Last night, the Associated Press reported that Mark Sanford is due in court — a mere two days after the May 7th special election for now-Sen. Tim Scott’s vacated House seat — to explain precisely why Jenny Sanford found him at her home in February, in violation of their divorce agreement. (…Oof.) Now, of course, comes the “but I had a good, fatherly reason for knowingly breaking the settlement rules while I was preparing to mount a political comeback after a disastrous judgment lapse and subsequent fall from grace”-excuse:
It’s an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court. I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.
There is always another side to every story, and while I am particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election, I agree with Jenny that the media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter, and out of respect for Jenny and the boys, I’m not going to have any further comment at this time.
Uh huh. Jenny Sanford said last night that the document leak wasn’t her doing, which does beg the question of how whomever it was happened to obtain them. The Colbert Busch campaign has yet to comment.
At the hearing, Sanford will have to show why he should not be held in contempt for violating the couple’s divorce settlement.
“I am doing my best not to get in the way of his race,” Jenny Sanford, who for a time considered running herself, told the AP. “I want him to sink or swim on his own. For the sake of my children I’m trying my best not to get in the way, but he makes things difficult for me when he does things like trespassing.”
The campaign of Sanford’s opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, has not commented on the development.
The complaint filed by Jenny Sanford’s lawyer, Deena Smith McRackan, said Mark Sanford has “entered into a pattern of entering onto plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff has informed defendant on a number of occasions that this behavior is in violation of the court’s order and has demanded that it not occur again.”
I don’t even know. There’s a possibility this mightn’t end up being that bad, depending on how the Colbert Busch camp handles it, and I understand it’s a family matter that they probably want to resolve privately — but the point is, it could easily look bad. He knew he was going to be running this race-for-redemption on his family values and aptitude for good decision-making. Why even think about doing anything that could tempt fate?
Aaand, it looks like the National Republican Congressional Committee is unhitching their wagon from this hot mess. They hadn’t done too much on his behalf yet, perhaps considering the deeply crimson nature of the district, but it sounds like Sanford is on his own from here on out (although, granted, the NRCC said the same of Todd Akin and did spend money on him at the eleventh hour):
National Republicans are pulling the plug on Mark Sanford’s suddenly besieged congressional campaign, POLITICO has learned — a potentially fatal blow to the former South Carolina governor’s dramatic comeback bid. …
“Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections. At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election,” said Andrea Bozek, an NRCC spokeswoman.
And now this conspicuously withheld endorsement.
Asked whether he still backed Sanford, Tim Scott tells me: “No comment.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 17, 2013