The governor’s press conference

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Just got back from the Statehouse. I covered the governor’s press conference on a freelance assignment for The New York Post. I didn’t have much to add, since it was broadcast live.

As media mob scenes go, that one may have set a record for SC. There were some big ones during the presidential primaries, but nothing like this. And once it started, well, it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The governor said it would be painful, and it certainly was. God Bless his family.

If you heard somebody yelling at the end, asking whether he was going to resign, that was me. I asked him, then I asked Joel Sawyer. Silence from both. An ABC guy said he’d asked it earlier — when others were yelling at the same time and I couldn’t hear it — and he said “No,” three times.

By the way, I listened in on a press confab with Jake Knotts afterwards that you probably did NOT see. Jake gave the gov credit for being “man enough to stand up and say what he said.” He said he “saw a governor who took responsibility” and apologized to all he had done wrong. “I accept that and I forgive him.” Jake declined to express an opinion as to whether the governor should resign.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from The State‘s story. Add your comments as you see fit:

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford admitted today that his secret trip to Argentina over the Father’s Day weekend was to visit a woman he has been having an affair with for the past year.

In an emotional news conference, Sanford said his relationship with the woman in Argentina would not work, but would not say if it was over. He did not name the woman, but said he met her eight years ago, although their casual friendship evolved into a romantic relationship about a year ago.

“The bottom line is this: I have been unfaithful to my wife,” the two-term governor said before a mass of press in the State House outside the governor’s office. “Let me apologize to my wife Jenny and my four boys … for letting them down.”

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94 thoughts on “The governor’s press conference

  1. Brad Warthen

    By the way, everybody at the press conference seemed to have the name of the woman in Argentina — or what they thought was the name — but I haven’t seen anyone use it yet, so I guess it remains unconfirmed.

    Reply
  2. Norm Ivey

    I find it difficult to summon up any sympathy for the governor, although I do wish his wife and children didn’t have to go through this.

    The governor described his actions as selfish, which they are. Somehow, I don’t think he’d be sharing all this with us if he hadn’t been caught. I got the impression that he really didn’t know where he was going next–home to his family or somewhere else. That still smacks of selfishness, a characterisitic which seems to infiltrate his ideology.

    I’m torn over whether he should resign. He’s been ineffective as a governor, but Bauer doesn’t seem prepared for the job. Probably the devil you know in this case.

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  3. Bill C.

    I heard an idiot yelling “Are you going to resign?” twice… now we know who that idiot was. I thought it was a dumb question, and now you come here and are dumb enough to admit that you’re the one asking it. Holy cow Brad, I am still amazed… ha, it’s actually kind of funny. What a douchebag.

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  4. Bill C.

    I’m sorry, double-douchebag… I just reread your article and saw where you stated you stood by your buddy Jake. I guess Jake is living off his 10 seconds of fame from the NBC Nightly News last night… I guess drinks are on him at the Southern Gentleman tonight.

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  5. Bill C.

    Norm – do you share your personal life with the national media? Probably not, yet you chastise the governor for only doing it “after getting caught”.

    Funny, you have a problem with Bauer not being ready, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you voted for Obama.

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  6. King Cotton

    Bill C –

    Asking the governor if he’s going to resign, minutes after he said he was stepping down as Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, is dumb?

    Whether you think Sanford should or shouldn’t resign, I couldn’t have thought of a more pertinent question to ask at that moment.

    I’m not sure what your media background is, Bill, but I’ll defer to Brad on this one.

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  7. Norm Ivey

    Bill C-
    My comment was directed at all these people who are coming out and saying they admire the governor for manning up. He didn’t man up. He got caught. There’s a difference.

    Do you think Bauer is ready?

    *************

    Fox News identified Sanford as a Democrat on screen.

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  8. Bill C.

    King Cotton – Don’t you think he would have mentioned it in his press conference if he had any intentions of doing so? Why would you comment on resigning from the chair of the RGA and “forget” to mention that you were resigning as the Governor of South Carolina.

    Should Sanford resign? Why would he? Just because Brad “Squeaky” Warthen asked twice and got blown off twice? Is his voice really that high or was he just nervous?

    ——–

    Norm – Would you come out and admit to an affair to the media or at minimum to your neighborhood if not confronted first?

    Do I think Bauer is ready for what? For Governor of South Carolina… no. For the school board… no. For his homeowner’s association board… no.

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  9. jfx

    Oh lord. The Fox News version of damage control. “Let’s ‘accidentally’ change him to a Democrat!”

