Following up on yesterday’s post regarding Governor Sanford’s whereabouts.  I have been away from the computer and TV all day taking some vacation time.  Yesterday I had seen some conjecture about Governor Sanford’s trip, but chose to ignore it.

I was shocked when I saw the following story in a breaking news email from the Washington Post.

Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday he’s been having an affair with a woman he visited on a secret trip to Argentina and said he’ll resign as head of the Republican Governors Association.

Sanford, a rumored 2012 presidential candidate, refused to say whether he’ll leave office.

"I’ve let down a lot of people, that’s the bottom line," Sanford said at a news conference. He said he’s known the woman about eight years, but their relationship turned into something more a year ago while he was on an economic development trip to Argentina.

Sanford, a 49-year-old father of four, choked up during remarks to reporters. He said his wife has known about the affair for the last five months.

So he was on a seven-day trip to Argentina instead of hiking.  While  confessing and resigning as the head of the Republican Governor’s Association is a good first step, I would also say that he needs to resign from office.  He has one year left in his last term, and so is already a lame duck.  This just makes him more so.  Not to mention he lied to his constituency in order to cover this up so how can they trust his leadership?   He also needs to focus on trying to salvage his marriage and family.

He and his family also need prayer.

Some additional thoughts: I feel horrible for his wife and kids.  I can’t even fathom the amount of shame that they feel.  It is one thing to go experience the hurt associated with infidelity, but to have to go through it in such a public way.  Again I want to reiterate that those of us who follow Christ need to pray for him and his family.  I hope he repents, turns to Jesus and seeks reconciliation with his wife.

I also strongly believe that Governor Sanford needs to resign for a number of reasons:

  • He violated the citizens of South Carolina’s trust.  When news of this came out they lied.
  • He violated the trust of his staff.   I’m sure that many were in the dark and really thought he was going hiking.
  • He can at this moment no longer represent conservative values in a credible way.  He just gave all of us a black eye.
  • He really does need to be able to be out of the public spotlight if he is ever really going to see his marriage and family healed.
  • Also, something I’m sure is going to come up… Was taxpayer money used?  How many trips that he has taken been legit?  What staff knew about this and covered it up?

Resigning is the only honorable thing he could possibly do.

Update: His wife, Jenny Sanford, is at least demonstrating some dignity in the midst of this mess.

And Senator John Kerry, being ever so classy, uses this as an opportunity to make a lame joke about Governor Sarah Palin.

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  1. I understand that Rush Limbaugh is defending Mark Sanford on the grounds that he admitted it and didn't have a phony press conference with the wife by his side like Democrats do. In my opinion both he and Ensign are only sorry they got caught. They obviously weren't sorry during the time their adultery was going on! And, when they get caught, do they have any feelings for the other woman at all? Its like she gets thrown under the bus.

    Woe is the Republican Party!

  2. John Ensign (affair with staffer) hasn't resigned although he called for Larry Craig's resignation. Larry 'wide-stance in the men's restroom' Craig, voted to impeach Clinton but himself stayed until the end of his term. David Vitter (prostitutes) is still in the Senate and has raised $2.5 million for his 2010 campaign. John Edwards (liason w/ former campaign worked) is gone, Eliot Spitzer (prostitutes) quit, but Bill Clinton (affair with staffer) remained. Newt Gingrich (a couple of affairs including one during the Clinton impeachment hearings) also quit although not for fooling around but for the unforgivable sin of helping lose Republican seats.

    What do these all have in common? They came out either after they were outed or were about to be.

    From the perspective of the public interest, it isn't the extramarital affair, per se, that's the biggest problem, it's the fact that their actions left them exposed to exploitation and blackmail. It's like taking a bribe: Once you've done something you want to hide from others, you'll stay 'bought' until the secret comes out.

    The Sanford story isn't done yet (Who had those emails and when was the story known by others?), but fortunately my interest in it is.

  3. I haven't blogged on Ensign, but feel he should resign. I did do a post saying Craig should resign.

    You are right the Sanford story isn't done, and yet another reason for him to resign and get out of the picture.

