Recently you have published several letters concerning Mark Sanford’s campaign for the U.S. Congress. I would like to add a few points.
First, Sanford pledged to serve only three terms when he first ran for Congress in 1994, abiding by the Republican Contract with America which called for term limits. Sanford was one of the few of his party who actually lived up to that promise, leaving Congress in 2000. However, two years later, he ran for governor of South Carolina, a four-year term, won, and ran again in 2006. After his re-election, he said that would be his last campaign.
A reference to Bill Clinton was made in an online response to one of the letters about Sanford, I suppose to excuse his behavior. But remember that in 1998 Sanford voted for Clinton’s impeachment, calling his behavior “reprehensible.” Also, when Bob Livingston was to replace Newt Gingrich (another cheater) as speaker of the House and it was discovered that he had also had an extra-marital affair, Sanford supported his resignation, saying that “he lied under a different oath – the oath to his wife.” Bob Livingston also voted to impeach Clinton.
However, infidelity is not the issue I raise – it is saying one thing and doing another. Over and over. Consider the full-page ad taken out by Sanford to explain why he trespassed at his ex-wife’s home against a family court order. In it, he states that as a father he didn’t want his son to watch the Super Bowl game alone. Wasn’t it Fathers’ Day weekend in 2009 when he left his young sons and went to be with his mistress in Argentina while lying to them and everyone else as to his actual whereabouts?
Finally, what were Sanford’s accomplishments during 14 years in public office that would make one vote for him again? The only positive thing I recall is how while in Congress he lived in his office rather than rent an apartment, and this was viewed favorably as an example of his frugality. I do not know if that saved any tax-payer money, or just his own.
If Sanford wants to serve his country, there are certainly numerous ways he can do this without, as a father, exposing his children to the negative publicity he had to know his campaign would bring. Look at Jim DeMint, who left the Senate saying he could do more in the private sector, and without whose resignation this race wouldn’t even be happening.
Because of redistricting I am now in the 7th District, or I would be voting on May 7 for Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is an extremely well qualified candidate. It will be very interesting to see if the voters in the 1st District will really send Mark Sanford to Congress again.