Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who disappeared for seven days in 2009 while pursuing an affair with his Argentinian mistress, is attempting a congressional comeback four years after the Appalachian Trial scandal that tarnished his reputation. Of all people, he’s asking his ex-wife Jenny to run the campaign.
According to Politico, he was quoted asking his ex-wife Jenny Sanford, "Since you’re not running, I want to know if you’ll run my campaign. We could put the team back together."
There are certain people that it just isn't appropriate to ask favors of, even if "I [Sanford] could pay you this time." Namely: the woman you left at home with your four children while you carried on an affair in a foreign country. Needless to say, Jenny declined.
Sanford’s public service defense isn't solid, either. He said on NBC’s Today that the "one place I [Mark Sanford] didn't ever fail was with the taxpayers. If you look at my 20 years in politics, what you would see is a fairly remarkable consistency in trying to watch out for the taxpayer."
However, he did fail the taxpayers … when he stole from them to cheat on his wife. And he's aware of this too, because he reimbursed taxpayers for public funds that were used to fly him to Argentina in 2008 for a trade conference. In 2010, he paid a fine of $74,000. That's an awfully high price for an honest man to pay.
While Jenny's past successes running her then-husband's campaigns stands as the official reason for Sanford's offer, the more obvious, and painfully shameless benefit to having Jenny run the campaign is the inescapable endorsement of his campaign — a surefire way to win over the South Carolinians that are still skeptical of Sanford's shady and embarrassing past. After being personally and publicly wronged, humiliated, and heartbroken, I think Jenny's decision is the political slap in the face Mark Sanford deserves.
This isn't about being Republican or Democrat. It's about character. Above and beyond shared preferences, an informed voter needs to look at the personal characteristics of candidates to predict how they will perform in office. It only makes sense then, as an informed voter, to choose candidates that have idealistic qualities. Of course, nobody is perfect, but when it comes to electing officials who are entrusted with making decisions that will affect our futures, moral character is of utmost importance. South Carolina, be informed; don't let the "chips fall where they may." Mark Sanford doesn't deserve to be in a position of public trust.