    ———

    Meanwhile, Bill C. needs a cold shower. I think the poor fella finally blew his last gasket. One minute he’s ranting because Brad is at home without a job, next minute he’s ranting because Brad is out on a job.

    The man is positively obsessed with Warthen.

    Step…away…from the blog…Bill C. Relax. Go for a walk. Or maybe a hike.

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  10. Bill C.

    Brad was out on the job??? He would have been there regardless… because it was Sandford and bad press all in one room.

    Actually I could care less about Warthen… I hope he does find work… in sunny California.

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  11. bj

    Norm, thanks for your solid and rational perspective in your comments about the situation. Lt Gov. isn’t ready, but at least he’s responsive to public opinion and to some common sense approaches from time to time.

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  12. Norm Ivey

    Bill C-

    At least we can agree on Bauer.

    And I wouldn’t engage in an affair. I love and respect my family more than that. If the governor were really manning up, he would have ended the relationship with the other woman as soon as it began crossing the line.

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  13. Bill C.

    Norm – That’s not what I asked. IF, you were involved in an affair and nobody knew… or in this situation, your wife and possibly children knew. Would you openly announce it to everyone around you before you “got caught”?

    As far as the “affair”… enlighten us with your knowledge leading up to it. Do you know what, other than what the Governor admitted to, led to this affair? Tell us Norm, what kind of marital problems were the Governor and First Lady having. How did the First Lady find out, was she shocked or angry? People make mistakes, and these mistakes hurt people around them. Not everyone can be as perfect as you are.

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  14. Todd

    Bill C: The other Bill C didn’t resign and he lied about even when caught. One can tell Mark Sanford is an amatuer at the extra-marital affair business. I mean, how many mistakes did this guy make in this deal?

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  15. Burl Burlingame

    These things come in threes. First Ensign, now Sanford. For the trifecta, which leading Republican politician will next blurt out he’s having an affair when no one is asking?

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  16. Brad Warthen

    Actually, Burl, people were asking. They just hadn’t had the chance to ask the governor himself. The rumor, as early as Monday, was that the governor had a girlfriend in Argentina. Which seemed too weird to be true. Only it wasn’t.

    Don’t know whether Gina asked him straight-up about the girlfriend when she caught him at the airport, but it was a question that has been in the air.

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  17. Brad Warthen

    Here’s a release from Lindsey Graham:

    “I’ve been a close friend of Mark and Jenny since our election to Congress in 1994. Like all of their friends, I want the best for their family and hope they can repair the damage. I will provide any personal support I can.

    “Jenny and Mark have four wonderful boys. The Sanford family needs time and space to work through their challenges. I hope they are afforded that opportunity.

    “As for the future, I hope Mark will reconcile with his family and can continue serving as our state’s governor.”

    And here’s one from S.C. Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, who has opted to be more critical of the gov than Jake at this point:

    “I’m deeply disturbed that NO ONE knew where Governor Sanford was over the last five days. He left the country and deliberately made himself unavailable without delegating power to the Lt. Governor. In the process he misled his staff who unknowingly misled the public. These actions could have had drastic consequences in the case of an emergency. We cannot let the Governor’s personal life overshadow his public responsibility, or in this case, his negligence of gubernatorial authority.”

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  18. Norm Ivey

    Bill C

    The governor described how it began–with an exchange of emails offering advice on life situations. It developed into an inappropriate relationship a year ago. As soon as he realized that the relationship was inappropriate, he should have ended it.

    I don’t claim perfection. I’m not. I openly acknowledge that I make mistakes.

    WHEN (not IF) I make mistakes, I correct them as soon as I realize I made them (or my bride cheerfully points them out to me). When those mistakes hurt other people, I go directly to the people I’ve hurt and try to make things right. Sometimes all you can do is apologize and ask for forgiveness. If Sanford had done the same, the mistake would have been ended a year ago when he said it began perhaps with no emotional damage to himself or his family.

    So to answer your question, no, I would not notify my neighborhood or the press of my mistake. It wouldn’t take a public revelation of my transgressions to get me to correct it. Perhaps the governor was in Argentina to end the relationship and do the right thing. If he had done so a year ago, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

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  19. Dave S.

    Asking if the governor is going to resign is not a stupid question at all. He disappeared for five days; he abandoned his duties as governor and abandoned the people of South Carolina. The infidelity is secondary, a personal matter.
    And he should step down, although Bauer is by no means a good replacement.

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  20. Brad Warthen

    Of course, it was THE question, which should go without saying. Everything else is personal, something between the governor and his wife and kids and God. It’s the one “so what happens now?” question, as most of y’all understand.