  4. One other note: “He can at this moment no longer represent conservative values in a credible way. He just gave all of us a black eye.

    I think nothing stirs the faithful like a juicy story about repentance; the more saccharine, the better. A good PR consultant could easily manage Sanford's religious comeback. And fiscal conservatives probably don't care. History suggests that these people can't remain away from the limelight.

    Time for a move to the think tanks. Maybe the Cato Institute and if he remains married, the Heritage Foundation.

  5. Very true, I wasn't thinking about him.

    I'm equal opportunity that way I don't care what party you are in, if a public servant is unfaithful how can we be expected to trust them more than their own spouse?

    Then the other crap that can happen as a result (blackmailing, etc.).

  6. I'm always suspicious about public “comebacks.” I don't see him holding public office after this. A think tank, possibly.

    But I believe for the time being he needs to focus on his family and find low key employment.

  7. Or better, lead by example and stop tooting one's horn about how virtuous one's life is (i.e. just walk). We can never know what is in another's heart or mind, we can only watch what they do and decide if we'd like to emulate them.

  8. My fear is the he will make some kind of a comeback. I've seen and heard a number of people trying to explain why this isn't as bad as John Edwards, et. al..

    Frankly, they might as well say, “This isn't as bad because he's a Republican.”

    But look at Gingrich. He's been making the rounds and doing pretty well. It sickens me … Gingrich was, in fact, one of the top three reasons why I left the Republican Party.

    He should go.

  9. On one hand I hope not, but then I wonder… if he repents takes time out of the limelight (like a few years), reconciles with his wife, etc.

    Why couldn't he comeback – not saying he would win an election.

    Where does grace play in all of this (with proper accountability and restoration process)?

  10. Well, this does put a new spin on the phrase ‘hiking in the Appalachians,’ doesn’t it?

    “Where’s John?”

    “Oh, he’s, um, er, ‘hiking in the Appalachians’. . .”

    “You poor thing. . .”

    Woe be to the honest, hard-working husband who carries around a pair of hiking boots in the trunk. . .against the day he may go ‘walkabout’ in the forest, just to ‘clear his head.’

    Concerned Wives will now be vetting their husband’s internet history, not for porn, but for leafy green photos of the Appalachian Trail. . .

    Man, I feel for this guy, his family, his boys, his constituents.

    I’d like to share the fact that two very close friends of mine, both women, who are absolutely the most conservative, devout Christians in the world ( far more devout and admirable than I am, in my book) doting mothers, loving wives, in past years went through a sort of crazy thing like this. . .only they were the perpetrators. Listen, this kind of thing can happen in good marriages and can involve otherwise good, stellar people. You would be absolutely astounded to meet these women and try to reconcile that kind of behavior with how they otherwise live their lives and stand in awe of God.

    It’s been ten years now that I have witnessed what these women put themselves through, through Bible study confessions, private confessions, prayer, you name it. (Neither of the husbands know about this to my understanding.) Both turned back toward their marriages and both marriages are, if anything, better than they were before.

    I am not writing this as a prescription for renewal of marriage, nor exonerating Sanford, or my two friends. They were wrong in the worst kind of way. I am just saying that good, good people sometimes do bad, bad things. . .it’s like they go crazy for some time. . .it was described to me as a sort of perfect storm compelling them to do something they never, ever would have done.

    They can’t even look back and say, ‘I could have done it differently, but I didn’t. . .’ They both stated that they were so out of control that only God saved them in the end.

    I just don’t want this whole thing to devolve into entirely blaming men, or politicians, or Conservatives or Liberals. Neither gender, nor politics, nor even assiduous, sincere, enthusiastic application of one’s life to the Good Word makes any of us immune.

    If I ever thought I was immune toward grievous sin, these two women caught me up short.

    Thank God there is a way out. Through Christ.

    And that is the Good Word for today and always. Prayers for Mark Sanford and his family. His wife is one terrific woman. An otherwise good marriage should not be wasted on one very bad, awful, terrible, car wreck.

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