Your morning jolt: The Mark Sanford e-mails

Before dawn this morning, the radio announced that Mark Sanford had no intention of resigning as governor of South Carolina.

But on TV, after the sun came up, Sanford’s best friend acknowledged that more fallout could come from Sanford’s Argentinian adventure.

“I think that South Carolinians, in particular Americans, have tremendous capacity for forgiveness. That said, they can also recognize hypocrisy. I think the tale of the tape will be the next few days, whether or not Gov. Sanford is sincere in his repentance,” state Sen. Tom Davis told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday.

With the first shock of Wednesday’s news conference in the state capitol in Columbia now over, the details are washing over us like flotsam in the wake of an ocean liner.

The speed of Sanford’s fall from grace is stunning. This from Chris Cillizza, who writes The Fix for the Washington Post:

State State Rep. Nikki Haley, who is widely seen as Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) choice to replace him as governor of South Carolina in 2010, has removed a picture of the governor from her campaign Web site.

Not a few Republicans responded with black humor to the second confession of an affair by a 2012 presidential possibility in two weeks. This from the New York Times:

“I disagree with the idea that this shows problems for the modern Republican Party,” said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that applauded Mr. Sanford’s attempt to refuse some federal stimulus funds earlier this year. In reference to the fiscally conservative philosophies of Mr. [John] Ensign and Mr. Sanford, he joked, “I think instead it shows that sexual attractiveness of limited-government conservatism.”

The State newspaper has a wealth of information this morning, including a first-person from reporter Gina Smith, who met Sanford at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, minutes after he stepped off his plane from Buenos Aires.

They sat down for a quick talk, which Sanford broke off when Smith asked if he’d been alone on his trip:

As Sanford walked away from our interview, it was clear he was troubled, feeling defeat both personally and professionally.

The bruising legislative session, dominated by his refusal to accept $700 million in federal stimulus money, was only part of the problem.

“I don’t hate my job,” he said near the end of our interview. But, he said, he was close to hating it.

It was a job where he should have the ability to accomplish big things, he said.

“Unfortunately,” he said, “I didn’t.”

The South Carolina newspaper also has posted what it says are e-mails between Sanford and the other woman, referred to only as “Marie.”

Sanford quotes Bible verses — “the love chapter” from I Corinthians — and describes his passion for heavy machinery:

I went out and ran the excavator with lights until the sun came up. To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the background, the tranquility that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and vibrant pink coming alive in the morning clouds — and getting to build something with each scoop of dirt.

It is admittedly weird but one of my more favorite ways of escaping the norms, constant phone calls and formalities that go with the office — and it probably fits with my weakness in doing rather than being….Enough about my love of heavy equipment and woods at sunrise.

The governor of South Carolina also reveals a weakness for soap operas:

I also don’t want you walking20away (sic) from some guy (I take it the younger guy you mentioned a t dinner) because of me — and what we both have to see as an impossible situation. I better stop now least this really sound like the Thornbirds — wherein I was always upset with Richard Chamberlain for not dropping his ambitions and running into Maggie’s arms

Among Republicans, there’s a consensus that the last two weeks have benefited 2008 contender Mitt Romney. But another presidential possibility woke up to the following article in the Anchorage Daily News:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin “continues to be a divisive figure among the general public” but is hugely popular among Republicans, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted June 10-14 among 1,502 adults reached on landlines and cell phones “finds that impressions of Sarah Palin have not changed much since the presidential campaign.”

….Nearly as many of the people surveyed said they have an unfavorable impression of Palin (44 percent) as have a favorable view of her (45 percent). But Palin had an overall higher favorability rating than any of the other three, with Romney in second at 40 percent. Romney’s unfavorables, though, were only at 28 percent and 32 percent said they didn’t know.

While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • State agencies told to cut 3 percent more.
  • Back-biting in D.C. translates into hope for Atlanta-Lovejoy commuter rail.
  • Former congressman Pat Swindall indicted for lying, again.
  • School choice law won’t apply in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.</li>
  • Police insist they have a plan to thwart attacks near Georgia Tech.
  • A $45 million budget cut by Fulton County may be followed by another.
  • Atlanta city council to hold hearings Thursday on tax hike plan.
  • Clayton commissioners choice? Furloughs or higher taxes.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Kyle Wingfield on how our views affect next generation.
  • Lee A. Kolber thinks it’s time for Atlanta to lay new track.
  • According to Estelle Archibold, the funding disparity for sickle cell disease is costly to Georgia.
  • The pro and con of whether the U.S. should take a harder line on the Iranian election crisis.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • ABC: Metro Atlanta’s population to hit 8.3 million by 2040.
  • Tifton Gazette: Austin Scott plans 1,000-mile ‘Walk Around Georgia’
  • And beyond:

