The Sanford Affair

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Maria-belen-chapur-pictures1 The man has a mistress with whom he is in love.  From the point of view of his wife this is much worse than Clintonesque prowling, much worse.   Actually, recovery from this ailment is unlikely.  All of them are suffering.  Does this mean that he is A BAD MAN and beyond redemption?  I suppose that depends on whether or not you believe in the possibility of redemption or if you believe that one's character is revealed by one's actions and that this is the whole story.  I am not a Calvinist so I come down on the side of contrition and redemption.  The problem for Sanford is that it may well be that he really is not contrite.  His wife will know.  Perhaps she already does know.

Will South Carolina forgive him?  I have always thought that the state is basically divided into two cultural zones.  In the Highlands, the Presbyterian, Baptist and generally evangelical spirit of Appalachia seems to prevail.   A lot of those people are not going to forgive him.

In the coastal Low Country a much more laid back atmosphere is very visible.  My bet would be that he will be largely forgiven in the Low Country.

In any case, he is finished in national politics.  pl

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/30/AR2009063001581.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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36 Responses to The Sanford Affair

  1. Carl O. says:

    There’s a difference between being redeemable and actually being redeemed. The fact that he left the duties of his office untended for a week without anyone knowing where he was speaks louder than just the fact of the affair and should be the determining factor whether or not he remians governor.

  2. par4 says:

    He’s lucky ‘Saturday Night Live’is over for the season.

  3. Starbuck says:

    My issue isn’t the fact that he was having an affair…that’s just typical alpha male behavior. My issue was the fact that he left the country for a week without telling anyone where he was, and didn’t think that he would get caught, nor did he expect anyone to try to get in touch with him.
    He’s the State Governor for God’s sake! When you have that much responsibility, you need to be readily accessible. What if a natural disaster had hit South Carolina that needed his attention?

  4. Jose says:

    Sad, but true.
    From personal experience, those Argentine women are “muy caliente y rica” compared to the women from the Carolinas.
    I can forgive him for being “baboso”, but sadly the rest of the country can not.

  5. mike says:

    Col – I think you are right. And wasn’t he a Beaufort boy in the Carolina tidewater country? Made his fame and fortune selling beachfront and island property to retirees. He would not make a pimple on the a$$ of his more famous namesake, Governor Terry Sanford of NC, a Democrat and a guy who turned UNC and NCstate educational systems into a national model back in the sixties,
    Unfortunately for Mark, the Highlands people make the rules in SC.
    BTW – He had no responsibilities as Governor, he was only a figurehead. The state machinery never missed a beat w/o him.

  6. rjj says:

    Standards are important.
    memo to SC highland folk: George Dubya was faithful, has experience governoring, and is presently unemployed.

  7. Buzz Meeks says:

    At least it was a woman, a real change from most the Rethugs and their toilet stall antics.
    Buzz Meeks

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    What about him?
    God, in his infinite wisdom, has made male and female human sexuality un-matched.
    So much of our social problems would have disappeared if God had so ordained that men and women, like some species of birds, would and could mate for life.
    What is the point of endowing the male creature with the appetite and yet ask him to fight against his own nature?
    What is the point of making some of the few joys available to mankind so fraught with moral and social hazard?
    That we are setup for failure is beyond doubt.
    And, ultimately, as Job understood, God is responsible for it.

  9. josephdietrich says:

    As other commenter have already alluded to, both the Highlands and the Low Country are going to condemn him, although for different reasons. I’ll be surprised if he finishes his term as governor (but then I am easily surprised).

  10. peg says:

    i live in SC.
    the people who like their money — i mean — LOVE their money, love Sanford.
    then there are those who don’t follow news closely and like the candidate, any candidate, who wants (or will claim) to make abortion illegal and make sure the have their guns.
    (i know people who think democrats want to ban guns and put an abortion clinic in every town.)
    if Sanford wanted to run for senator, i think he could easily win.

  11. John Howley says:

    Per WaPo, Sanford is a Goldman Sachs alum.

  12. jmc5588 says:

    Babak
    Oh Thou, who didst with Pitfall and with gin
    Beset the Road I was to wander in,
    Thou will not with Predestin’d Evil round
    Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?
    Omar Khayyam (per Edward Fitzgerald)

  13. Fred says:

    Adulterer Newt Gingrich thinks he can be president, (the hypocrisy of impeaching Clinton while committing adultery himself notwithstanding) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/09/politics/main2551861.shtml
    So does adulterer Rudy ‘9-11’ Guliani: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/21/politics/main512992.shtml .
    To quote paraphrase the Governor of California ‘They’ll be back’.

  14. I used to think that the private lives of POLS was not a factor in determining their impact on events and issues and policies. Like the French, the Press used to assume this charade often of public faithfulness was not relevant to their jobs. I used to buy that but I think close inspection of politicians who lack the self-control to overcome their predatory instincts do in fact lack self-control generally. Actually, in the long term I believe the evaluation of Clinton will indicate pretty well that his self-destruction over Monica reflected a lack of self control generally. Our great Presidents focus, focus, focus on the job and the nations problems and probably shorten their lives doing it. Those that wanted the job not for what they could accomplish for the Nation but just to have it added to their resume seem to live long lives. In other words the good die young.

