|Mark Sanford (NYTimes)|
Of course, this is not the first time that South Carolina's public officials have made the state proud. When the Sanford news broke and we found out why his wife "wasn't concerned" about him (which makes sense now), there was talk of who would run the state in his absence. Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer seized the opportunity for some exposure and possibly some boost in poll numbers by announcing to South Carolina that the governor's staff did not know where the governor was. Bauer and Sanford are not the best of friends (clearly) and Bauer is actually gunning for the governorship next year when Sanford is forced out due to term limits (though it seems at this point that he will not have the incumbent's support.)
Sanford also happens to be one of those Republicans who opposes gay marriage. Other than being on the wrong side of history, Sanford really lays his cards out on the table here. In a May 7, 2009 CBS column laying out a case as to how the GOP could save itself, Sanford says "First, get back to the principle of saying what you mean and meaning what you say." Sanford says that marriage is between a man and a woman, yet on Father's Day weekend he flies nearly 5,000 miles to have some secret rendezvous with a woman who was not his wife. Say one thing and try to influence legislation that would negatively affect millions of Americans, but don't follow your own words and treat marriage like a joke. Sanford wants to have his cake and eat it, too.
So I guess Sanford can join John Ensign down at the end of the bar reserved for Republican 2012 hypocrites boosting Romney's and Gingrich's chances for the Republican primary. I bet Sanford is wishing he did take that hike in Appalachia rather than see his other woman in Argentina. But, in his own words, he wanted "to do something more exotic."