General Question

marinelife's avatar

Is it just me or did the Governor of South Carolina injure his wife further with his public comments?

Asked by marinelife (62455points) June 26th, 2009

I was appalled by Mark Sanford’s weird and rambling press conference, but no one else seems to be commenting on the things that upset me.

1. When he was apologizing for hurting people, he put the mistress first, children second, then wife, and then the people of the state.

2. He publicly characterized the woman he cheated with as his “dear, dear friend” in the present tense.

3. He publicly discussed “that sparking thing” and having “his heart involved.”

4. He publicly said that he had spent the last five days crying in Argentina—WITH HIS MISTRESS! (What, after two days of rowdy sex, or crying in between bouts of rowdy sex for the whole week?)

His desire to put things right with his family, especially his marriage, seemed totally insincere to me in the face of his obvious and public heartbreak at ending the affair WHICH HE ONLY DID WHEN HE WAS CAUGHT AND TOSSED OUT.

His wife is independently wealthy and has financed a good part of his campaigns over the years. She is also his campaign strategist. No Freudians need apply as to why he wants to work this out. (And I am not assuming it is because he is such a good Christian man.)

There were no words of love for his wife in between gushing about the mistress, no words about his wife and the mother of his children as a person as all, certainly no paeans to the curve of her hips in the dark.

Why, why, why is she saying this man “deserves a second chance”?

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32 Answers

chupacabra's avatar

It was very telling how he mentioned the mistress first.

It is amazing how a person in politics will do things that are in direct contrast to what they profess to believe then be shocked when they are discovered.

skfinkel's avatar

He’s an idiot.

willbrawn's avatar

He’s sorry he got caught, nothing more.

tinyfaery's avatar

I am not the morality police. Maybe he loves his girlfriend. Maybe he no longer loves his wife. Maybe his wife is a cold, manipulative bitch. No one knows the dynamics of his relationship. I’m not judging.

cak's avatar

There are many that believe this is a marriage of convenience, more than a marriage of love. I live in NC, I’m involved with people that are in the political arena and have seen the two of them in action…longer than the “meet and greet” type of thing. There have been whispers, for a while now, that the love is gone…it’s a political marriage, now.

His speech was awful and if he ever hoped to recover, I think this sealed the deal on his future as a greeter at Wal-Mart. I don’t care what his wife is like, I don’t care what his mistress is like. His apology should have been directed at his children, his wife and the people of the State of South Carolina – before anyone else. To not make his children and wife (whether they still love each other or not) first priority, PR death. Also, just a crappy move, too. In my eyes, he’s nothing but a small man, now. I’m not even passing judgment on the affair, it’s how he appears to be prioritizing things that is killing me.

wundayatta's avatar

I can’t believe he can stay on as Governor.

noelasun's avatar

Last I read, his wife was saying she would work on the marriage as she believed in marriage… but that she doesn’t care about his career and is pretty set without him.

Good for her. I’m so tired of politicians wives standing up and taking public humiliation for the sake of their husbands career.

marinelife's avatar

@tinyfaery I do despise people who break marriage or other vows of fidelity. So what if he fell in love with his girlfriend? How did he ever get to that point? If his relationship wasn’t working, he should have made his best efforts to work on it, and if that failed, then he could get out. Once he was free of his vows, then he is free to start other relationships. I don’t think whether the partner is a bitch or cold makes any difference to how one honorably is in relationship.

As for the morality police, that is one of the great ironies of this situation. Sanford has very much been the morality police for others.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

She’s only giving lip service (Something he’ll NEVER get from her again) and taking the moral high ground. She really wants the bastard gone.

Her behavior shows her to be a Lady.

Zaku's avatar

Seems like Americans love soap operas and moralizing so much, it’s become a part of our political system, and a required sacrifice of everyone in the public eye, to have their private lives made fair game for exposure and moralizing.

The best argument for this to my mind, is the hypocrisy of those who have condemned others for doing things that they themselves do. However, it’s clear there is a cultural agreement that there is a de facto requirement to a high level of conformity to social stereotypes in order to be a public figure, which seems pretty pathetic to me… and apparently to many other cultures who manage to separate politics from personal lives.

marinelife's avatar

@Zaku So you condone in yourself and others cheating and lying and narcissistically taking your pleasure where you may without regard to someone else you are in relationship with?

galileogirl's avatar

Actually I think he apologized to “all of you” (speaking to the Press) before he mentioned his wife.

I think he hasn’t come to terms with making a choice yet and that should be a clear signal to his wife that he isn’t going to. Evidently she has known for many months and when he wouldn’t stop she tried to force him to by kicking him out. Of course when he ran to his mistress instead of cutting it off, Mrs Sanford got her answer.

This is another case of smart, ambitious woman and stupid politician husband. Mrs Sanford should look to Ariana Huffington who also was the brains in a political marriage-Do it on your own and let him sink back into oblivion.

And let this be a lesson to us all-Sarah Palin was NOT the worst possible choice for the Republican ticket.

DominicX's avatar


Who says the people condemning him have cheated on their spouses? It would be hypocritical for a cheating person to condemn someone who was cheating. Otherwise, I think people who aren’t cheating can condemn someone who is. I don’t think the people condemning him are claiming to be “free of sin”.

In that light, you can’t condemn anyone for anything ever.

tinyfaery's avatar

Maybe he is not sorry. Maybe he is an ass. Fidelity means different things to different people. The hypocricy is one thing, cheating is of no consequence to me.

marinelife's avatar

@tinyfaery I agree the hypocrisy is really the thing that catapults what otherwise (if the dude had not snuck out of town) would be a private matter into a public one.

Are you saying that fidelity is not factor in your significant relationships by agreement? In that case, there is no cheating involved.

