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Gov. Sanford Admits To “Hiking the Appalachian Trail”

Jim Burroway

June 24th, 2009

if you know what I mean:

Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) admitted that he had conducted an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina who he had gone to visit over the last five days — during which time a massive media story developed over where he was and why.

“I have been unfaithful to my wife . . . I developed a relationship with what started as a dear dear friend,” said Sanford.

He said that he had met the woman, who he did not name, roughly eight years ago and that it had become romantic within the last year. He visited her three times during the past year, Sanford said, and noted that his wife, Jenny, had been aware of the affair for the past five months.

I have a feeling that “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” is fast becoming a new euphemism for “that whole sparking thing.”

Gov. Sanford hasn’t resigned as governor yet, although he has resigned as chair of the Republican Governors Association. The Values Voters Summit quickly scrubbed Sanford from their list of invited speakers The State has posted emails from Sanford to the unnamed woman they obtained last December. They haven’t explained why they held those emails until now. Maybe it’s because they feared publishing it would be a crime against the high art of purple prose:

I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light – but hey, that would be going into sexual details.

Sanford was serving in the House of Representatives during President Clinton’s impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky affair, which he described as “reprehensible”:

This is “very damaging stuff,” Sanford declared at one point, when details of Clinton’s conduct became known. “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign)… I come from the business side,” he said. “If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.”

Explaining his decision to back impeachment articles against Clinton, he added, “I think what he did in this matter was reprehensible… I feel very comfortable with my vote.”

Sanford is against same-sex marriage and civil unions, and voted against allowing gay couples adopt children. He also chose to spend Father’s Day away from his own wife and four kids. Go figure.

Comments

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penguinsaur
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

I cant wait for the daily show/colbert report to rip into him. This is the kind of story comedians live for.

Neophoenician
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

…and all this was apparently at the taxpayers’ expense. The Augusta Chronicle is reporting that: “Gov. Mark Sanford ranks in the top 50 [travel spenders] based on the total amount he spent on trips paid by his office and those paid by the state Commerce Department. Mr. Sanford has traveled to China, Argentina and Brazil through the Commerce Department, which has travel reports showing taxpayers covering $21,488 for those trips.”

Bruno
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

The Value Voters will have to do without Sanford but at least they have Carrie Prejean, who will one day hold her head up high as her husband cheats on her surreptitiously.

Burr
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

You know, the people fighting for “tradition” and the “sanctity of marriage” have done the most damage possible to their most sacred institution by allowing professional liars (politicians, bigoted and totally uneducated priests, etc.) to lead their cause.

You’d think they’d buy a clue and pull this out of the political sphere, which has severely tarnished it.

Erica
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

As a South Carolinian, this actually came as something of a shock. Not that he had a mistress necessarily, just the whole Argentina angle — I suppose he thought that much distance made it safer? more acceptable?

I didn’t have much respect for him before based on his lack of respect for South Carolinian voters and legislature, and I certainly don’t have any now based on his personal lack of respect for his family. He has some seriously screwed up values.

Lindoro Almaviva
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

Values voters will start making excuses for him. they already started on the yahoo boards.

Value Voters are as blind as they can be. They do not care what these bastards do so long as they repeat the same tired mantra about how gays are “loved” but it is OK to hate the sin and how they are about to bring down the fall of the western hemisphere because they want to marry.

That’s all their sorry asses want. they could care less about whether their leaders actually live what they preach.

Before you debate me, go to the yahoo page and see how many people are already making excuses for him and saying that Democrats have nothing to talk about because Clinton played hide the cigar in the oval office.

Richard
June 24th, 2009 | LINK

A trusted source assures me FOX News identified him as a Democrat. This reaction to Republican scandals has happened repeatedly with FOX, and may indicate that network believes its viewers are really gullible.

Otherwise this governor may be better than he is being painted. An eight year friendship finally leading to an affair is hardly on a par with Bill Clinton’s reported tendency to paw any woman with whom he was alone for 15 minutes when he was a governor. Not that I would condemn Clinton too harshly either, but the allegations have little in common. And opposing SSM and civil unions, while I think it misguided, does not necessarily make him a hypocrite just because his own conduct fell short of his ideals.

tavdy79
June 25th, 2009 | LINK

Seems Sanford’s erotic imagination is as well-developed as his political acumen.

BJohnM
June 25th, 2009 | LINK

He has stated that his wife has known for five months, and she was very obviously NOT standing by his side during the press conference (as so many of these stupid political wives do). I’m guessing he didn’t spend time with them on Father’s Day weekend because they didn’t want to see him.

And so, feeling all sorry for himself, he took off on his little “hiking expedition” to find some consolation.

The interesting part, now that he’s been caught, is his claim that he wants to reconcile with his wife and sons. If that were really true, he would have broken off the relationship five months ago when she found out. As usual, me thinks the Governor isn’t really sorry for the affair, just for getting caught.

cowboy
June 25th, 2009 | LINK

If this keeps happening to the men in the GOP, Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman Jr. will be their only choices for a candidate for the 2012 election. Huckabee, perhaps?

Марко Фризия
June 25th, 2009 | LINK

I feel tremendous pity for this man’s wife and kids. They don’t deserve to be punished for what Sanford has done. I am glad that he didn’t drag his wife to his apology press conference. I am glad she was spared that indignity. That said, I feel tremendous sympathy for the same-sex couples (and their children) who have been on the receiving end of the bigotry and discrimination coming from Sanford and others like him. I think his behavior is hypocritical because he wants to hold others to a high standard that he refused to keep (and he even wanted to pass laws against gay couple). And he campaigned on truth and family values. But I cannot imagine the pain his wife and kids must be feeling.

Ben in Oakland
June 25th, 2009 | LINK

Richard wrote: “And opposing SSM and civil unions, while I think it misguided, does not necessarily make him a hypocrite just because his own conduct fell short of his ideals.”

Ummm honey? That is EXACTLY what makes him a hypocrite. Marriage is a sacred bond blah blahblah and you aren’t entitled to it because you are a sinner.

The bond is not so sacred that ti cannot be violated and or broken altogether. And last I heard, fornication, adultery, and lying were sins.

Richard
June 25th, 2009 | LINK

Perhaps you know more about this than I do, Ben. Life seemed too short to read this man’s intercepted emails, or the transcript of his press conference. I did not say he was not a hypocrite, but that his affair did not by itself prove him so. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” as Paul put it; and some politicians seem to feel it is their duty to demonstrate that in a spectacular fashion. Such a sacrifice for the enlightenment of their constituents should be remembered and rewarded. Or Governor Sanford could just be dumb.

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