Mark Sanford Is Back

So does it work?

I could see the rejoinder to this — “take a hike, Mark” stickers should be streaming off the shelves.  But in the post-Clinton era, I wonder if this matters much anymore… voters have short enough memories as it stands now and vote on the silliest of pretexts.

On the flip side, lowercase-l libertarian voters will instantly recognize Sanford as a once-potential presidential nominee.  In South Carolina, his record was undeniable, representing a brand of fusionism that worked.

So does this work?  Is Sanford back in the wake of Rubio, Paul, Jindal, and the other Young Turks?  Or is this a non-starter?

  • J. Christopher Stearns

    We all make mistakes – some more significant than others.

    That said, I’m game to forgive Mark on his shortcomings. I’d definitely like to see him back in D.C.

    • I’m willing to hear the guy out… the prudish Victorian sensibilities of some just gall me, and they seem to be picked up and set aside at whim. Hell — in France, what Stanford did would be considered a prerequisite to public office… whereas in America, it’s only forgiven if you’re a darling of the media (or hire really good PR staff).

      I’m willing to hear him out.

      • MD Russ

        “…prudish Victorian sensibilities…”? Then you’re okay with adultery, divorce, and lying to your constituents when serving in elected office?

        • Am I all right with a politician being generally dishonest with me? No. However, considering the folks we’ve elected (from both parties) over the course of my lifetime, it’s something I’ve grown used to.

          As sarcasm aside, I’m saying that I’m willing to forgive Mark Sanford for his adulterous shortcomings, just as I forgave George Allen for his horrendous record as a U.S. Senator – considering that Allen probably did a lot more damage to the future of our country than Sanford ever did.

          Christians often make remarks about all sin being equal. I’m not too sure with the extent which I agree with that – but then again, I’m not the most divine individual…

          Allen committed our country to trillions of dollars in reckless deficit spending (often considered a sin, Psalm 37:21) and Sanford cheated on his wife and lied to the people of South Carolina (need I cite a source?).

          While this is probably a poor perspective for me to utilize considering my personal preference on religion, I figured it’d be worth an objective point, considering most of my colleagues are spiritually tied with some form Judeo-Christian theology.

          The guy voted pretty damn well in the House years ago and he did quite a decent job as Governor of South Carolina. He screwed up and I’m game to him have a second chance – if he can win the primary…

  • Mike Barrett

    So Shaun, as you really so desperate for candidates that you jump to support a guy who cheated, lied, and was censured in office, just because he purports to be a libertarian and a republican? .

    • You mean just like Clinton was, except progressive and Democrat?

      • oh snap!

      • Mike Barrett

        You and Shaun are a real stitch; you too are supposed to be the estute politicians. Bill Clinton will never be a candidate for office again, but it sounds are if you are hoping Mark Sanford will be a candidate. If you too don’t see the difference, your party is more lost than I thought.

    • If the cheating and lying had something to do with public office rather than being a purely personal affair, then I’d have a big problem with it.

      • MD Russ


        There was a bumper sticker that was popular around the Washington area during Monicagate: “If it is just about his personal life, then let him date YOUR daughter.”

        Sorry, but character and integrity have everything to do with public office. If a man will cheat and lie to his wife, what is he capable of doing when temptation arises in his performance of his official duties? Can you honestly trust a man who can’t resist an attractive woman not to sell his vote for a bribe? The definition of moral courage is knowing the difference between right and wrong and adhering to the right regardless of the consequences. That is precisely why adultery is so severely punished in the military–it is a lack of moral courage that makes a senior leader unfit for the rank and position they hold. Certainly we should have the same expectations of our elected officials, don’t you think?

        • Clinton’s scandal was a whole different ballgame. For one, it was in the actual Oval Office where it occurred; two, it was with a person employed there; three, he campaigned specifically against just the kind of workplace harassment he himself engaged in; and last but most certainly not least, it is rumored not to have been a voluntary encounter on Lewinsky’s part. Also, the not-insignificant part about him going on national TV and wagging his finger at us as seriously as he could while lying, then the obvious wag-the-dog stuff where he suddenly found “terrorism” to fight so he could look Presidential, these things made for an entirely different creature than what Sanford did.

          • MD Russ

            I expected nothing less from you, Rosie. Moral equivocation depending on whether the offender is a Republican or a Democrat.

            Perhaps the differences you cited is why Clinton was impeached (indicted) and Sanford wasn’t. Nevertheless, if your expectations of the morals of your elected leaders is low enough, you will never be disappointed in their performance. Think about it.

