The annals of governors who have left office under skeptical circumstances are replete with sordid tales of crime, corruption, and shall we say “dalliances”. It seems as though the Federal Government has designated a suite of cells in the federal prison system reserved specifically for use by the Governor of Illinois. No, I’m not kidding. Four of the last seven have left office and gone to the Big House.

Again, I digress.

There is a chapter dedicated to former Palmetto State Governor Mark Sanford. While he didn’t follow the Illinois tradition, his exit from South Carolina’s Big Chair was just as dramatic. He told his family and staff he was going to “hike the Appalachian trail”. Little did anyone know, but Sanford’s idea of a stroll through the hills consisted of hopping a flight to Buenos Aires and going off the grid for seven days.

I’m not going to criticize Sanford’s personal decisions. His choices are his own and he’s responsible for them. Having said that, one of the things a man gives up when he sits in the Big Chair is the personal freedom to drop everything and disappear for a week. When you’re the Governor, people have to know where you are – it’s just part of the job. Don’t like giving up that much of your personal privacy? Tough. Steer clear of high public office.

One would think that Sanford would have the good sense to know his time in the sun had ended. Perhaps he could go write a book. Maybe he could set up a half-way house for newly paroled Illinois governors. Ride herd on the cattle drives on the rolling pampas of Argentina. Surely he could find something to do with the rest of his life.

No, Dear Reader. He’s not capable of that. It seems that politics is all he knows and so now he’s gone and won the Republican primary  for  the first congressional district of South Carolina – a seat he held prior to his run for Governor. He’ll face Elizabeth Colbert Busch (yes, Stephen’s sister) in the upcoming special election to fill the seat vacated by Tim Scott’s appointment to the Senate.


 I’m sorry, Dear Reader, but I’m wondering what is wrong with the Republican party – specifically those in South Carolina who saw fit to rally to this guy’s banner. Is there no one else to be found in South Carolina’s first district other than a disgraced former governor who could run for this seat? Colbert-Busch promised:

I look forward to a vigorous campaign that focuses on creating jobs, balancing our country’s budget and choosing an independent-minded leader who shares the values of the great people of South Carolina.

With due respect to Stephen’s sister, I’ve been watching politics long enough to know this race will focus on Sanford’s disappearance and every little detail about it and his new fiancée rather than anything having to do with jobs, budget, or values.

This was a safe seat that could have been easily won by someone without Sanford’s steamer trunks full of lead baggage. Thanks a lot South Carolina.