As a general rule, I am not too fond of Republicans, although there are always exceptions, especially when a person forges their own path, rather than following their party straight down the line. Though I never heard his name before this week, I am going to have to add South Carolina’s Mark Sanford to my “cool” list.
For those who are not abreast of this minor hullaballo, Gov. Sanford went MIA for four days, from last Thursday through Monday. Apparently, neither his staff, nor his wife, knew his exact whereabouts. In reviewing this storyfrom the Associated Press, it is said that the Gov is a little offbeat in general, known to take solo excursions after particularly draining legislative sessions. So where’s the problem? Apparently, Governor Sanford’s staff, out of a misguided notion of “saving face” erroneously informed the press that the man was hiking on Appalachian trails. In reality, he made book for Argentina, allegedly to “write and drive along the coastline.”
I would say this must be a slow news week, but that’s not true. Obama is battling it out over health care, the flare ups on the streets of Iran are still at the forefront, and Jon and Kate are divorcing for God’s sake! So why is this getting so much attention? Well, in my opinion, it is simply because we expect our politicians to behave in a buttoned up, predictable way. When they go off the rails and show they are not just sound bite drones, it is intriguing. The good people of SC, or at least other State officials, are “angry” that Governor Sanford’s staff purposely mislead them as to his whereabouts. A political staff lying? Shocking!!!
Further research shows that Governor Sanford is far from afraid to irritate members of his own party, and frequently does things that are a bit unorthodox. This quote from the AP story makes this point clear:
“The governor has long been known as a loner — bucking GOP leadership during three U.S. House terms and casting the only dissenting vote on Medicaid coverage for some breast and cervical cancer treatment. He clashes often with the Republicans who control both chambers of his state Legislature, once famously carrying two piglets to the door of the House in opposition to what he said was pork-barrel spending.”
Call me cynical, but I suspect Gov. Sanford’s real “crime” is his failure to be controlled. Bravo sir!