  15. JohnH says:

    I don’t condemn those who have affairs. The force (the biological one) is strong.
    I mean, but for the grace of my short, stout stature, lack of good looks or a powerful position, there go I.
    However, I make one caveat–I do roundly condemn those sanctimonious moralizers who go around condemning others for actions they themselves engage in. And the Republican party seems strangely loaded with these types.
    Republicans need to get a life apart from self righteousness. They could start by addressing people’s real economic problems.

  16. charlottemom says:

    Not just an affair but an affair with a Latina!!? Will the SC voters forgive that?
    Sanford says he has no intention of resigning. Does that mean we’ll have to endure more of his and her emails, letters, etc. Are pictures next?
    Please let me out of this telenovela!
    For the record – I’m half Latina!

  17. J says:

    Sanford WAS a GOP up and coming ‘fast burner/fair haired boy’, and because his brain between his legs got the better of his brain between his ears, his GOP future is now ‘toast’. To think that Sanford was one in a long line of GOP ‘Family Values’ clique that has seen their membership go down the toilet due to their closet homosexual activities, sexual scandals (i.e. S&M dominatrix, bar-room/toilet affairs, etc.), adulterous affairs, etc..
    So anytime you hear the words GOP and ‘Family Values’ in the same breath, be afraid, be VERY AFRAID. Harrumph.

  18. optimax says:

    I wouldn’t say he was a bad man, just confused and egotistical. He needs to decide between putting the genie back in the bottle or airing it out. The worst part is he left his four children on Father’s Day to indulge himself. Those kids will need therapy someday.
    Guess he’s just another Open Borders politician.

  19. Mark Logan says:

    Staying in the game after
    an affair is certainly doable, it’s a trail blazed by many, but only if one keeps their wits. Sanford failed the test.
    Leaving the office hanging
    seemed to reveal a subliminal desire to get caught. A cry for pity, maybe help, from a man in emotional distress? Cry for me Argentina? Or perhaps his inner guilt got
    the best of him? It is very a very odd way to act if one has a secret.
    Don’t imagine he will last beyond this term as governer, and I think while many would forgive the sin, myself included, more will feel uncomfortable voting for a man who has acted
    with such a lack of grace under pressure. If you are going to cheat, for heavens sake at least try to not get caught! That way there is something left to respect.

  20. rjj says:

    Our great Presidents focus, focus, focus on the job and the nations problems and probably shorten their lives doing it. In other words the good die young.

    Most lived to be very old. Were they all self-aggrandizing slackers?

  21. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    It would be a hell of a lot easier to forgive him if he would just shut up! Unfortunately his fecklessness has grown with his love of women not his wife. Joseph Welch said it well albeit in a much different context.
    “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

  22. Highlander says:

    I for one am glad Governor Sanford’s fall from grace involved a beautiful Argentine Lassie.( At least he wasn’t caught chasing little boys in public restrooms like some of his fellow GOPers)
    Any man who has spent an afternoon drinking wine on the Recoleta Promanade at leasts understands the temptation.
    Sanford was already a rich man before he became Governor. He doesn’t need a future political career so he can steal. Actually I think he had become bored with the whole grimy process of American politics.
    I can see why after 6 years of being forced to hang around with a bunch of State Capitol sleaze balls, he became a little “loco” and headed south.
    As for the SC “Up Country” Calvinist voters, all he has to do is ask for them to forgive him. The Fall, Repentance, Forgiveness, and Redemption is central to their Christian culture. Hell, they forgave Billy Clinton for abusing a young girl with a cigar.

  23. steve says:

    I would say he is a “bad man” (not sure that term is ultimately meaningful, but choose it as simple shorthand) because of his politics, not his personal life.
    He may be that “bad man” personally as well, but I judge him independently of that.

  24. N. Anderthal says:

    I don’t care that he had an affair, it’s none of my business. I don’t care that he was gone for a week and lied about where he was. I do care that he that this sanctimonious hypocrite judged Clinton more harshly than he seems to have judged himself … but not that much.
    What infuriated me was that he was taking a ‘principled stand” against unemployment help from the Federal Government for those unfortunates out of work in his state. He cared not a whit for them, he could have said he was against the spending but would not stand in the way of the assistance for his own citizens but he didn’t. On top of that going on a junket at taxpayers expense to see his ‘friend’.
    He refused the stimulus package while getting his package stimulated elsewhere … overseas no less. Not even propping up the sleazy motel industry in his own country. For all that may he rot.

  25. Wes Wolfe says:

    OK, “peg” posted a comment that links back to my site. Just wanted to clear up that I didn’t write that. Thanks.

