Governor’s absence is no crisis

In the midst of a season where national unemployment is pressing against 10 percent, where GM is about to eliminate 4,000 white-collar jobs,   where the number of mass layoffs (50 or more employees from a single employer) is at record levels, where a new President “sharpens” his rheotric on Iran but is powerless to do more, where Congressional Democrats attempt to cram-down radical legislation  on energy and health care and where crises loom large and small, this question captivates national attention:

Where was South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford for four days? He was spotted in Atlanta.  He was believed to be on a “secretive Appalachian Trail hike.”   Or in Argentina. He may have been somewhere writing, clearing his head, or otherwise relaxing after the close of the tough legislative session.

His whereabouts nevertheless prompted pundit speculation on the network news that the getaway seriously damages his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.  Term limits prevent him from running for reelection in 2010.  One of the politicians most alarmed by the governor’s absence is the lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer, who wishes to succeed him and who may not be Sanford’s choice.

Those who might like to see Sanford’s presidential prospects aborted early make much of his disappearance without staff or security.  While no President should try such a getaway, the universe doesn’t revolve around a governor, any governor. Even on the Appalachian Trail it’s possible to keep up with the news and thus be informed whether there’s a crisis or some emergency that requires a governor’s attention.  Naturally we’re all curious.  And when he returns to work today, some explanation is warranted.  But, really, it’s no crisis. It’s a celebrity-watch story.

Two governors — Sanford and Sarah Palin — are in that phase of their political lives where every action is magnified to high drama.  Palin, for example, elected to reimburse the State of Alaska $8,143.62 for air travel accompanied by her children.  An ethics complaint filed against her alleged that she’d abused her power by charging the state for them on 19 trips that were of debatable state interest.  The Alaska Personnel Board found no wrong-doing.  But, hey, she’s a serious contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.  The fleas come with the dog.

282 comments Add your comment

1984

June 24th, 2009
3:07 pm

Mister Earl, read my above comments. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. Until a few moments ago, I was still on his side. He cheated on his wife. Good luck to his family.

conservative democrat

June 24th, 2009
3:08 pm

Peter,
You left out Barr and Gingrich…how about Larry Craig?

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:09 pm

Peter, Peter is my name. Got that, Peter? I’m Peter.

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:09 pm

conservative democrat, did Bob Barr cheat on his wife? Did not know that. And yes, Gingrich is a hypocrite. Again, Mitt Romney looks real good right now.

Mitt Romney

June 24th, 2009
3:11 pm

Well, things look pretty good for me and no, I’m not talking about my awesome hair.

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work

June 24th, 2009
3:12 pm

Am I the only Republican who is NOT running around on his wife??

Mark Sanford: ‘I’ve been unfaithful to my wife.’
2:34 pm June 24, 2009, by Jim Galloway

After apologizing to nearly everyone — his sons, his wife, his staff, his supporters, residents of South Carolina — Gov. Mark Sanford just said this:

“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship which started with a dear, dear friend from Argentina.”

A reporter asked if he was alone when he was in Buenos Aires. “Obviously not,” he said. The other woman wasn’t named, but the governor said the relationship “sparked” while he was offering advice on her failing marriage.

The affair was discovered — presumably by his wife — five months ago, but had lasted about a year. “I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina,” he said.

The press conference was the finish of a six-day saga in which Sanford dropped off the state’s radar, with his staff stumbling to make excuses for his absence. On Monday, his spokesman told reporters that he was incommunicado, hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Weirdly, the press conference began with a reverie by Sanford of his days — as a high schooler and college student — as an outdoorsman planning trips on the trail. He admitted he gave his staff a mistaken impression of his whereabouts.

Sanford also said he’s resigning as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Shades of John Ensign. Another 2012 Republican presidential possibility just fell out of the race.

Sanford asked the media for a zone of privacy — if not for himself, then for his sons and wife. But he was walking away from reporters and did not answer when asked if he would resign as South Carolina’s governor.

The press conference was broadcast live on TV in South Carolina, and over the Internet by C-SPAN.