    So never mind Bill C. I’m more interested in what the rest of y’all think.

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  21. Randy E

    WOW! Another example of “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I wrote on the last thread that his wife’s reaction was very telling.

    Bill C, you’re a jerk. I now assign you you Lee status – it’s meaningless to address you and I won’t any more. As I do with Lee, I’ll simply skip over your posts unless I’m very bored.

    Dooouugg….where’s Doug’s reaction!?!?

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  22. Greg Flowers

    If he were going to resign he would have announced it. However, it would not surprise me if he did resign in the next few days. It sounds like he needs a lot of personal time.

    I hope no one reports the name of the Argintine woman. I don’t see how identifying her is pertinent to anything.

    He wife has now said she asked him to leave two weeks ago and not to contact the family. She really didn’t know where he was.

    I hope that the privacy of the family is honored. This must be a very tough time for them.

    I can see that resignation might be appropriate but the idea of Andre Baur as Governor really frightens me.

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  23. Brad Warthen

    And this is from the state Dem0cratic Party chair, Carol Fowler:

    “Our thoughts are with the Governor’s family at this time. Mark Sanford should be given time to focus on his family right now. There will be other opportunities in the weeks ahead to discuss his effectiveness as our state’s governor.”

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  24. jfx

    I can forgive the man the affair and the mess just so long as he wasn’t spending any taxpayer money on secret liaison logistics DURING THE STIMULUS BATTLE. That would get into the kind of deep hypocrisy that is beyond unconscionable.

    Part of the guv’s gubernatorial responsibility now is also considering the repercussions of a potential resignation, and the passing of the reigns to Bauer. Given that Sanford seems to hold Bauer in such low regard, how can he in good conscience give him the keys to SC1?

    Brad, do you think this hurts Nikki Haley’s candidacy? Does some of the fund raising network that would have modulated naturally from Sanford to Haley retract in the wake of the scandal? Or does that donor web enthusiastically embrace her now and gallop quickly into the post-Sanford era?

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  25. KP

    That press conference was terrible to watch. I’m no fan of the Governor but what a truly awful situation for him and for his family. I have heard over the past few days that many close to Sanford think his mental health is fragile. I hope he and his family will pull through.

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  26. Brad Warthen

    And Greg, anyone who has read my blog over the last few years knows I don’t want Andre as governor. The 2010 campaign needs to be about finding way better alternatives than that.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know that Sanford will be able to hang on that long. The strain in the coming days — just personal, without figuring in whatever public pressures will arise — will be huge, probably much more than he anticipates at this point.

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  27. Steve Gordy

    Adultery in politics is hardly news. Theodore H. White once said that, in all his years as a national political reporter, he only knew three men he was sure had never cheated on their wives: Harry Truman, George Romney (we can probably add Mitt to the list), Jimmy Carter. My sympathies are entirely with Jenny and the boys.

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  28. Greg Flowers

    No, I did not mean to intimate that you favored a Bauer governorship. Unfortunately, the man I saw at the press conference looked like he didn’t have a whole lot more to give.

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  29. Greg Flowers

    This is a STRONG argument for candidates for governor and lt. governor to run as a ticket. The idea of someone like a Tom Davis stepping in would be far less frightening.

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  30. Doug Ross

    Randy,

    I know this whole episode probably brought a smile to your face.

    Your pettiness on trying to call me out is telling. Go check out the other
    thread where I was the first one to comment about Sanford, saying he should resign. Ooops… guess you missed that, eh? That’s okay.. I know you were too busy yukking it up.

    Sanford should resign. He should put his family first (oh, and now do you feel a little less holier-than-thou about the whole Fathers Day thing?
    seems there were a few factors involved that would have made celebrating Fathers Day a hypocritical activity).

    Feel free to go back to laughing about how helpful this family’s awful situation will be for the educrat community.

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  31. Brad Warthen

    Just talked to Bob McAlister about something unrelated, and he’s busily working on an op-ed for The State for tomorrow, at Cindi’s request.

    That should be worth reading. And for Burl (and others), I’ll explain that Bob was former Gov. Carroll Campbell’s (1987-1995) chief of staff. He’s also a former journalist, and a very reliable deadline column-writer, so my expectation that said column will actually appear is fairly high…

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  32. Bill C.

    Brad, they were reading copies of e-mails that The State has had for nearly a year on the radio on the way home tonight. I guess today was just the end to “old news” for you.

    For those calling for his resignation… I hope you enjoy Gov. Andre’ Bauer and speak highly of him. Maybe we will even see Lt. Gov. Jake Knotts. This should give the late night comedians enough material for years.

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  33. Bill C.

    Randy E. – I’ve been called worse by less liberal than you… so that remark didn’t even sting. You may be one person that’s actually happier than Brad or Jake today.

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  34. Bill C.

    Brad if you want “Oh my gosh”… read the responses to The State publishing these e-mail messages. The State is nothing but trash tabloid journalism. They let 6 more people go this week, let’s hope it’s 60 next week.

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  35. Shanks Evans

    So, this is what the “new guard” Republicans in Columbia have to fight the corruption and status quo “old guard:” a vacationing van abuser, a convicted cocaine user and now an adulterer. Can’t wait to see what Nikki, Tom, Kevin, Lee, Shane, Joey and the rest of the young guns in the “roll up their sleeves” party have to offer next!

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  36. Jerry

    Brad, these emails were acquired by The State in December according to the web site. Did you know about them? Why was this not reported on then?

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  37. Bart

    I don’t know about this one. On one hand, the emails confirm the time frame of the affair and the intensity of the relationship. On the other hand, do we take into consideration what this will do to his sons and his soon-to-be, ex-wife? Where are the lines of decency and consideration drawn on this explosive situation?

    The NYT held back along with every other news organization on the planet the story about their kidnapped reporter to avoid potential deadly results. Not that the two are of the same nature but they are similar in some aspects. Revelation of all the emails will most certainly add to the destruction of a family due to the father’s transgressions.

    I would like to believe that somewhere along the way, the feeding frenzy will shock us into a better reality and maybe help us exhibit the better nature we all have. Instead of a continual blood letting by Sanford’s critics and opponents, allow his family to be the recipients of our sympathy and respect for their privacy during the coming days. Maybe limit the damage to the innocent victims.

    Sanford is not just toast, he is burnt to a crisp toast and there is no way to scrape off the burned part. Maybe it should be enough self-satisfaction for those who still want more than a pound of flesh to revel in his downfall in private or within their closed circles.

    Hell, I don’t know. Solomon is not around to offer to split the baby.

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  38. Brad Warthen

    I haven’t the slightest idea, Jerry. I’ve never heard about the existence of these e-mails before. It would be helpful if The State would explain a little better: Did the newsroom FOI these communications and never look at them at the time? Did it read them and decide it didn’t have enough context to understand what they were about? Did it pursue the implications at the time and never get anywhere with such inquiries? Or did the newsroom fully understand the implications, but made a conscious decision not to tell readers (or those of us upstairs in the editorial department) until now?

    Of all my surmises above, the first one — that the e-mails were not fully delved into at the time — seems most likely, knowing what I know about how completely overwhelmed the newspaper’s dwindling staff is. There are a lot of things that ought to get done that don’t.

    But I’d be curious to know the actual facts about this.

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  39. Greg Flowers

    These are very personal messages and publishing them helps no one and will probably cause his family a great deal of hurt. There was a time not long ago when the State would not have considered publishing such. I am embarressed for them.

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  40. Randy E

    Doug, you go to great links to condemn public education as a whole with complete insensitivity to us educators. Lecturing me on pettiness is hypocritical.

    I was amused that you and other apologists went to such great lengths to defend him even as this situation was digressing quickly. I find no pleasure in the pain he caused his family but I am amused at your efforts and will continue to be.

    Even if there was no affair, his actions were indefensible. Leaving his family on Father’s Day was, as I stated, significant.

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  41. Greg Flowers

    He did not leave the family on Father’s Day. Two weeks ago his wife asked him to leave and to have no contact with the family.

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  42. Brad Warthen

    Actually, a former colleague tells me that these e-mails may have passed through the editorial department on their way to the newsroom originally — which would be pretty normal procedure, since even in its best days editorial was not staffed for spending time poring through such documents. (I’m guessing here that we’re talking reams and reams of e-mails, among which these salacious ones were buried.) That’s what reporters are for. In fact, the reason John Monk moved from editorial to news several years ago was so that he could be afforded the time to do the kind of in-depth digging at which he excels.

    But I know that I never saw the content that is being published on the Web site today. I’d remember that.

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  43. murraywood

    Publishing these personal emails is a slimey ruse. Talk about giving the family some privacy. It is outrageous and the The State newspaper should be ashamed of itself. If I every buy another copy of that rag, it will be when h#ll freezes over.

