Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, signs her new memoir at 7 p.m. tonight at the Discover Mills Mall Books-a-Million store.
You can pretty much ask her anything.
“The world knows my personal business,” she told us during an interview this week.”They did even before I wrote the book.”
In the book, a quick and compelling 212 pages, she details life with Mark Sanford, who seems like a tightfisted jerk long before he bolted for a tryst with his Argentinian lover and said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. But although she writes candidly about how he went on a mountain hiking trip with his buddies just two weeks after his first child was born, made her work as his campaign manager because he wouldn’t have to pay her, and demanded she return a diamond necklace he bought her after deciding he’d spent too much money, she shows no bitterness toward the father of her four sons.
“I’ve always respected Mark for the way he led in office,” she said. “Whatever it was that led him to the events of the last year or two doesn’t take away from my admiration from that. I knew when I married him he was a quirky guy. I still believed in his innate goodness.”
In one of the book’s most stunning passages, she details the scene in which she and her supportive girlfriends are watching the governor on television as he reveals his infidelity and rambles about his “soul mate.”
Right after the painful press conference ended, Mark Sanford rang his wife’s cell phone, asking, “How’d I do?” as if she were his dispassionate campaign advisor.
“Are you kidding?” was her response.
Today, she and the boys are living in their Sullivan Island home and she has confirmed she’s dating Augusta businessman Clay Boardman. She doesn’t rule out marriage again saying, “Sure, why not? I think I was a good wife to Mark.”
She and Boardman attended the Masters this spring, where all eyes were captivated by famous philanderer Tiger Woods.
“Each situation is unique,” Sanford said, adding that Elin Woods and her family are “in my thoughts and prayers.”
Moving forward, the former Wall Street finance wiz says she feels more drawn to business than politics. We think she should enter the motivational speaking business.
“You do the best you can every day with what God gives you. Too many people want to play the role of a victim. You have a choice,” she said. “I have a great peace about me.”
While the South Carolina Governors Mansion, still and quiet without the rumble of her children “brings tears to my eyes every time I go back” and “feels lifeless now,” she sounds remarkably positive.
“I see the good in Mark Sanford,” she said, noting that she and her ex talk every day and are committed to raising their kids together. “I see he made some poor choices. God’s the ultimate judge of our actions. It’s not my place to judge him. I’ve had to deal with it but bitterness is something I’ve chosen not to pursue. Too many people remain bitter. I don’t want to be a bitter woman. I want to move on.”