Here’s a partial account of the news conference from The State, which snagged an interview with Sanford this morning as he walked off a plane that had just docked at Hartsfield-Jackson:

“It began very innocently as I expect many of these things do, just casual email back and forth,” Sanford said. “But here recently this last year developed into something much more.”

Asked if Sanford was separated from his wife, he said “I don’t know how you want to define that. I”m here and she’s there. I guess in a formal sense we are not.”

Sanford said his wife has known about the affair and they have been working through it for the past five months. “What I did was wrong, period. End of story,” he said.

Mitt Romney

June 24th, 2009
3:13 pm

Big Bucks GOP doing the Lords work, no, I’m not cheating on my three wives. They are all here with me right now.

Mister Earl

June 24th, 2009
3:14 pm

1984 – after your repeated, insulting and demeaning comments about President Obama, which had absolutely NO relevance to SC Gov Mark Sanford I would submit that you only give “selected” people the benefit of the doubt.

The least you can do is be honest.

One Voice

June 24th, 2009
3:16 pm

Hey Wooten,

So you still think Sanford’s absence will have no bearing on his 2012 presidential hopes now that he’s admitted to having an extramarital affair? The Republican (Confederate) Party- Still the Party of Hypocrisy

1984

June 24th, 2009
3:17 pm

Mister Earl, I did not lie. My point was about how people focus on issues that are not that important. Seriously though, unless you live in SC, this story does not affect you. 10% unemployment and a record record record record deficit does.

I am being honest. Point out any dishonesty and I will apologize.

conservative democrat

June 24th, 2009
3:17 pm

peter,
Barr…yup…it was in the AJC. Romney has a son named Tag. What’s that about? Tag? Isn’t that Buster Brown’s Dog?

Robert Byrd (D) KKK Grand Wizard for 20 years and counting

June 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

One Voice, you said it comrade! I’z so tired of the racist GOP! I can’t even hang me no negra man without the GOP interferin wit me.

Ya think?

June 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

As you pointed out Jim, this is just the left making a big deal out of nothing, as usual. We tow the line; we’re not hypocrites. We all know that CONSERVATIVES are MORALLY SUPERIOR to liberals. Mark and other great Republicans like him appreciate your unwavering support.

Mister Earl

June 24th, 2009
3:19 pm

There was a single news reporter who drove overnight from South Carolina to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta worked to investigate. She will win a Pulitzer one day.

Otherwise Sanford is back home defending the trip to “The Appalachian Trail”.

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:20 pm

conservative democrat, Tag is a name. I thought that was Palins kid. Anyway, when celebratards are naming their kids Apple and Moonshine, Tag looks good. Who’s Buster Brown?

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:23 pm

Well, looks like this “could” be an issue as well.

Editorial: Where did Gov. Kaine go?

The governor should release records of his travel for the DNC.

When Gov. Tim Kaine started moonlighting as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he promised his night job would not hinder his day job in Richmond. He should prove it by releasing travel records and information about who is footing the bill for his trips.

Last week, the Virginia Republican Party filed a Freedom of Information Act request for those records.

The administration indicated it probably would deny the request, citing two reasons.

First, when it comes to taxpayer-funded security, officials claim that revealing details could endanger the governor.

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/209330

Ga Values

June 24th, 2009
3:26 pm

I would like to congradulate Gov Sanford on his good judgement on having an affair with a married woman, they leave one’s week ends free for important things like hunting and fishing. He should be commended for not fooling around with a man, hooker, teenager, or employee like those other Republican Senators. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to vote for his in 2012.

conservative democrat

June 24th, 2009
3:27 pm

Buster Brown was a logo for Red Goose Shoes, I think…maybe it was a competitor. Your right Tag looks pretty good compared to David Bowie’s kid named Zowie or Frank Zappa’s Moon Unit and Dweezle. I think Palin’s son’s name is Trag. He’s in the service, in Iraq. Trag is fine on second thought Tag is okay, too. But Mitt is a sleeze…Bain Capital had cost people in this country job…their LBO specialist that profit from other people losing their jobs.

Mister Earl

June 24th, 2009
3:30 pm

Benefit of the Doubt

“I really do wonder why no one is talking about how idiotic and inexperienced Obama Hussein looks to the world right now. Sanford is a governor of a small southern state. Obama Hussein is the leader of the “free” world right now. It’s just a matter of time before another terrorist attack hits us. If NK ends up bombing us I bet he pulls a Ray Nagin and hides in the bathroom with his head tucked away in the toilet.”

1984 – it is plain to anyone who read your blowhard material that your agenda had absolutely NOTHING to do with anything except bashing The President.

Now that you have been exposed, you have suddenly gained some manners?

I don’t think so.

One Voice

June 24th, 2009
3:36 pm

robert byrd,

You’re grasping at straws. Republicans (Confederates) have lost support in every single demographic group over the last 8 years, except for churchgoers who are also declining in proportion to the general population. At some point the “family values” party that’s filled with adulterers, closest homosexuals who spew hate at other homosexuals, and worshipers of money will even lose the support of churchgoers, although churchgoers tend to be the most effective practitioners of hypocrisy, so maybe they’ll keep some of them. And your party of old white men is dying off- the citizens who will be voting for the next 40 years are Democrats by almost a 2:1 margin. Republican (Confederate) support among Blacks and Latinos is practically nonexistent and the morally bankrupt Republicans (Confederates) have been whining about seceding. My Confederate reference seems pretty accurate to me. You guys sure have found the recipe for consistent long term losses- lies, immorality, false wars, exploding the deficit, destroying the economy, putting money above people, and the list goes on and on. How are you going to feel when Democrats are in control for at least the next 10 years? How old will you be when you even have a chance at having your party in charge again? Good luck.

JLK

June 24th, 2009
3:37 pm

Uh… Mr. Wooten was right it seems. He was just clearing his head. None of our business.

getalife

June 24th, 2009
3:37 pm

No wonder you are retiring Jim.

Your timing is just awful.

Lets hope his mistress from Argentina is not a spy for that country.

AmVet

June 24th, 2009
3:39 pm

man, you cons can really pick ‘em.

Yet ANOTHER family values charlatan, lying ahole with an out of control johnson.

Too funny…

Chuck

June 24th, 2009
3:39 pm

Yeah, Jim, his absence is no crisis. His marriage is in a crisis, his political career is in a crisis, and the credibility of the Part of Family Values is in a constant state of crisis–John Ensign and Mark Sanford just this week, alone.

Keep spinning you Wheel of Right Wing Hypocrites.

1984

June 24th, 2009
3:39 pm

Mister Earl, you called me a liar. You are changing the subject. Again, what did I lie about?

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:40 pm

conservative democrat, name one human being who is without fault. One.

Robert Byrd (D) KKK Grand Wizard for 20 years and counting

June 24th, 2009
3:42 pm

One Voice, AHM grasping at dem strawssssssss? I don’t think so boy! I’z been hangin me sum colored menz for ova 30 yeas.

Robert Byrd (D) KKK Grand Wizard for 20 years and counting

June 24th, 2009
3:43 pm

AmVet, da GOP learnt it from 40 yeas of democrat control. Good menz like Bill Clinton, JFK and Elliot Spitza and not to mention John Edwads of North Caraliiiiiiiina.

1984

June 24th, 2009
3:44 pm

AmVet, yeah, I do remember how silent you were on Blago and Spitzer a few months ago. What’s that ScamVet? Oh, you have mud in your eye!

AmVet

June 24th, 2009
3:45 pm

One other thing, I guess anyone who voted for that failure of a president twice, would originally contend this was a harmless vacation.

It sure must be dark up there…

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:46 pm

Mister Earl, President Obama is loving this right now cause it takes the cameras away from his communist agenda.

Peter

June 24th, 2009
3:46 pm

ScAmVet, are you referring to Bill Clinton?

Californication

June 24th, 2009
3:47 pm

If he was a dimacrat they would make him the morals czar…

AmVets Drill Sgt

June 24th, 2009
3:47 pm

AMVET, DROP AND GIVE ME FIVE. OLD MAN, THAT’S ALL YOU CAN DO! YOU’RE A DISGRACE TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD!