  26. LeaNder says:

    Carl O, you are basing your judgment on this, I guess:
    Critics have charged that Sanford should resign or be impeached because he was unreachable during the latest Argentina trip and that no one was in charge of state government during his secret absence.
    We don’t know what exactly happened. Was there an urgent need for him to decide, sign something, doesn’t he know his agenda? What if he were in the hospital after an accident and unconscious? To pick just one extreme.
    That he didn’t tell them exactly were he was, doesn’t tell us he didn’t make sure or there weren’t emergency plans or generally stand-in arrangements in place.
    I doubt someone’s private live tells us anything about his competence as a governor, or that his 365/24 hours daily availability tells us anything about his work ethic for that matter.
    The rest is a private affair between him, his wife and Maria.
    The Colonel might know to what extend the services are still interested in these extramarital matters (?) Or are the Mata-Haris a story of the past?

  27. bobbski says:

    ¨Does this mean that he is A BAD MAN and beyond redemption?¨
    That would depend on whether he was a democrat or a republican, no?

  28. LeaNder says:

    Carl O, you are basing your judgment on this, I guess:
    Critics have charged that Sanford should resign or be impeached because he was unreachable during the latest Argentina trip and that no one was in charge of state government during his secret absence.
    We don’t know what exactly happened. Was there an urgent need for him to decide, sign something, doesn’t he know his agenda? What if he were in the hospital after an accident and unconscious? To pick just one extreme.
    That he didn’t tell them exactly were he was, doesn’t tell us he didn’t make sure or there weren’t emergency plans or generally stand-in arrangements in place.
    I doubt someone’s private live tells us anything about his competence as a governor, or that his 365/24 hours daily availability tells us anything about his work ethic for that matter.
    The rest is a private affair between him, his wife and Maria.
    The Colonel might know to what extend the services are still interested in these extramarital matters (?) Or are the Mata-Haris a story of the past?

  29. Pudentilla says:

    Sanford wants to make what I do in my bedroom his business, the government’s business, everyone’s business. By his standards, therefore, what he does in hotel rooms in Argentina is my business. By his standards, because I’m gay, what I do in my bedroom is evil and the forces of government should arrayed against it. By his standards (and I might add, the law of the state in which he is the chief executive officer), what he does in hotel rooms in Argentina is evil and the forces of government should be arrayed against him.
    Is he a bad man. You betcha. Do I delight in his humiliation. With an exquisite pleasure you cannot possibly begin to imagine. Everyday I read of his suffering is a better day for me. I rejoice in his sorrow, just like his Old Testament gives me license to.

  30. Nightsticker says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I was pleased to hear that the question of his lying to his staff has been satisfactorily explained. It was just a bad international telephone connection:
    Phone rings at Governor Sanford’s office.
    Senior Aide answers “Hello”
    Sanford “Its me,just checking in”
    “Governor,everybody has been worried, what are you doing?”
    “A little Argentinian tail”
    Other Senior Aide “What did he say?”
    “I think he said Appalachian Trail”
    Nightsticker
    USMC 65-72
    FBI 72-96

  31. curious says:

    I doubt someone’s private live tells us anything about his competence as a governor, or that his 365/24 hours daily availability tells us anything about his work ethic for that matter.
    Posted by: LeaNder | 01 July 2009 at 09:37 AM
    He uses public money to pay for his piccadilly. He also seems to manipulate trade agenda to fit his affair.
    So the very least he misuses public resource and ineffective leader. there is the lying and hypocrisy. He turns out to be a serial womanizers, not just one passionate affair out of nowhere. How can he spend that much time juggling affairs while doing heavy duty leadership job?
    more on latest revelation.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/7/1/748643/-CNN-Poll:-Majority-of-Americans-Want-Sanford-To-Resign

  32. LeaNder says:

    curious, caught in the act, admittedly. I knew, on this topic I should better shut up, since I do not know anything about the man.
    I actually tried to post something slightly more funny, but had troubles doing so.
    Pudentilla, I am basically with you, but do we hear what politicians really think, or more what they think the “moral majority” thinks that will get them elected?
    I simply think hypocricy and double standards are more relevant when they are a matter of life and dead.

  33. optimax says:

    I understand Sanford and wife are giving many interviews. I haven’t read or seen any but what I don’t understand is this need by them, and many others, to air their private lives in public. I wish they would put on the obligatory diapers and go on the “Jerry Springer Show,” if it’s still on, and get it over with.

  34. Dan M says:

    What I’ve cared about the most out of all of this were not his human failings or who he had sex with. He handled this in a fashion that was more or less guaranteed to generate maximum public embarrassment for his wife and, most importantly, his boys.
    A grown up would have dealt with this within the family, maybe give a press conference acknowledging an affair, that he’s working things out with his wife or whatever. His wife would still be hurt, his boys at best confused. But instead of that more dignified course he basically put up the big tent and invited the circus to town. Not leadership material at all.

  35. DaveGood says:

    Sanford was and is a total Hypocrite.
    With that now a proven fact, why the hell would any sane person think him fit for high public office in which he could influence you and your families future?
    DaveGood

  36. DaveGood says:

    PS.
    I don’t have a dog in this fight since I’m not an American citizen.
    But no British politician ( particularly in today’s climate ) would get away with it.
    We’ll overlook adultery, that’s a flaw, we won’t overlook Hypocrisy, that’s calculated malice, and we don’t want that in our “Leaders”.
    DaveGood

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