An affair followed by sincere repentance might have been forgiven, but once he started babbling to reporters about soulmates and love stories or whatever, the writing was on the wall. Sad:

Jenny Sanford’s statement says: “As so many of us know, the dissolution of any marriage is a sad and painful process. It is also a very personal and private one. Because Mark and I are public figures, we have naturally had less privacy with which to deal with our difficulties than do other couples. Indeed, I know it will soon become known so I choose to release this brief notice that I am now filing for divorce. This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family.

“I remain thankful to so many across this state and nation for their words of encouragement and prayers during this difficult time. Please know the boys and I are doing well and are blessed with the incredible support of friends and family and bolstered by our faith and the unfailing love of our God above.”

Sanford was saying that he held out hope for a reconciliation as recently as, er, yesterday. Via the Right Scoop, here’s Jenny Sanford’s quick yet riveting interview from Wednesday’s “Most Fascinating People of 2009” special, in which she says she wouldn’t have stood next to Sanford during his freakshow press conference admitting to the affair even if he had asked her to. One interesting note on the timing of today’s divorce announcement: It comes just three days after the South Carolina’s impeachment panel voted not to throw Sanford out of office. I wonder if she purposely waited until that was over with, lest a divorce announcement stir up public opinion against him and tilt the panel against him. If so, then even at this late date and under these circumstances, she was looking out for him.