AmVets Drill Sgt

June 24th, 2009
3:48 pm

Californication, no, they’d make him condom czar. Oh wait, that’s Bill Clintons job.

AmVet

June 24th, 2009
3:49 pm

Spin away trolls. Find every red herring and straw man on the Internets your pudgy fingers can Google.

All that matters to me is that the lying clowns you dolts love are likely to CONTUNUE to lose 94% of the contested national races, like they have the last two elections.

Which makes me laugh my head off at your expense and more importantly which is great news for America…

ncgreybr

June 24th, 2009
3:49 pm

I give it about 4 days before we find out the “other woman” is 6′2″, has a mustache, is bald and is swinging something down below.

Munch

June 24th, 2009
3:50 pm

Oh Sweet Jumping Jesus…I go away from the computer grid for a few days and return to find Wooten in full-throated defense of another wayward GOPster who has his pants down. Nothing to see here, move along, let the guy tuck in his shirt for gawdsake.

I guess “walking the Appalachian Trail” is just another euphemism, like trimming the carpet. As in “I’m gonna go walk the Appalachian Trail on my wife, right after I finish trimming her carpet.”

God, I love the GOP Entertainment Factory.

AmVets Drill Sgt

June 24th, 2009
3:53 pm

AmVet, NO ONE SAID YOU COULD TALK! PRIVATE GIVE ME 20! I WANT THAT BEER BELLY GONE BY 5 O’CLOCK TODAY.

deegee

June 24th, 2009
3:53 pm

I thought that was the most self-indulgent mea culpa ever. What was that rambling, “I’ve been struggling with the meaning of right and wrong, selfish and selfless with the help of my Christian brotherhood” response to a reporter’s question? Was that the time to start loading on the Christian moral character crap? He is truly one self involved, self-absorbed SOB. Good riddance to bad garbage.

Munch

June 24th, 2009
3:54 pm

Man oh man, I go away to Mexico for 5 weeks and come back to this? Geez, those donkeys weren’t nearly as fun as watching the GOP explode. Well, I’m off to the free clinic to get tested for donkey herpes.

Munch

June 24th, 2009
3:55 pm

deegee, I agree with you. Why can’t the GOP embrace butt sex like the rest of us democrats. No one gets pregnant!

AmVet

June 24th, 2009
3:58 pm

Munch, it is beyond hysterical how this happens with such frequency now.

Can the collective(ist) “leaders” of the imploding GOP go a week without one of them getting caught in some sort of salacious scandal?

I prefer my Republican scumbags like Nixon and Ollie. Misguided criminals but at least not tapping somebody else’s wife, daughter or son…

conservative democrat

June 24th, 2009
3:59 pm

Peter,
As the day wears on, my ability to make a coherent sentence diminishes…

Munch

June 24th, 2009
4:07 pm

AmVet prefers his men like the color of his coffee. Black.

Peter

June 24th, 2009
4:08 pm

conservative democrat, or judgment for that matter….

John

June 24th, 2009
4:12 pm

Let me make this as clear as possible. This is one republican who does not and will not excuse the morally bankrupt actions of any republican office holder. Vitter, Engsign and Sanford should all be forced to resign. Every time one of these immoral cowards does something like this, it gives comfort and aide to the enemy. For just once, I would love to see a prominent republican step foward and distance himself from moral evil.

As long as republicans defend or attempt to defend immorality, republicans encourage immorality. Why should any moral deviant office holder worry about his immorality? All he has to do is apologize and all is forgiven. Vitter and Ensign will probably be re-elected, thereby once again proving that immoral evil pays.

So called “leaders” of the republican party who do not step forward and make excuses are no better than democrats.

blondval

June 24th, 2009
4:13 pm

I’ll bet, if we give Wooten enough time, he’ll be able to figure out a way to blame Hillary for Mark’s affair.

Peter

June 24th, 2009
4:15 pm

blondval, why would he do that? Hillary is a man.

conservative democrat

June 24th, 2009
4:20 pm

John,
The sleezy Italians think we’re prudes.