Let’s see. What was it I said about former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) when we learned he was preparing to run for now-Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) vacated house seat?
. . . if he thinks he could accomplish something in Congress, assuming he could get elected, he’s dead wrong. Like former President Bill Clinton, Sanford will forever be known as a guy who cheated on his wife and lied about it. What other congressional Republican would want to be seen with that?
And, of course, I get results. But it took a couple of instances of further public self-flagellation in order to make it happen. First it was the events leading up to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) pulling its resources from his campaign, which are explained in the link. Then it was the approximately 1,200-word ad he ran in the Charleston Post and Courier explaining himself, which I can’t do a better job summing up than the headline of the Washington Post‘s account already has. Then there was this, which is either better or worse – I honestly can’t decide – than this.
Let’s talk about the trespassing allegations. Sanford insists that he was in his ex-wife’s home to keep his youngest son company while they watched football, which is a fair excuse, as Jenny Sanford was out of town that day. Although I don’t remember needing a babysitter when I was 14. And one of his older sons was in the house at the time, and there’s no sign that either son was about to party with hookers while Jenny was away. Regardless, being in Jenny’s house without her permission was a violation of their divorce settlement, which both boys should have known.
As for debating a cardboard cut-out of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) . . . well, I’ll let The Hill explain that one.
Sanford’s campaign has been struggling amid legal problems and polling that shows him falling behind . . . Candidates typically don’t demand more debates, or stage political stunts for media attention, when they are the front-runner.
I would never turn down a debate or support anyone else’s decision to do so. But, let’s be honest, the only reason Sanford wants more of those is to deflect attention from the fact that he a) constantly walks into the wrong headlines with his eyes wide open and b) has such a fundamentally bad reputation that he’s lost all ability to reframe the wrong headlines to his advantage. Colbert Busch hasn’t had a spectacular performance as a candidate; however, her kinds of mistakes are the ones voters can let slide.
The special election between Sanford and Busch is in less than two weeks. Under normal circumstances, painting Colbert Busch as a Pelosi acolyte would be all he ever needed to do to win. But at nine points behind her, his best plan is to erase the Appalachian Trail from America’s memory.