Sanford vs Sanford in SC-01?

posted at 8:01 am on December 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It’s tough for a disgraced politician to successfully come back from scandal.  Most don’t even try.  However, according to CNN and other sources, Mark Sanford might try one of the most difficult comebacks in political history.  Not only is he seriously considering making a run for his old Congressional seat a few years after a sex scandal, he may — or may not — have to run against his wronged ex-wife in the primary:

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is launching a political comeback that may begin within days.

Sanford is planning to run for the Congressional seat he held almost a decade ago, a Republican source familiar with his thinking told CNN late Thursday. …

Sanford intends to seek the Republican nomination in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, a seat being vacated by Rep. Tim Scott, who was appointed to the United States Senate earlier this week by Gov. Nikki Haley.

Sanford served three terms in the House, first coming to Washington during the Contract With America class of 1994.  He later won two terms as governor and had been considered one of the conservative wing’s more promising bench candidates — until his bizarre disappearance from his office in 2009, and the now-infamous claim that Sanford was hiking the Appalachian trail.  He was spotted in an airport returning from South America, and his affair with an Argentinian woman became public.  His wife left him, and Sanford resigned in embarrassment.

Now he wants to return to public office, but … isn’t his ex-wife also interested in the seat?  CNN’s Peter Hamby thinks that Jenny Sanford may have decided not to run for the seat despite being rumored to have considered it:

His ex-wife, Jenny, a resident of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, has been courted to run for office for years and was on Haley’s shortlist to replace DeMint in the Senate. She told several media outlets this week that she was open to the idea of running for Scott’s House seat.

But Mark Sanford’s apparent decision to run for Congress is a strong signal that Jenny Sanford will not: He has made clear to confidantes in recent days that he would not embark on a campaign that pitted him against his ex-wife.

Well, Jenny Sanford hasn’t said no publicly yet, either.  Her profile got raised by Governor Nikki Haley, who had Mrs. Sanford on her short list to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate until deciding on Tim Scott.  It’s a little difficult to imagine that Haley would have raised Mrs. Sanford’s profile to that degree without her having an interest in public office at the federal level, and this special-election opportunity won’t come around again soon.  On the other hand, perhaps Mrs. Sanford has no desire to relive the scandal in the glare of a political campaign, either, and it would be impossible to blame her for feeling that way.

Assuming that his ex-wife has decided to clear the field for him, will everyone else do the same?  Remember, Sanford got censured by the South Carolina legislature over allegations that he used state resources for his extramarital affair on a 102-11 vote in the House, but only after mulling over impeachment for a few weeks.  Sanford still refused to resign, holding onto his job for the remainder of his term.  It seems unlikely that no other Republican will challenge Sanford given that track record, and that only three years after his scandal he can successfully navigate his way back to Washington with no opposition.

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Is there really no one else who can run in this district? I suppose Sanford(the bad one) can win, but do we have to settle for someone like that?

Doughboy on December 21, 2012 at 8:14 AM

As a South Carolinian Both Sanfords need to stay out of this election.

SC.Charlie on December 21, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Sanford & Ex-Wife.

Probably doesn’t work as well as Sanford & Son.

22044 on December 21, 2012 at 8:22 AM

There is never any ” forgiveness ” for Republicans .

Lucano on December 21, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Is there really no one else who can run in this district?

Doughboy on December 21, 2012 at 8:14 AM

My question too. Why back him, when it’s just asking for trouble? Is that the best they can come up with?

petefrt on December 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM

This situation defines the word ‘fiasco’…

Khun Joe on December 21, 2012 at 8:50 AM

For crying out loud… the last thing we need is a recycled pol or his wife, ex-wife, lover, ex-lover, child, house servant, or top aide. Go away, find a real job, it’s time to leave “public service” for the good of your country.

kringeesmom on December 21, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Ugh… another poster child with which the libtards can bash conservatives.

WordsMatter on December 21, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I guess I’m waste my time asking if these people are even capable of employment in the real world?