  • USN&WR: Sanford cites secretive Christian group’s role in helping confront affair.
  • WSJ: Karl Rove says ObamaCare isn’t inevitable.
  • NYT: Republicans to paint Bernanke as big government ally.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    30 comments Add your comment

    Steve

    June 25th, 2009
    9:56 am

    I read the email, he could have a second career writing softcore porn for lonley fat women once he’s impeached. Sounds like that was some good stuff the Gov was getting :)

    L. Todd Webb

    June 25th, 2009
    10:52 am

    The crucifixion of S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford that is about to ensue will, no doubt, be a sad testimony to the completeness of the hoodwinking of The United States by the Democrat machine.
    Sanford made an undeniably bad personal decision. He destroyed his family. He surrendered his credibility. He, however, did not break the law.
    It wasn’t too long ago that a sitting President did the same thing. He didn’t even have the class to go to a hotel or even to Argentina in order to do it. He performed his act in a vestibule in The White House. And then lied about it. When the cigar smoke cleared, he got off scott free, was elevated to the level of Black Hillbilly Jesus, went on a multi-million dollar speaking tour, and heads a many-multi million dollar “foundation” whose interests directly conflict with the office of his wife, our current Secretary of State.
    Will Sanford fare as well? I doubt it.
    The current regime is very fortunate to have been given this gift. The litmus test is how they will conduct themselves now that they have it. I predict that the current tone of arrogant self-riteousness will prevail. I predict that this will swell to an indictment of the last vestiges of the Republican era. They will twist it into the premise that 52% of Americans voted against just this type of behavior. I predict that this will devolve into the fuel to propel us further and further into government control. That 52% of the population is still there, still impressionable, still begging not for leadership but for revenge against those of us who have chosen to determine our own destiny and succeed, but be spoiled by the few of us who overreached.
    Well at least no one drowned……

    travelindem

    June 25th, 2009
    11:04 am

    What’s up with politicians and not being able to keep their pants on.

    Ken Hodges didn’t take a hike, or fly to Argentina, but maybe he should have.

    http://www.aboutforsyth.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=28671&highlight=&sid=25ff1efe03d2e5b93b7dd4e2e33626cb

    CAL

    June 25th, 2009
    11:08 am

    Typical LYING republican, they have caused so much trouble for this country it is awful !

    This guy is a complete hyprocrite, Don’t you be imoral Bill Clinton, but hope I don’t get caught….

    This piece of $HIT needs to resign TODAY and go jump off a ten story building… NO LOSS !!!!

    Peadawg

    June 25th, 2009
    11:12 am

    Hey CAL, don’t you mean typical lying POLITICIAN. Your boy Obama hasn’t cut any spending like he said he would. ALL politicians are liars, not just republicans. And what about Clinton, “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman.” LOL!

    Larry

    June 25th, 2009
    11:18 am

    Another republican hypocrite bites the dust!

    These family values, sanctity of marriage phonies are all the same. The preachers and politicians, bankers and boardroom executives appeal to your ignorance, racism, and homophobia to gain power and steal your money!

    When are you poor dumb redneck republicans gonna learn?

    Peadawg

    June 25th, 2009
    11:26 am

    Hey Larry, what about Clinton and Kerry? When are you poor liberals gonna learn?

    Peadawg

    June 25th, 2009
    11:27 am

    And on the “sanctity of marriage”, didn’t the first gay couple to get married in Massachusetts get divorced recently? Good start for y’all too, huh?

    Mark

    June 25th, 2009
    11:31 am

    A real man would resign and save his family and his state continuing embarrassment. He did not seem truly sorry for the damage he has done.

    The many lies he told to cover this trip were appalling. The man is too twisted psychologically to lead his state or his family.

    To be with this woman on father’s day and not with his children is both disturbing and incredibly selfish.

    Richard Covington

    June 25th, 2009
    11:49 am

    Seeing the pictures of these 3 men plus the other 7 profiled on Cnn political shaninigans and affairs point o one conclusion. All of these men were basically very sexually unattractive except for John Edwards(cnn profile) Through their own feelings of inadequacy they used their elected power to get fame and possess money hungry woman and young men to succumb to their sexual desires and buy into their fantasy that they are super hunky good looking men when in fact they were all myopic ugly wimps.!!