          • Perhaps you’d like to refresh your memory as to what Clinton was impeached for, before we continue this conversation?

            (Hint: it wasn’t over the “sexual relations” with Lewinsky.)

          • MD Russ


            It all depends on what your definition of “is” is. Sanford left the state without notifying the lt. governor as required by SC law, lied to his staff about his location and travel plans, and was otherwise guilty of deception. How is that different from Clinton?

          • The one point you have there that’s material is him leaving the state without notifying the Lt. Governor as required by law.

            The rest of it is a personal scandal and not an issue that should
            concern the public other than to the extent it informs about his
            character. I don’t consider it a positive item on the resume but it doesn’t outweigh, in my judgment, his superior performance otherwise as an officeholder. I’d rather my officeholders be imperfect humans and good public servants than perfect humans and bad public servants.

            Bill Clinton lied under oath in court and suborned perjury from a witness. Since you won’t look it up, let me remind you – Clinton was impeached over the Paula Jones scandal, not over his sexual predation upon Lewinsky. So here we have the head law enforcer in the land deliberately, premeditatively violating a very serious law (perjury), and bringing others in to participate in the crime by attempting to change the testimony of a witness (obstruction of justice) to match his story.

            There are light years between Clinton’s repeated acts of lawless and intentional malice to influence a case in a court of law (to cover up a previous crime, no less) vs. Sanford’s not informing the Lt. Gov. he was leaving the state so his private affair wouldn’t be revealed. Mind you, Clinton’s previous crime, over which he was being sued, was using state police to bring women to him. Then there are all the extended crimes associated with this pattern of sexual predation, such as the intimidation of previous sexual partners to keep the story out of the press, which include allegations of murder and pet slaying.

            If you can’t tell the difference then you’re in no position to morally judge anyone.

          • MD Russ

            Clinton was impeached because of Paula Jones and not because of Lewinsky? Now that is revisionism. Too funny.

          • Actually, that’s the plain, well-documented fact of the matter. I know it’s difficult to separate the real reality and the fake reality that too much television has drummed into your head, but go ahead and read the actual impeachment charges. Only to the media – and to Democrats and their allies – was the story “just about sex”. It wasn’t, and never was.

            You bought a lie, hook line and sinker, and 17 years later here you are repeating it still. Media is powerful, ain’t it?

      • George from Cleveland

        I think that he was deceiving people in the state government as to where he was. And possibly was using public funds, which I don’t remember if he was, and I doubt the power structure wanted to destroy him because it would risk dragging down everything with an R on it in November.

        • MD Russ


          You are correct. He was misusing public funds and a state airplane for personal travel. He paid restitution and fines and was censured by the General Assembly, but was not indicted. Not exactly the kind of guy I would want representing me in Congress.

  • George from Cleveland

    Want to see leftist comedian Stephen Colbert’s sister in Congress?

    Vote for Sanford in the R primary.

    Seriously, no more stupid candidates.

  • This ad is a transparently political manipulation, that much is easy to see. Good production quality, aimed I guess a the kind of people who might hold his personal affairs against him.

    I don’t mind seeing Sanford back in office at some level, though I wouldn’t consider him a potential President or key leader. He’s not running for saint, and his in-office performance was exemplary, so as far as I’m concerned it’s no harm, no foul.

  • As one of his former South Carolina constituents, I was all in at one point for a possible ‘Sanford for President’ campaign. But I do not want to see him in Congress or any other elected position after what he did. Breaking his marriage vows, lying to his wife and to God, may not mean much to many people in our country anymore, but it means something to me. I’m a conservative, but I don’t care how great Sanford has been in the past as a champion of fiscal conservatism or any other issues. Just because we’re able to forgive him doesn’t mean he needs to be put back into a position of political power. If the people in that SC district can’t find a strong, articulate conservative who hasn’t cheated on his wife, they’ve got big problems.

    If the left wants to idolize adulterers they’re free to do so, but conservatives should not.

    • MD Russ


      Very well said. I have family living in SC-1 and I don’t give Sanford much of a chance. First, his negatives there are pretty bad in the district and there is a lot of sympathy for his ex-wife around the Low Country. Second, there are 16 candidates running in the Republican primary. One of them must get 50% or more of the vote or there will be a run-off between the top two. I don’t see Sanford making that cut. i could be wrong, but it is certainly an uphill battle for him.

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