MNHawk on December 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

What a forking mess. This is Romney Syndrome all over again.

MelonCollie on December 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Is there really no one else who can run in this district? I suppose Sanford(the bad one) can win, but do we have to settle for someone like that?

Doughboy on December 21, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Don’t suppose you were supporting Newt Gingrich for POTUS….

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Will his soulmate be standing by his side during the campaign? Go away Mr. Sanford, you have already done enough damage to this nation and proven yourself a liar. We have all the liars we need in Congress.

trs on December 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I guess I’m waste my time asking if these people are even capable of employment in the real world?

MNHawk on December 21, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Not friggin’ likely. I’m such a wet-behind-the-ears salesman that I squeak, but about all these oafs can ‘sell’ is welfare to low-info voters.

MelonCollie on December 21, 2012 at 8:56 AM

For crying out loud… the last thing we need is a recycled pol or his wife, ex-wife, lover, ex-lover, child, house servant, or top aide. Go away, find a real job, it’s time to leave “public service” for the good of your country.

kringeesmom on December 21, 2012 at 8:51 AM

+1!

22044 on December 21, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Will his soulmate be standing by his side during the campaign?

trs on December 21, 2012 at 8:54 AM

“Enquiring” minds would like to know, is he still seeing the Argentinian lady?

Why don’t politicians ever accept the word, “No.”

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

It’s tough for a disgraced politician to successfully come back from scandal.

You should insert “conservative” in between disgraced and politician, Ed.
That doesn’t apply to libs.

itsnotaboutme on December 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Next thing we’ll see is the resurrection of John Edwards.

Rovin on December 21, 2012 at 9:02 AM

thank God the world goes on

why is Caribbean 0rgies and illegal interns no big deal, but this Pub got crucified over an affair?

Slade73 on December 21, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Caribbean 0rgies with non Union wh0res no less – and they didn’t get paid.

Slade73 on December 21, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Find a real job Mark. Stay out of politics.

LoganSix on December 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM

But he is such an expert on Argentine affairs… We need someone who understands Latin America intimately in Congress. Sarc off.

Yes Mark.. Go away and get a real job. Seriously, doesn’t he have a law degree or something?

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Will the primary in SC be a mess?

How the Heck is it that we keep getting linzygram over and over from that state?

I think it would be great to have tim and Nikki as senators.

Fleuries on December 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Heard Charlie Crist packed his bags, got on that Trailways, and is headed north.

He was overheard at the bus station remarking to another passenger “Why don’t you know, they always used to call me ‘Charleston Charlie’ when I was a kid. I’m a natural fit for South Carolina.”

M240H on December 21, 2012 at 9:19 AM

“Enquiring” minds would like to know, is he still seeing the Argentinian lady?

Why don’t politicians ever accept the word, “No.”

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Apparently he and Argentine lady are engaged.

As for the “scandal,” this wasn’t a run of the mill affair. Sanford actually skipped out on his job for over a week and wasn’t in contact with anyone during that time period. Sort of scary when your job was to manage the response to emergencies in the state of SC. So a huge storm devastates SC or there is an act of terrorism and Sanford’s staff couldn’t contact him because he flew to Buenos Aires to get laid.

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Why doesn’t Sanford do real estate then?

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM

“Frankly Scarlet..Jenny, I don;t give a damn”

ToddPA on December 21, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Keep eating our own, guys. There is nothing wrong with that, and the media will gladly join in. Meanwhile, Democrats can gang-rape little boys and steal trillions, and all we can muster for is a blog rant.

SCREW YOU TROGLOCON MORALISTS UNTIL YOU BLEED, AND THEN SOME MORE!

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Why doesn’t Sanford do real estate then?

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Because America is the land of second chances.

And because, given the current state of GOP leadership in the House, one would think conservatives would be happy to have someone who, but for one rather public mistake, we would all agree walked the conservative talk…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2012 at 9:38 AM

As for the “scandal,” this wasn’t a run of the mill affair. Sanford actually skipped out on his job for over a week and wasn’t in contact with anyone during that time period.

