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.
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’
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.
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