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  44. Burl Burlingame

    Newspapers routinely receive copies of scandalous “emails” from political opponents. Proving them is something else, and when we do chase them down, more often than not it’s a deliberate falsification. Karl Rove cut his teeth on tricks like this, creating smeary deflections from real issues. Have you heard about McCain’s illegitimate kid lately?

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  45. King Cotton

    Having read the emails between Sanford and his Argentine friend, I predict that the governor will resign within the next few days. He’s a private person to a large degree and I can’t see him continuing on in a public position after such revealing correspondence has been exposed.

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  46. Jerry

    I agree that these emails should not be published if they were written on a private email account. I think we are only at the tip of the iceberg of things that will be revealed and questioned. One of the first is how were the emails obtained, was he dumb enough to send them on his government email so they are fair game to FOI?

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  47. Randy E

    Greg, when exactly he left is a technicality in regards to my point. He was away from his kids on Father’s Day. That was an indicator that something serious was wrong.

    Brad, how does the governor separate from his wife? No one has addressed this. He is kicked out of their bedroom? He physically leaves the governor’s mansion?

    I have no sympathy for this man given his complete disregard for those suffering during this financial crisis.

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  48. Greg Flowers

    My point is not what day he departed but that the absence was not of his own volition. Now, his wife had good reason to do what she did, but he did not voluntarily absent himself from his children on Father’s Day.

    All of that aside, Father’s Day is not observed by all families as it is essentially a made up holiday.

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  49. Abby D

    The State has had these e-mails since December and sat on them??? I don’t care if Sanford resigns over this flap or not. I think he’s a loser governor and don’t like him at all, but not because he’s a philander. He’s a lying hypocrite, though, and that does not improve my opinion much.

    What lights my fuse is that The State did not come forward sooner with this info. Makes me wonder how many of the staff who were recently let go may have had some intel on this issue? Clearly The State is NOT a member of that vaunted liberal media. Clearly they are carrying water for Sanford.

    And, just ’cause I (like Sanford) can’t resist: I guess we know why he turned down the stimulus money — he was gettin’ his stimulus elsewhere!

    -Abby

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  50. Greg Flowers

    That would be much funnier if there were not such tragedy and suffering involved in the situation.

    Many politicians (and non-politicians) consider extra marital affairs to be a perq and enter into them serially and without much thought. Sanford is a good man who cares about his family but let the situation get the better of him. That does not excuse his behavior, but he is not Wayne Hayes or Wilbur Mills and I personally feel that sadness is a more appropriate emotion than ridicule.

    Again, under other circumstances it would be hilarious.

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  51. jfx

    I think I can compartmentalize enough to feel awful for Sanford’s family, AND also laugh at those boxer shorts in Burl’s cartoon. That’s politics. At the end of a wretched day, you have to laugh. That title caption made me groan, as intended.

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  52. Bill C.

    If you want scandal, if Sanford were to resign… just wait until the dirt starts coming out about Andre’ Bauer. He won’t last in office a month before he’ll be forced out, I know people who went to school with him and you can’t make up some of these stories. The boy has more skeletons in his closet than the rest of us put together.

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  53. Bill C.

    Burl – It’s mainly hearsay, but I’ve heard similar stories from different people. If the stories are true, they’ll come out.

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  54. Burl Burlingame

    In the meantime, it’s useful to claim such stories are out there. Did you hear the one about Obama being a Communist born in Kenya? Must be true, because an anonymous person in a blog comment said so.

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  55. Brad Warthen

    Burl’s completely right… about all the stuff that comes in over the transom, mostly false and almost all unconfirmable… purporting to be documentation of some great scandal or other.

    As I said, if those e-mails passed through my department, I didn’t see them. Or at least, certainly didn’t see those passages. Bogus or not, I’d remember something that weirdly … I don’t know… original. Most hoaxers aren’t that creative. Too much detail.

    But even if I had seen it, I would remember it as something very interesting — but I wouldn’t have believed it. Without the context of what has happened the last few days, and the governor’s confession today, I would not have believed in what I was looking at.

    I had to smile at Abby up there supposing I and my crew would have been trying to help out Sanford. As to her assertion whether I am in Mark Sanford’s corner — well, I throw myself on the mercy of the court here on my blog. What do y’all, the jury, think?

    But as critical as I’ve been of the guy, I simply would not have believed this if it had come in over the transom without context.

