Don t cry for me Argentina

Posted by Superior on Jun 25th, 2009 and filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

When South Carolina governor Mark Sanford disappeared last sanford_001Thursday, he told family, officials and even his security team that he was off for a lone hike along the Appalachian Trail in the eastern U.S.

But yesterday, the father-of-four - viewed as a future candidate for the presidency - tearfully admitted he had been having an extramarital affair with a ‘dear dear friend’ in Argentina.

The affair, he said, began ‘very innocently’ but blossomed into ’something much more than that’.

I’ve been unfaithful to my wife,’ Sanford said, adding that he had spent the last five days ‘crying in Argentina.’

‘As a consequence, I hurt her, you all, my wife, my boys… I hurt a lot of different folks. All I can say is that I apologise.’

Sanford said he will resign as chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association.

As a congressman, Sanford voted in favor of three of four articles of impeachment against Democratic President Bill Clinton citing the need for ‘moral legitimacy.’

Excerpts of e-mail exchanges between the governor and his mistress, named in the press as ‘Maria’ were published online by The State.

One from the governor read: ‘I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself in the faded glow of the night’s light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details.’

When faced with questions yesterday about where he had been the past week, Sanford said he’d changed his mind at the last minute and gone thousands of miles in the other direction on a solo trip to Argentina.

But other than to say he suddenly felt like doing something ‘more exotic’, the Republican governor declined to clarify his absence - which even meant the family man missed out on Father’s Day on Sunday.

This was all a bit embarrassing for his staff, who had answered all inquiries about him in the past week by saying he was hiking in the Appalachians.

Sanford, 49, who had been touted as a potential presidential candidate at the next election, originally said he had been alone on the trip to Argentina, saying he had driven along the coastline.

‘Lies. Lies. Lies. That’s all we get from his staff. That’s all we get from his people. That’s all we get from him,’ said state Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican. ‘Why all the big cover-up?’

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, the second in command in the state, said he was concerned that the governor’s staff lied about Sanford’s whereabouts, adding that if they didn’t know where he was they should have said so.

‘For his staff to lie to the people of South Carolina and say he was one place when in fact he wasn’t, that concerns me,’ Bauer said.

A Washington Post writer commented: ‘Whatever his wife knew, it was a serious mistake in judgment for the leader of the state to simply drop out of sight for nearly a week.’

A governor is the state’s chief executive and it is unusual for such an official to be out of touch with staff and security guards for long.

Sanford was last seen at work Thursday. On Monday, a state legislator raised questions about where he was after hearing reports from security officials that the governor could not be contacted and his whereabouts were unknown.

The governor’s wife, Jenny Sanford, told The Associated Press she had not seen him since Thursday but was not concerned because he’d told her he wanted to get away and do some writing.

Late on Monday, Sanford’s staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. They said Tuesday that he had called in and planned to cut his trip short and return to work on Wednesday because of all the attention his absence was getting.

The governor’s spokesman, Joel Sawyer, said Sanford wanted to get away to clear his head after the legislative session, during which he lost a key battle.

When Sanford was asked why his staff said he was on the Appalachian Trail, Sanford replied, ‘I don’t know.’

Sanford later said ‘in fairness to his staff,’ he had told them he might go hiking on the Appalachian Trial.

But past vacations never left Sanford completely out of touch, said Chris Drummond, Sanford’s former spokesman. At worst, Sanford would call in daily or would respond to voice mails.

Who was in charge in his absence became the political and practical question.

Essentially, Sanford’s staffers said they’d decide who to call if an emergency popped up and the governor couldn’t be reached.

The state’s constitution says a temporary absence would give the lieutenant governor full authority in the state. But the temporary absence has never been defined.

Sanford’s revelation comes just a week after another senator, John Ensign, also confessed to having had an extramarital affair.

The Republican senator of Nevada had an eight-month liaison with a campaign aide who was a friend of his wife and married to another Ensign staffer.

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