Search for “Appalachian Trail” on Twitter and you’ll find that it has suddenly taken on a new, bawdy meaning that has nothing to do with hiking.
But there’s been more serious reaction to Mark Sanford’s confession that, rather than exploring the outdoors — as his staff had said — he had spent the last five days in Argentina, ending an adulterous affair.
A sampling follows.
”I think you’ve got one less contender for president,” said Charles E. Cook Jr., editor of The Cook Political Report, adding that Mr. Sanford may be able to complete his term as governor, but could not expect to climb the ladder. “You don’t leave this behind — you really can’t.”
From at Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post:
The only commendable thing Sanford has done lately was to stand before the television cameras by himself as he admitted that his mysterious five-day absence was in fact a trip to Argentina — to see the woman with whom he has been having an extramarital affair for the past year.
He didn’t follow the lead of Larry Craig, Eliot Spitzer and all the others who somehow induced their aggrieved wives to literally stand by their men.
From Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi — who takes over Sanford’s role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association:
“The news revealed today hurts all of us who have gotten to know Governor Sanford over the years and so it is with regret that the RGA accepted Governor Sanford’s resignation as chairman.
While this news is deeply disappointing, I also know it’s important to remain focused on the future and Governor Sanford’s resignation allows him and us to do just that.
From Newsweek’s Andrew Romano:
Before watching the presser, I was ready to believe—stupidly, it now seems—that Sanford had actually dashed off to South America for a breather (in winter!). Why? Because that sort of unvarnished independence was the foundation of his appeal, regardless of whether you agreed with his budget-hawk policies.
Back in April…[h]e struck me then as unusually raw for an elected official—as if he were missing at least one layer of the plastic most pols encase themselves in—and as a result fundamentally ill-suited, despite his unsullied electoral winning streak, to high-level political life. But there was something genuine about his earnestness.
And one of many questions from Marc Armbinder with The Atlantic:
Will pressure grow on him to resign the governorship? Sanford said he’d quit as chair of the Republican Governors Association but will pressure gather from South Carolinians, the state’s Republicans and editorial pages for him to quit his office? And if so what’s the case against Sanford: Leaving town without telling anyone?
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.