Staffers had previously announced that Sanford had been hiking on the Appalachian Trail taking a little R & R after the recent battle with the legislature over taking federal stimulus money in which Sanford had refused to request causing the legislature to take the Governor to court which forced him to request the money.
But the press conference which was expected to explain his R & R hiking trip revealed an unexpected turn as Sanford announced he had been to Argentina to end a year long affair he had been having with a woman he had met eight years ago and befriended during troubling times in her marriage.
As a citizen of South Carolina and one who supported Governor Sanford I am greatly disappointed in him and in his affair. Sanford has been a good Governor for the state and has had strong support from both Republicans and Democrats as he has followed a fiscally conservative agenda. Sanford is in the final two years of his second and last term as Governor.
He had been considered by many as a top choice for the GOP nomination in 2012 for a run at the Presidency and his recent high visibility on the national political stage would tend to lean toward Sanford making moves to that end. He was the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a position that he resigned from in light of the revelation of the affair.
My personal disappointment follows two distinct avenues. Sanford has always portrayed himself as a conservative Christian and family man who has four children from his 20 year marriage. The affair greatly diminishes his family values stance which has been a hallmark of his political career. Also he was one of the rising stars in the GOP who I would have proudly supported had he announced a 2012 run for the Presidency.
His political career is finished because of the affair. While I do not expect him to be forced to resign as Governor, when his term is completed his political career will end. Additionally Sanford has opened the flood gates for the liberal media and Democrats to fire at conservatives and the GOP since Sanford was such a strong voice for both.
Had Sanford been a Democrat the affair would have been news for about a week and then dropped off the radar and forgotten. His political career would have continued with only a momentary blemish that would have been quickly forgotten. But the media double standard will vilify Sanford much more because he is GOP and a conservative.
I do not in the least defend his actions nor believe that his political career should continue in light of the affair. He is getting what he deserves and has sown. But liberals are allowed much more leeway with transgressions than conservatives and that is a fact.
My sincere hope and prayer is that Mark Sanford and his family can recover from this tragic fall of the Governor. While he finds forgiveness for his action I pray that he may also find restoration for the damage that he has caused for both himself and his family. Politically he has become a very damaged lame duck who has lost the trust and support of the people of South Carolina.
As a person I do forgive his transgression but as my Governor I cannot abide by the lie that he has lived and the trust he has broken with the people of this state. I do not wish for his resignation and would like to see him complete his term as Governor, but as for furthering his political career his term has ended. A truly sad day for the state, the Governor, his family and the people of South Carolina.
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth