A Different World

Issac Bailey blog: Old Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand friend Mark Sanford is back in the news

Our good friend Mark Sanford, who first represented the former First Congressional District when the Grand Strand was still a part of it, then as South Carolina governor, is back.

Well, he was officially back when he won a seat in Congress again after all of his well-documented troubles. He’s making headlines again, this time as the focus of a New York Times profile.

From the piece:

In a dimly lit back room of Kazoobie, Sanford sat at a small table with Murray and the other chamber reps along with a man from a community beautification group. Most of the conversation revolved around noise issues, including the impending local test flights of a new F-35 fighter jet, and a request for help financing a flower-planting project along Route I-17. “We don’t know if there’s anything you can do,” said the flower advocate.

“I don’t know either,” Sanford said, keenly interested, or at least faking it well. “But we can find out.”

Sanford was in full campaign mode. Though no one had announced a challenge for his seat when his term ends later this year, he assumed someone would, and he was intently making the rounds — precisely the sort of unglamorous neighborhood glad-handing that Cantor was accused of neglecting after his recent primary loss. Following our visit to Kazoobie, Sanford trotted across the street for a scheduled visit to Earl’s Body Shop to meet the owner, Fred Krumm, a local Republican who once starred in an ad for Sanford’s fellow South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson.

“He really wishes he could be here,” the shop manager, Gary Newman, said apologetically as he took us through a tour of the shop. “He had a funeral he had to attend in Iowa; he would have loved this.”

The scene repeated itself at the Bluffton Oyster Company, where Sanford was to meet Larry Toomer, a Republican who recently won a seat on the Bluffton Town Council, and his wife, Tina. “My husband chose to go to a St. Louis Cardinals game instead of meeting ya,” Tina Toomer informed Sanford when he walked in the door of her seafood market on the May River.

“I’d pick the same,” Sanford said.

But the day also brought its little boosts: the standing ovation Sanford received at the Beaufort County Republican Party’s meeting later in the afternoon; the guy at the Bluffton farmers’ market who shouted from a lawn chair, “You’ve got a great shot, I’ll be voting for you”; or the retired agriculture sales rep Greg Becker, who complimented the former governor on his values: “Low taxes, limited government — isn’t that it?”

Read the whole thing here.