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Sounds like something we should make mandatory for members of Congress…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2012 at 9:39 AM

I support Mark Sanford.

Sincerely,
Mel Reynolds

22044 on December 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM

SCREW YOU TROGLOCON MORALISTS…

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM

LOL Now, that’s funny on a windy, cold and sad day.

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Ed,
You say that Sanford “resigned”, I thought he served out his term?

mapstone55 on December 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Buh-buh-da-bwada
Buh-buh-bwada-dada-daaa
Buh-buh-bwada
Bada-bwada-ba-ba-baaa…

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Must add a verse for Mr. Sanford, from the musical Evita (may substitute “South Carolina” for “Buenos Aires”):

And if ever I go too far
It’s because of the things you are
Beautiful town–I love you
And if I need a moment’s rest
Give your lover the very best
Real eiderdown–and silence

Stand back Buenos Aires!
Because you ought to know what’cha gonna get in me
Just a little touch of star quality!

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Because America is the land of second chances.

And because, given the current state of GOP leadership in the House, one would think conservatives would be happy to have someone who, but for one rather public mistake, we would all agree walked the conservative talk…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Nope. That wasn’t just a simple “mistake”. It was an extremely public indicator of this guy’s consistent lack of judgment. On what planet did he think that a state Governor could just go missing and no one would find out the truth? And even now, what would his decision to seek further public scrutiny say about his ability to make good decisions? He’s got four children, four boys who would have to relive their father’s self-involved lunacy all over again. Why would the people of South Carolina want a man that clearly doesn’t give a crap about his own family representing theirs?

Mark Sanford doesn’t need to go back to Washington. What he needs is a good psychiatrist.

Murf76 on December 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

It’s tough for a disgraced politician to successfully come back from scandal. Most don’t even try.

Unless of course you are a Democrat.

Extramarital affairs? No problem! See Clinton, William and Kennedy John F.
Drug use? No problem! See Obama, Barack and Clinton, William.
Draft-dodging? No problem! See Clinton, William.
Running a homosexual prostitution ring out of your house?
No problem! See Frank, Barney.
Lying about your race for professional gain? No problem! See Warren, Elizabeth.
Being a former KKK leader? No problem! See Byrd,Robert.
Running an illegal gun-running operation that costs hundreds of lives? No problem! See Holder, Eric and Obama, Barack.
Refusing to provide security for a US ambassador, costing him his life? No problem! See Clinton, Hillary and Obama, Barack.

Funny how any scandal involving a Republican – even non-scandals (does anyone remember the furor over the famous ’16 words’ – words that were undeniably true?) is front page news and is breathlessly ‘reported’ on by every media organ out there for weeks or sometimes even months.

Yet Democrats seem to have an entirely different experience. None of their scandals had any negative effect on the politicians. But if you are a Republican, simply making an inappropriate toast at a birthday party (Lott, Trent) can cost you your leadership position. *sigh* As they say, if the media didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

StoneHeads on December 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I shouldn’t do this, but …………. from the headline thread:

Get ready for the live debate:

Mark Sanford: I offer common-sense conservatism.
Jenny Sanford: Was that “conservatism” when you galloped off to pork that spicy Argentine number and dumped me like yesterday’s newspaper?
MS: Please. Let’s not make this personal.
JS: Personal? You lie to me over and over again, betray my trust, crap on the life we built together, and you don’t want to make this “PERSONAL”? Are you effing kidding me?
MS: We drifted apart.
JS: More like your dong drifted south of the border, because you can’t keep it in your pants.
MS: Jenny …
JS: Don’t you “Jenny” me, you lying sack of crap.

Paul-Cincy on December 20, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Paul-Cincy on December 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Strom Thurmond’s son was ebaten by Scott the last time around for this seat, so he’ll probably run again. I don’t know anything about him, he’s probably an establishment hack, but Sanford defines damaged goods no matter how charismatic he is.

Daemonocracy on December 21, 2012 at 3:28 PM