    As you know, a lot of my criticism of the gov is centered in his preference for the private over the public, which I believed extended to his personal life, but not in this way. I’ve written in the past that, along about the time I changed from a Sanford supporter to a leading critic, I suddenly realized that, when he said in his first campaign things along the lines of he wanted to make South Carolina a place where his sons would grow up and want to stay when they were grown, he meant it literally. He wasn’t using the personal as a stand-in for the general. He meant that he was concerned about his boys, but not anybody else’s kids.

    That was a way harsh conclusion for me to reach (by my values), but it at least assumed that he DID care about his wife and kids, and put them first in everything. And I respected that; I just didn’t like that he didn’t seem to care all that much about anybody else’s wife and kids.

    And now this. This is a total shock to me. Yes, the realization has been creeping up on me the last couple of days, ever since Jenny said she didn’t know where he was and wasn’t concerned.

    But before this week, I would not have believed this of Mark Sanford. Despite everything I’ve ever said about him, I thought he was better than this.

    So I don’t remember seeing those e-mails previously, but if I had, I feel quite sure I wouldn’t have believed in them…

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  56. Brad Warthen

    Burl, I sent your cartoon to my friend, cartoonist Robert Ariail, to enjoy.

    It would have been a good illustration of my “wayward gaucho” post this morning.

    But, knowing the governor personally, it just hasn’t been as funny to me since the full truth came out. A trip that he lied about, funny. The cheating on his wife, whom I also know, kind of spoils the joke for me.

    Sorry to be a wet blanket that way. I appreciate your sharing it. It reminds me of your cartooning back in high school. Folks, I even have an original Burl in my high school yearbook…

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  57. Abby D

    Greg: Specifically, under what circumstances would you find this situation hilarious? If Sanford were a Democrat, perhaps?

    Tragedy and suffering? Yes, so tragic for the buffoons who believed this guy was some kind of moral yardstick as he weighed in on Clinton’s and Livingstone’s dalliances.

    Just like in the Clinton White House, a healthy dose of saltpeter in the Gov’s cupboard would fix this situation and help focus his mind on the suffering of the poor, the jobless, the undereducated in this state.

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  58. Burl Burlingame

    It’s one thing to cheat on your wife (or husband). That’s essentially a private act.
    Public humiliation of your spouse is something else.
    Something seems to happen to these guys when they achieve higher office. They’re already Type A personalities to begin with. It’s as if their internal switch is flipped to self-destruct.
    Our governor in Hawaii seems to have no private life at all. That’s equally sad. I want rounded human beings in office.

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  59. Greg Flowers

    Abby, it had nothing whatsoever to do with political affiliation but rather a decent man and his family involved in a tragedy, admittedly one of his own making.

    Unlike some, while I have strong political beliefs, I do not equate good or bad, right or wrong, smart or dumb with where someone falls on the political spectrum.

    Brad, I disagree with you in that I think that Mark Sanford does care about all of the citizens of this State and that he feels that his free market, small government ideology is the best way to make things better for everyone. Disagreeing with someone’s policies is no reason to impune their motives.

    I do not know what all has occurred, nor do I want to , but I will be very surprised if he is Governor in 30 days.

    Remember in the “good old days” when Jack Lindsey and Jim Waddell went to public evnts with their mistresses? For them it was a symbol of power and virility.

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  60. Birch Barlow

    Here’s my question: With so many negative things being said from all sides about Andre Bauer, how the hell did he ever get elected?

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  61. Randy E

    Greg, how has Sanford shown concern for all his citizens? In his campaign website, sanfordforgovernor, he doesn’t bother to mention the poor nor the corridor of shame. He cites bike riding and eating right as the path to a healthier populus. Yep, the homeless sleeping in the park down the street from the mansion should simply eat better and jog.

    He was on CSPAN in February and an unemployed SC resident called in about the trials of being unemployed. Sanford’s response was to offer a prayer while refusing stimulus money that could be used for unemployment support. That’s Mark Sanford, compassionate conservative. He impuned himself.

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  62. Greg Flowers

    You and I disagree Randy and anything I do to try and convince you will be fruitless. Because he does not see your way as the best way to solve problems he is evil and uncaring. He believes, as do I, that the best way to improve education for all students is to provide alternatives which will force public schools to be better. He believes that freedom without government interference is the best way to provide opportunities to all South Carolinians. If not mentioning the “corridor of shame” in his campaign website marks him as an uncaring ogre then we really have nothing more to talk about. Favoring different solutions makes one neither wrong nor uncaring. You see government as the solution, he sees it as the problem. While you will never agree with his perspective try to see that it is sincerely motivated.

    I have bright friends who are socialists and while I don’t understand their views I know that they have thought deeply and feel that this is the best way to improve everyone’s lot. Branding those who disagree with you does no one any good.

    Reply
  63. Greg Flowers

    Birch, I can’t give a full answer, but two factors probably contributed: 1) He is an extraordinarily energetic campaigner; and 2) No one really cares about the office.

    Reply
  64. Randy E

    Greg, I also stated that he completely ignored poverty as an issue (which is related to the Corridor of Shame). He presented his ideas on what should be done for SC and this did NOT entail working with the poor. This man ran on “Christian values” and poverty is the topic mentioned the most by Jesus. It’s not worth mentioning for Sanford.

    So you either agree that the poor are a non-issue or you think the voodoo economics will kick down some money to the poor eventually.

    Regarding options for education, I challenge you to cite an example of where vouchers resulted in an overall improvement of the public schools as a whole. While you’re at it, explain how a $3000-$4000 tax credit that has been proposed will allow a student living in poverty to pay for the $8000+ tuition at the private schools.

    Sanford actually had a good idea about channeling bonus money for teachers who teach in the low performing schools. That gets to the heart of the problem. Teachers flee or avoid the corridor and the big city urban schools. It was common knowledge that many Richland One teachers would leave for Richland 2 or Lexington districts. Lexington HS, Irmo, Dutch Fork were highly coveted. Teachers were not beating down the door to Human Resources in Richland One for a chance to teach at Columbia or Eau Claire.

    I also support charter schools and other options. In fact, I support subsidies for poor students to attend a private school as long as it’s based on need. Otherwise, it will be like the “education” lottery in which many poor people pay to play and many middle class kids use the proceeds to go to college. I draw the line at the fantasy notion that vouchers are some panacea. Again, perhaps you have evidence to the contrary.

    Reply
  65. Greg Flowers

    You have a mindset that starts with the proposition that government should be a social leveler with which I vehemently disagree. You refer to Sanford’s free market ideas as being voodoo. There is really no need to continue this discussion because I will never convince you. Many private schools cost much less than $8000 per year and if there was a market more would spring up. Sanford’s idea is to encourage economic growth throughout the State thereby lifting all boats. You may not agree, but his goal is to help all South Carolinians in the way he feels is best. This is way off topic for this thread so I’m going to stop right there except to say that it is my understanding that Sanford is a sincere man of faith and I do not see that you should question that merely because his views differ from your own.

    Reply
  66. Bart

    My neice’s children go to a private school that do not cost $8,000 a year. Tuition is more in the range of the proposed vouchers and there are a few children who are helped financially by the school. Parents are involved and the quality of education far surpasses what they had been exposed to in public schools. Another issue was their safety and a closer monitored environment.

    As Greg said, this is not the place to get into the subject.

    I absolutely do not agree with what Sanford did and may still be doing. Hopefully, he and his family can work things out and once he is out of office and the public eye, get back to the basics of family life and rebuild. To me, even a marriage that has been damaged is still worth saving if a husband and wife want it to survive. There are too many examples in my own family of a similar nature and I know first hand the extreme pain created when either spouse strays and it is discovered.

    My mother was the family matriarch and every time there was a problem like this one, our house was filled with crying and brokenheated wives, husbands, and especially the children who didn’t understand what was wrong between their mom and dad. More than once I gave up my bed for family members needing a place to stay and find some understanding, comforting words, and most important, non-judgmental support.

    My last comment on the subject is that Sanford allowed himself to cross the line and now, he must face the consequences of his indiscretions, both personal and professional. How he handles it will be a witness to either a reafirmation of what I believe to be his basic good character or he will go the way of those who don’t really give a damn about others, especially the family. I have seen it both ways. We will see the real Mark Sanford in the coming weeks if he stays around.

    Reply
  67. Lee Muller

    We know that The State paper knew where Sanford was all along, because they had e-mails purloined from a mole in the government.

    Mark Sanford’s personal mistakes do not make him wrong about trying to reform education, control spending, cut taxes, and make the legislature open and honest.

    Reply
  68. Bill C.

    It wouldn’t be difficult to find out where these e-mails came from. How many IT folks do they have at the Statehouse, of those how many have access to the e-mail server? That list just whittled down to one or two IT folks. Either they leaked the information or they were asked for the Governor’s e-mail messages by someone. The list of names won’t be that long.