If that is not the case, I guess I find it surprising that you you find your spouse’s cheating a matter of no consequence.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Marina The only way my spouse could be unfaithful to me is if she lied to me and did something behind my back. Before we married we talked about monogamy, and how we do not believe in it. We even talked about it the other day after this story broke. We agreed that if either of us were to be attracted to someone else we would tell the other one, and discuss. Even if I was sexually attracted to someone else and decided I wanted to act on that, I would NEVER want to be without my wife; I couldn’t live without her. That is how I/we remain faithful. My life and love belong to her, my emotions, ideas and desires are mine to do with as I please.

marinelife's avatar

That is very much like my own philosophy. What I object to is not that someone feels an attraction, but that they do not let their partner know that so the partner can make their own decision prior to acting on it.

Darwin's avatar

Possibly his wife wants to live in the White House but doesn’t want to run for office. Hence, she will keep the marriage going.

Otherwise, I think the whole situation is very weird and I feel sorry for the children.

marinelife's avatar

@Darwin Yes, it is always the children that are the true victims. I have a real problem with people who have children giving into their “urges” with no thought for the consequences to the children.

tinyfaery's avatar

I just saw a story that claimed his wife knew about his affair for a month, and that he asked her permission to see his girlfriend. Now, I really don’t feel bad. She chose to stay, and to me that means she consented. This could be totally untrue. If so, disregard.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I don’t think he hurt her any more than he already has, seeing as she’s known about his mistress for a while now. I’m just happy she wasn’t standing next to him during this sham. I wouldn’t have bothered to hold any sort of meeting with the press were I in his place.

Discretion is the better part of valour and Sanford doesn’t have any.

Darwin's avatar

Actually, according to this AP interview the two Sanfords had separated about two weeks ago, and she had told him in no uncertain terms to end the affair when she first found out about it earlier this year.

“South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford sat in her oceanfront living room Friday, recalling how her husband repeatedly asked permission to visit his lover in the months after she discovered his affair.

“I said absolutely not. It’s one thing to forgive adultery; it’s another thing to condone it,” Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press during a 20-minute interview at the coastal home where she sought refuge with their four sons. They were her first extended comments on the affair…He was told in no uncertain terms not to see her,” she said in a strong, steady voice. “I was hoping he was on the Appalachian Trail. But I was not worried about his safety. I was hoping he was doing some real soul searching somewhere and devastated to find out it was Argentina. It’s tragic.” ”

Apparently he did ask for permission to see his mistress, and his wife said no way. He had said he was going to take some time off to write a book, but instead snuck off to South America. There was evidently no way in Hades that she was going to stand next to him when he made his announcement.

Judi's avatar

I would probably be quite forgiving if he had not been leading the mob on the witch hunt against Clinton.

dalepetrie's avatar

I don’t know if anyone else saw or heard this, but when he was “missing”, and presumed to be hiking in the mountains and they started to realize he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, a reporter somewhere called his wife to ask if she knew of his exact whereabouts and she said something to the effect that she didn’t know and that it was none of her concern.

In other words, don’t cry for her, Argentina.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

I don’t know what his problem is. I don’t know what the states problem is either. The state was not going to fall apart whether one man was there or not.
I think that those people who want to hurt him for what he did are perverted.
I understand that some men are not made to be monogamous. He apparently has those genes. He did not choose to have them. His wife did not want him at the time. He told her what he was up to.
Why are the idiots on the radio talking about it anyway? Do they want to have fun with Mary too.

If anyone is hurting the children it is the press.
I do not care if he is a sanctimonious fool or a repentant saint.

He got some sex. So what. It happens to a lot of people. Most of them want it to happen to them.

Darwin's avatar

@walterallenhaxton – Just because a guy may or may not have a gene that inclines him away from monogamy, doesn’t give him the right to not keep it in his pants. Unless his wife agrees that they have an open marriage, he needs to respect her wishes if he loves her and wants to be married to her. He may not have chosen his genetics, but he for darn sure can control his actions.

You say “His wife did not want him at the time. He told her what he was up to.” Well, she says that as soon as she found out she told him to stop, and when he didn’t, she left him.

You also said “He got some sex. So what. It happens to a lot of people.” And it also doesn’t happen to a lot of people who have promised to love and honor until death does them part. He chose to break a vow. He chose to stand up in front of the press and whine about it.

If he wants to be seen as loyal, honest and straight-forward to the voters, the very first thing he should do is be loyal, honest and straight-forward with those closest to him, especially his wife.

He is a horse’s ass, and could have chosen many other ways to deal with things. His marriage is over and possibly his political career. However, his method of handling things makes certain the press will be interested.

fireside's avatar

Maybe his wife was having an affair that wasn’t exposed publicly and when he found out, he went crying to his only friend who was outside of the political structure and they happened to decide getting on a boat for some soul searching was the best option. Then when he was exposed, his wife threatened to cut off his funding if he mentioned her affair.

Isn’t speculation fun?

Zaku's avatar

@Marina – Er no, I don’t. I just think it may not be in the public interest to make it a price of running for public office, that a politician’s personal life becomes fair game for the entertainment/news media to investigate and condemn, etc.

@DominicX – I don’t know; I didn’t mean to say that. I was talking about the case where a politician or public figure has been publically condemning some behavior, and then it comes to light (or is alleged in the entertainment/news media) that they themselves did what they have condemned others for.

Judi's avatar

This is just hypocracy biting the Republicans un the ass. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@fireside I think you missed on the soul searching but he sure is a crybaby.

fireside's avatar

@walterallenhaxton – Well, maybe he never took anatomy class and was searching for her soul in the wrong place : P

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@fireside The soul is in every living part of the body so you are perfectly right.

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