A few days have passed, and we've learned more about our Governor and his escapades.
We've learned that not only is he redefining audacity (I'm a nationwide recognized political figure - no one will miss me for a few days!), he's also writing new definitions for hubris.
It's reported that he'd considered resigining, but close aides advised him that the best way to recover from this crisis is to recover the trust of the people of South Carolina - by staying on.
Did it possibly occur to the (cough)Honorable Governor Sanford that those aides might have their wagons tightly hitched to his success?
We've learned that the Governor, upon being told by his wife to leave the house and stop communicating with the family for awhile,
He's previously re-routed trade missions to include Argentina, on the taxpayers' dime, naturally. Why is this important? Well, two reasons. One is that he had become famous as a budget hawk, decrying any wasteful spending of taxpayer monies. A Governor who insisted on staff using both sides of post-its and index cards, who slept in his Congressional office, and decried state Legislature waste used a taxpayer junket to satisfy his adulterous urges.
Contrary to, and undercutting, official US Government policy at the time, that is. See, Argentina had fallen out of favor with the international community as it had amassed massive debt and essentially announced to its creditors (including US) that it had zero intention of repaying that debt. The Bush administration had thus frozen it out of trade negotiations and contracts. So, for Governor Sanford to decide that a trade side-trip to Argentina might be beneficial, in any way more than a cover for his adulterous subterfuge, was again... being a bit of a bad boy, no?
Perhaps most intriguing and enlightening is the revelation from his wife that after the discover of his affair by her, he asked her permission to keep seeing her! Husbands and wives out there -- anyone want to try to imagine that conversation? It's almost as credulous as trying to imagine the language when Bill told Hillary that what Monica was doing wasn't 'really sex'...
A recent Rasmussen poll shows 50% of South Carolinians want the Governor to resign. I suspect it's actually more than that, and have heard whispers of it being as high as 70%. What seems to be tamping the number down is the fear of Lt. Governor Andre Bauer becoming the Governor.
In SC, unlike for example the Presidency, the Governor and Lt. Governor are elected separately and are not always friends, allies, political companions, or even occasional drinking-buddies. So, it's not akin to accepting Dan Quayle with George H.W. Bush, or Cheney with George W. Bush, or even Biden with Obama.
The people of SC elected Mr. Bauer, twice, to the Lt. Governorship. Is he an excellent politician? A paragon of perfection? Nope. But, we elected him. He has essentially two duties - supervision of the SC Senate and... being around in case the #1 guy isn't.
So, here we are... we need to ditch the #1 guy and we're afraid to do so because of whom we put as #2. Tough tiddlywinks. Let this be a lesson to our future electorates, then... Choose wisely. Elections have consequences. Even for minor, insignificant, can't-believe-someone-is-actually-RUNNING-for-this offices...
Governor Sanford, you have become a punchline. How can you govern? In the next budget discussion, how can you ask for a single budget cut? What principle will you be able to stand on? How can anyone bargain and negotiate with you, now that we know that you are a liar and a fraud?
Rebuild your family. Given time, perhaps, you may be able to revive your political career and run for a City Council slot somewhere. In the meantime, let us recover... take this opportunity to lead one last time, by demonstrating that a TRUE man of principle knows when it's time to leave.