    If these messages were sent out using his state appointed e-mail address, they’re subject to the FOI act, if they were taken from his personal e-mail account, someone could be looking at jail time. Hacking into someone’s personal e-mail account is no different than intercepting someone’s regular mail from the Post Office. I hope whoever intercepted these messages remembered to clean the log files (and then did so so that activity couldn’t be traced back to a log-in time, machine, and account) and has a good lawyer on retainer, he may need it. I believe the Statehouse has logs of who was in the buildings at any given time. Let’s just say, hacking is fairly simple, covering your tracks can be difficult, because you have to erase every single toeprint (not just a footprint). If this is pressed, I’m sure we could know within a week how these e-mails were acquired. Who is the IT Security officer for the Statehouse? That’s the first person I would be talking to.

    Reply
  69. Lee Muller

    Even if they deleted the log files, if the e-mails were sent to The State electronically, AT&T and Verizon have the records of the hops, which they can provide to law enforcement. Been there, done that, when I was a consultant to Microsoft on Exchange Server programming.

    Reply
  70. Bill C.

    If log files were deleted, they’d have to have been done by someone with administrative rights… and the people with those rights would have to have some explaining to do how the log files got accidentally erased. And remember, the action of deleting the log files… gets logged into a log file.

    If these were obtained by any other means than FOI, someone might be spending some jail time over this.

    I just read the article about how Gina Smith went to the Atlanta airport on a hunch. She states she met the Governor as he deplaned. How does one get past airport security to a gate without boarding pass or something like an escort pass when escorting someone with a boarding pass? You can’t just go through security and say you want to watch people deplane a flight.

    Reply
  71. jfx

    Bill C.-

    Here’s an account from the Washington Post. Gina was in the “regular folks” waiting area, nothing special:

    ——-
    At 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, Gina Smith, a reporter from The State newspaper, was standing in the waiting area at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

    Since December, the Columbia newspaper had been sitting on a stack of e-mails, which it says were sent anonymously. They were purportedly personal correspondence between Sanford and a woman in Argentina named “Maria.”…

    …The paper then received an anonymous tip that Sanford had been spotted on a flight to Buenos Aires, but had no idea when he might be returning. Acting on a hunch, Smith staked out the airport.

    She was craning her neck, squinting as she scanned the crowd. When she spotted Sanford, any doubts Smith might have had about the e-mails’ authenticity seemed to evaporate.

    The tip was so sketchy that the paper had decided not to send a photographer with Smith. Acting reflexively, she snapped a quick photo with her digital camera, then called out to Sanford.

    “Governor!” she shouted. “Everybody’s been worried about where you’ve been. … Have you been on the Appalachian Trail?”

    Clearly flummoxed, the governor invited Smith to sit down with him in the waiting area. According to Smith, a visibly deflated Sanford gazed absently into the distance, his mouth opening, then closing, as if he were at a loss for words.

    Sanford acknowledged that while he had planned to go hiking, he had actually been to Argentina. Then, in what now appears to have been a last, desperate attempt to delay the inevitable, the governor launched into a ramble about other “adventure trips” he had taken to Turkey, Greece and other parts of South America.

    Smith asked whether Sanford had been alone in Buenos Aires. Yes, he replied.

    When she pushed the issue, Sanford abruptly ended the interview and left.
    ———————–

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062502326_pf.html

    Reply
  72. Lee Muller

    If you believe that Gina Smith went to Atlanta on a hunch and just happened to be in the right terminal at little ole Atlanta Airport, you believe in the Tooth Fairy, too.

    And she just happened to fly down to Argentina and go straight to the apartment of the other woman, too.

    The State paper collaborated its vendetta with the vendettas of Democrats.

    Reply
  73. Randy E

    Sanford is a sincere man of faith? By citing God, we are to lay off of him? Clinton does the same thing and venom is spewed – double standard. Speaking of being a man of God, what has Sanford done as governor to show his concern for the poor? “A tree is known by the fruit it bears.”

    The issue of private schools is certainly pertinent to this discussion given Sanford’s hate mongering towards public schools.

    Voucher amounts are around $2500 (latest proposal: http://www.thestate.com/local/story/723229.html ) to maybe $4000. I challenge you guys to find in the greater a private school with tuition that a student living in poverty could afford. Tuition in more rural parts may be as low as $5000 like it is for the Thomas Sumter Academy but that’s still leaves a large difference. Sure, some schools offer some financial assistance but the schools have a scholarship limit. That is simply no recipe for overhauling public schools.

    Reply
  74. Lee Muller

    So raise the vouchers to $8,000.
    Public education costs over $12,000 per pupil.

    Outsource all of it to private enterprise.

    Reply

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