“Let me first apologize to my wife.” A phrase that is heard all too often these days. We saw it with Senators Larry Craig (R-ID) and David Vitter (R-LA). We’ve seen it more recently with Senator John Ensign (R-NV). None of these men have resigned from office (Craig chose not to run for re-election in 2008). The one politician that did resign, Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York, is a Democrat. Today, Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) came out of hiding to reveal that he has been having an affair with a woman from Argentina. He should follow Spitzer’s example by resigning from office immediately.
The news conference held today came after a week of the governor gone missing. His staff believed that he went hiking in the Appalachian Trail, although they did not know for sure, and his family was not even told of his location. This left the state of South Carolina essentially leaderless for an entire week while the governor was having his affair in a foreign country.
“One desperately needs a break from the bubble,” Sanford told the press. He had “profound frustrations” in regard to the stimulus package, in which a state court recently forced him to accept funds that he had wanted to reject. Despite disapproval from people within his own party at a state level over the stimulus funds, he claims that it was “not for a further political office.”
In the press conference Governor Sanford spent over three or four minutes apologizing to people without saying what he was apologizing for, although it was fairly obvious. “I’ve let down a lot of people,” he said. “God’s law is indeed there to protect you from yourself.”
He claims that the relationship “began very innocently in just a casual e-mail back and forth.” The woman in question became a “dear, dear friend from Argentina.” When asked if he has broken off the relationship, he responded “no” and when asked if he was separated with his wife he said that “I don’t know how to define that.” Apparently his family knew about the affair before his trip to Argentina.
As the governor poses the question: “where do we go from here?” Indeed. He has resigned from the Republican Governor’s Association as their chairman. Why should he leave it at that? There is a consequence for claiming to be morally superior to others. Your (supposedly) higher standards require higher punishment. Based on Governor Sanford’s history of criticizing President Clinton and calling for his impeachment, he has a duty to resign. Not just for the hypocrisy. He neglected his duties as governor, misled his staff and the people of South Carolina for his own selfish desires.
Tags: affair, argentina, clinton, david vitter, democrat, eliot, eliot spitzer, governor, governor sanford, john ensign, larry craig, mark, mark sanford, new york, republican, resign, sanford, south carolina, spitzer