In retrospect, her early comments on the governor’s “disappearance” were brilliant. The first lady had known about her husband’s affair for months and had given him the boot two weeks earlier. But when reporters were frantically asking, “Where is South Carolina’s governor?” the mother of four boys fanned the mystery by telling the Associated Press that she hadn’t heard from him in several days. Not even on Father’s Day—a line Tina Brown likened to “a sharp, small kick in the groin.”…

But there are a few wronged political wives who get my respect, as well. And I’m beginning to think Jenny Sanford is one of them. On second read, her statement is kind of perfect. It’s loving. It’s forgiving. It is pious. And she really kicks some butt, if you’re willing to read between the lines. She reclaimed the high ground: she “put forth every possible effort to be the best wife during almost 20 years of marriage” (i.e., she did nothing to deserve this). She believes in the sanctity of marriage (he’s a cheating bastard). She is ready to forgive completely (because she’s a better person than he’ll ever be) “as long as he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance” (there will be hell to pay). She says she will continue to focus on raising her sons to be honorable young men (unlike their dirtbag father). She had kept the separation quiet, she said, to protect those four beautiful boys, and because of the separation, she really hadn’t a clue about where her husband was.