    Lynda

    June 25th, 2009
    11:57 am

    Why is it that when we show pictures of politicians who cheated, we never see Bill Clinton, John Kennedy or Ted Kennedy?
    Ted not only cheated, he ran off and left someone to die! But I guess that’s ok since he’s a Kennedy.

    Copyleft

    June 25th, 2009
    12:37 pm

    Ah yes, the inevitable comparisons to Clinton, Kennedy, JFK, John Edwards, etc.

    Tell us, Republicans: Which of these Democratic officials specialized in making speeches about “family values” and “moral leadership”? I think you’ll find that while the BEHAVIOR is common to all, the HYPOCRISY is owned solely by the GOP.

    Which is another good indicator that our politicians need get out of the Moral Champion business and focus on doing their jobs. Who elects these bluenose preachers, anyway? Oh, right….

    Peadawg

    June 25th, 2009
    12:42 pm

    “Tell us, Republicans: Which of these Democratic officials specialized in making speeches about “family values” and “moral leadership”? I think you’ll find that while the BEHAVIOR is common to all, the HYPOCRISY is owned solely by the GOP.”

    Ya I guess Democrats don’t worry about family values and morals, do they? It’s EXPECTED of them to be sleaze balls.

    “Which is another good indicator that our politicians need get out of the Moral Champion business and focus on doing their jobs”

    Ya who need morals when your in charge of this country?

    Copyleft, those were some of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard lol!!!

    Grumpy

    June 25th, 2009
    1:06 pm

    Peadawg- It all boils down to one issue: Republicans have made careers out of pushing family values down everyone’s throats as a barometer of character. Given the recent performance of John Essenger, who you may recall went after Clinton for his sleazy behavior; and now, Gov. Sanford, the poster boy for being a truly conservative, God-inspired Republican; Newt Gingrich; that other Republican Senator from North Dakota with the foot tapping “come hither” message in a men’s room; Glenn Richrdson, Georgia’s own family values/God-fearing/bible-pounding Speaker of the Georgia House, you don’t have any right to try to divert the issue to the JFK, Clinton, Teddy Kennedy. They didn’t go around pointing fingers at others and telling them to measure up. What the Republican Party need to do is drop this family values issue from their platform because they have shown time and time again, like Democrats have, that they can’t measure up to their own standard. Instead, they need to issue zipperless suit pants to everyone in their top leadership and hope for the best.

    someareidiots

    June 25th, 2009
    1:27 pm

    Grumpy, I love you. Say it like it is. Remember GOP, when you point the finger, three fingers are pointing back at you.

    sickoooo's

    June 25th, 2009
    2:03 pm

    My Heart go out to his wife and kids,
    I hope the affair was worth it….always remeber when you tell one lie you got to keep telling lies to cover the first lie you told.
    1.what about your family values
    2.do you have any morals at all
    3.Politicians…..Maybe
    you all don’t know the game,
    You all need to take lesson from some PIMPS…YOU ALL MAKE THE NEWS MORE THAN PIMPS DO.

    BRENDA

    June 25th, 2009
    2:22 pm

    This is a very sad time for the family members. His sons are ashamed of their father and will have to listen to negative comments at school. I am sure that they are not going to respect their father as much after this revelation. Why can’t people think before they do; consider the harm that would be caused if they do certain things. Everyone over the age of two years old know that adultery is wrong. What is it with people; do they feel they will never get caught or do they simply not care? Four sons and a wife; and the office of governor; would this not be enough to consider before flying off to a foreign country to meet a mistress? He should have gotten a divorce and been done with it instead of causing such shame on himself, his family and the state of South Carolina.

    David Brown

    June 25th, 2009
    2:37 pm

    When I look at the photo of Governor Sanford at his press conference, one thing I notice missing is his wedding ring. Where is his wedding ring? Married men should wear their wedding ring. I wear mine, and I’ve been married 28 years.

    cjD

    June 25th, 2009
    2:54 pm

    Let’s Take America Back by Inglrid Schleuter of “Slice of Laodicea” site:
    The moral bankruptcy of America’s supposedly “conservative” party was made plain once again in the last few days as the lurid story of South Carolina’’s, governor, Mark Sanford, played out in the media. Mark Sanford has long portrayed himself as a born-again Christian and family values conservative. He has a beautiful wife and four young sons. That didn’t stop him, however, from having a steamy affair with a woman in Argentina, the emails from which are now being published in the media. Once viewed as potential Presidential candidate material, the GOP now says his adultery is a “gamechanger.”

    This news comes on the heels of last week’s adulterous revelations about Republican Senator John Ensign’s affair with a campaign worker. As Fox News put it, for the Republicans, the hits just keep coming at a time when Republicans are trying to mount opposition to Barack Obama and his agenda.

    These latest stories of infidelity and immorality serve only to underscore why Obama could win the White House in the first place. The morally undisciplined Republicans couldn’t beat something with nothing, as the old political slogan goes. The GOP is a burned out shell of what it once was, with large swathes of the party clamoring for more mainstream appeal and an end to conservative positions on issues like abortion and gay marriage. Republican males additionally appear to be taking moral cues in their personal lives from the likes of John Edwards and a host of other Democrats, notorious for their unfaithfulness to their spouses.

    Meanwhile, genuinely concerned Americans are looking around for someone to lead the fight against Barack Obama’s destructive agenda for our nation. But the leaders are too busy holding press conferences, sobbing into their hankies and apologizing for cheating on their wives. There is a huge vacuum of leadership at a time when heroic leadership is called for. Some evangelicals are calling for conservatives to “take America back.” The truth is, we can’t take our own churches back from false teaching and moral squalor that at times rivals that of the world. The resignation of a well-known pastor after an affair with his personal assistant made headlines just a few weeks ago. If Christians can’t keep their own homes and lives in godly order, how in the world are we supposed to “return America to its godly roots?” It’s something of a joke, really.

    We only see the tip of the iceberg. In other words, we only see what’s going on when it finally hits the fan. The truth is, many professing Christians, including Christian leaders, are porn addicts. Many are living lives of impurity and unfaithfulness. Many are so awash in carnality, they are equally burned out shells with nothing but slogans and theological positions to back up their professed Christianity.

    I believe this is why God has allowed a moral monster like Obama to now lead the country. It really is more about the church than anything else. America is going the same pathetic route that every other once-great country has when it rejects God. The so-called church, however, is without excuse for its own adultery. We had the truth. We had our glorious Savior. We had the whole counsel of God in our hands. We had the help of the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and direct us. The evangelical church has been whoring around for a long time now, parading its surgically enhanced wares before the world, looking for approval. We had the crown jewels of Christ, and we traded them for the tawdry rhinestones of this corrupt world and its system.

    We aren’t going to take America back. By God’s grace, a remnant will be purified as Christ’s true church and prepared as a chaste bride for her Lord. America’s gone. The Republicans are a moral train wreck and are sitting in the disgrace the deserve. What counts most is God’s Kingdom. As the great hymn puts it, “the body they may kill, God’s Truth abideth still, His Kingdom is forever.”

    Additionally, it is wise for all of us to remember the instructions in Ephesians 6 about wearing the full armor of God. Satan is out to destroy, and immorality seems to be his number one vehicle these days. We are all vulnerable to his attacks without the armor God has provided. None of us are too good, too pure to fall into sin, whatever form it may take. Crosstalk recently re-aired a program on Pure Life Ministries, headed up by someone who Satan also tried to destroy. His testimony is that God is faithful and can change the hearts of those enmeshed in that kind of sin. God can heal and change hearts, but Satan can leave a path of destruction in our lives if we allow him to have a foothold.

    This is why we need to be sober, and watch and pray. We don’t need to give the enemy more credit than he is due, but we also need to remember the warnings of Scripture, that he walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Outside of Christ, none of us can face this lion down. In Christ, however, we can have the victory.

    But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    –Romans 15:57

    Reality

    June 25th, 2009
    3:49 pm

    CjD, underneath all that faith sits a mountain of doubt. Therein lies the problem. Two halves of the same person constantly battling for dominance. You too will one day explode because believing in something that is not real although your rational side knows that it is not only invites problems. If the only way you can prove something exist without evidence is to die first. I say no thank you. While you are quoting the bible I challenge you to lay the gospels out side by side and read them horizontally and see the inconsistencies, contradictions and gaping holes. The bible is not an inerrant tome contrary to popular beliefs.

