When a public figure gets caught in a sex scandal, their usual response is to clam up and not tell anyone what really happened, making everyone speculate and come to their own lurid conclusions as to who, what, when, and where. Not so with Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC).
Sanford, the once-promising presidential prospect, agreed to first sit down with the AP hours after attending a state budget meeting Monday and giving television interviews about the need to stay in office. Over the course of two days, he said he was fit to lead and ready to fix a broken marriage.
“I don’t want to blow up my time in politics,” he told the AP. “I don’t want to blow up future earning power, I don’t want to blow up the kids’ lives. I don’t want to blow up 20 years that we’ve invested. But if I’m completely honest, there are still feelings in the way. If we keep pushing it this way, we get those to die off, but they’re still there and they’re still real.”
He has trouble, he said, shutting down the love he feels for Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine woman he first met in 2001.
Sanford also said he’s “crossed the lines” with a handful of other women during 20 years of marriage, but not as far as he did with Chapur and not since the two met.
“Without wandering into that field we’ll just say that I let my guard down in all senses of the word without ever crossing the line that I crossed with this situation,” he said, referring to his affair with Chapur.
He insists he can fall back in love with his wife, Jenny, even as he witnesses his “own political funeral.”
Sanford detailed more encounters with his mistress than he had disclosed during a rambling, emotional news conference last week. The new revelations Tuesday led the state attorney general to launch an investigation of Sanford’s travels to check on taxpayer money.
Yeah, okay, we get it. You like her. You really like her. But people with class don’t talk about it in public, and they certainly don’t do it in a two-part tear-jerker with the AP. Save it for Oprah, and if you have any political instincts left, you’d save the people of South Carolina the time and money of an impeachment trial and go away. Quietly.