had no right to tell parents they couldn’t put their children’s lives at risk.

Whatever his problems.... that's not one of them. It's sad that such a thing would even find its way to his desk.

01-03-2013, 04:22 AM
I think I like him more now.