    MKA

    June 25th, 2009
    3:51 pm

    cjD

    While I respect many of your views on the ways in which Christians should live and carry on our daily lives, I have to vehemently disagree with you whole notion of “taking America back” and bringing it “back” to its Christian roots. First of all, America has NEVER been a Christian nation. If you read your history, you will find the many of the so-called “Founding Fathers” were not Christians at all. And not only that, the history books that I read paint America’s so-called purist, “Christian” history as downright mythical.

    It troubles me that you are naive enough to think that our country has a “pure” foundation. Or do you simply have “convenient amnesia”?

    lovelyliz

    June 25th, 2009
    4:36 pm

    Is it possible for a Republican to get elected without pounding it into our heads what God-fearing, good-Christian, family values people they are pretending to be?

    No pandering, no mention of Jesus, etc. Not that I have any objections to family values and Christianity being a purveyor of both myself, but I am so over the pandering, the politician who use the Lord in vain to get elected and to justify their twisted agenda. The ones who claim morality and religion the loudest are usually the ones who practice such the least.

    lovelyliz

    June 25th, 2009
    4:39 pm

    The GOP has lost the “I am fiscally responsible” so much more than the other guys battle.

    The GOP has lost the “I believe in the US Constitution as the basis for law” battle.

    The GOP has lost the moral authority battle.

    What’s left?

    lovelyliz

    June 25th, 2009
    4:42 pm

    Lynda

    You should have been watching Fox News when they identified Sanford as a Democrat or this morning during my workout at the gym when they compare his behavior to that of Democrats only. Not a mention of any other the GOP cheaters and Lord know they are plenty.

    Troglodyke

    June 25th, 2009
    4:54 pm

    CDJ, your copy-and-paste rant had me agreeing until you brought god into it.

    America is not, and has never been, a “Christian nation.” I am so sick of superstitious people (i.e. Christians) pushing this BS to their followers! IT’S UNTRUE. Just because you say it a million times does not make it true! Read books other than your bibles and books by Ann Coulter and Limbaugh, and you’d know.

    The republican party is in shambles because it stopped being about conservatism, injected god into EVERYTHING, and thereby annihilated itself. The hypocrisy and doublespeak and “do as I say, not as I do” mindset rules this party.

    CopyLeft is spot-on: If repubs want everyone to stop pointing fingers at their leaders’ infidelities, THEY NEED TO STOP PREACHING FAMILY VALUES. I LOVE when republicans get caught with their pants down, because it proves their family values crap is just that: crap. It PROVES that humans are carnal beings, despite what the stupid church wants us to think. It PROVES that monogamy–while helpful in relationships with children and certainly a nice ideal to shoot for–is sometimes a lot harder than it looks.

    Republicans wouldn’t know family values if it hit them broadsided. To add insult to their injury, in the White House now is a family that understands family values to the hilt: perfect nuclear family, husband who loves his wife and kids, doting mother and father–the works! They should be THRILLED! But of course they hate Obama, so they ignore that the exact “family values” ideal is being publicly upheld by a DEMOCRATIC POTUS. I LOVE it!

    Schadenfraude can be SO fun. Isn’t South Carolina considered one of the most “Christian” states, too? Oh, boy, it just keeps getting better!

    mscutie78

    June 25th, 2009
    4:54 pm

    Has anyone considered the fact that he is a military reservist and it is against military regulation to commit adultery which is punishable under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice!

    Mitzymy

    June 25th, 2009
    4:57 pm

    The reason Gov. Sanford left town is because his wife had kicked him out. He had nowhere to go except to his lover. He should resign, divorce, and get together permanently with this woman that he speaks about so sexually. That e-mail was hot!!!

    lovelyliz

    June 25th, 2009
    5:09 pm

    mscutie78 when I has in the military, the ONLY time anyone got busted for adultery, as rampant as it was & is, was when they got busted for somthing else and the command was pulling everything out of the UCMJ they could to pile it on.

    herbK

    June 25th, 2009
    5:58 pm

    Jumpin’ Jimminy Jesus on a toasted wheat thin, and people actually think herbK Kornfeld is nuts! Sanford needs to resign immediately for immoral improprieties and dereliction of duties as gov’na.
    And no, this crap has no boundries, both sides practice this type of behavior. Don’t forget, the same type of mental makeup & personal characteristics that apply to the hardest of hard-core sociopaths applies to politicians. We have a pandemic of immorality and it is fed by ego. Think about it.
    Kornfeld out!

    Barry

    July 1st, 2009
    1:41 pm

    As I figured. The man has lost his mind. He needs to get out of office and then “REPENT”. The citizens of South Carolina do not need this and his “circus act”.