Remember Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina? He was the guy who disappeared for five days in 2009 and when he returned explained he’d been off on his own, hiking the Appalachian Trail. He didn’t explain why nobody, including his closest aides and his wife, were kept in the dark.
But then the truth came out: He had a girlfriend in Argentina that he was in love with and wanted to marry. Jenny Sanford, mother of four children, was shocked and humiliated. Like those before her, she entered the talk-show circuit and wrote a book about the Governor. Their divorce followed shortly thereafter.
Sanford went through an impeachment hearing in South Carolina but when it concluded his punishment was not impeachment but censure. He spent the last few years working on restoring his reputation and image as a trustworthy politician and he was succeeding, until this week.
He’s been on the road campaigning for a congressional seat in South Carolina and was expected to win the election on May 7, until the news leaked that he breached a court order which prevented him from being at his ex-wife’s home, unless she specifically consented.
He admitted that he went to Mrs. Sanford’s home to watch a football game with his 14-year-old son when his ex-wife was out-of-town and did not have her consent.
You say, what’s the problem? First of all, there is a court order restricting him from attending at the home and secondly, in a situation like his, where the divorce was far from amiable, he would be naive to think that he could ignore the order without consequences.
As well, Mrs. Sanford is entitled to her privacy. Like most divorced spouses, the last thing she wants is for her ex to be snooping through the house, invading her space.
It’s difficult to know whether Mark Sanford is shamelessly arrogant or just plain stupid. After the story was leaked to the media, the National Republican Party announced they would no longer support Mark Sanford’s campaign, leaving Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert, sister of Stephen Colbert, as the likely winner.
To make matters worse, he recently gave a campaign speech with his fiance, Maria Chapur and two of his young sons on the platform. Turns out the boys had never met Sanford’s paramour until on the stage that evening. Parenting 101? Slowly introduce the children to your new partner in a setting that is comfortable for the child.
Sanford appears in court on trespassing charges on May 9, two days after the election.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang