Conservatives Write Off Sanford as a National Leader

By
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 7:48 pm
Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) speaks at the Tax Day Tea Party in Columbia, S.C. on April 15. (YouTube: GovernorSanford)

Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) speaks at the Tax Day Tea Party in Columbia, S.C., on April 15. (YouTube: GovernorSanford)

At the Washington, D.C. office of FreedomWorks, the conservative non-profit that has promoted and trained organizers of anti-tax Tea Parties, no one knew what Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) was going to say. A TV was tuned to the press conference Sanford had called to explain a confusing four-day absence from the state, about which rumors had been multiplying in the local and national media. Staffers watched as the governor gave a strange, rambling statement about his “great adventures on the Appalachian Trail” and how he’d called the home office for his first gubernatorial race “Jurassic Park.” Eventually, agonizingly, he got to the point. He had been unfaithful to his wife with a woman in Argentina.

“I’ve let down a lot of people,” said Sanford.

That was an understatement.

Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

“Overall, there’s a real feeling of disappointment around here,” said Brendan Steinhauser, the director of Federal and State Campaigns for FreedomWorks, and a key campaigner for the Tea Parties. “He really was a guy who united” — he paused — “or unites the different wings of the Republican Party. Economic conservatives, social conservatives, national security conservatives. After today? No way.”

Thanks to his early, insistent opposition to the economic stimulus package — a campaign that only ended this month when the South Carolina Supreme Court overruled Sanford’s attempt to turn down some of the federal aid appropriated by Congress — Sanford had risen quickly as a national spokesman for hard-core economic conservatism. The chairman (until Wednesday) of the Republican Governors’ Association, he had keynoted the Ronald Reagan Banquet at the Conservative Political Action Conference, cut a prominent TV ad explaining his opposition to the stimulus, and spoke at multiple anti-tax Tea Parties on April 15. He even led a “Tea Party 2.0″ national teleconference for the RGA, attempting to harness conservative excitement about the rallies into support for the GOP.

According to the governor’s own timeline, he and his wife Jenny Sanford had been “working through this thing for about the last five months,” meaning that he had been riven by the potential scandal during the entire period he spent making the case against Democratic economic plans. On Wednesday, conservative activists expressed shock, surprise, and a sense of betrayal at Sanford’s admission. They laughed off Sanford’s chances of a political comeback or a 2012 presidential bid. Some expressed sympathy for his family while some wrote him out of the “freedom movement,” worrying that his problems have robbed activists of a national voice at an incredibly important time.

“We’re going to press on,” said FreedomWorks’ Steinhauser. “There are going to be other leaders and activists, and hopefully elected officials, who will take the lead on these issues. If there’s another guy who wants to get involved in what we’re doing, we want to work with him.”

“It’s not helpful,” said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. “This is a guy who clearly could have been in the running as a serious presidential candidate with a serious record of cutting taxes and cutting spending.” But Norquist tempered his gloom with a joke. “It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible to women.”

Many activists had previously believed Sanford’s original explanations for his trip — that he had been “doing some writing” or walking the Appalachian trial — and defended him from media attacks. The day before the press conference, RedState.com editor Erick Erickson published an essay on “the lesson of Mark Sanford’s hike,” calling it “refreshing that Mark Sanford is secure enough in himself and the people of South Carolina that he does not view himself as an indispensable man.”

Erickson was not so forgiving on Wednesday. “I think Governor Sanford needs to go crawl into a very dark hole where no one can see him or hear him and rehabilitate himself.” Erickson said in an email, ” In two years, when the country remains in the gutter, he’ll be able to rehabilitate himself.” Erickson was less worried, though, about potential blowback from Sanford’s scandal onto his supporters, because “the left will ignore his actual record and portray him as some sort of stalwart for Christianity and social values.”

According to David Boaz, the executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute, which has hosted Sanford for speeches on privacy and the size of government, the scandal may very well set back the governor’s causes. “To not have him on the stage, when there’s not anybody else who can step in, is a serious problem,” Boaz explained. He suggested that the same dynamic was at work now; the “freedom movement” was gaining momentum, but it would be deprived of a leader who could frame their issues. “Sanford was not Reagan, at least not yet, but I think if more people got to know him they would have liked him. And now they won’t get to know him.”

Eric Odom, an activist who helped organized the Chicago Tea Party and runs TaxDayTeaParty.com, cited the Sanford meltdown as a reason why he opposed bringing partisanship into the debate over spending. “This may finally provoke Republicans into getting rid of the 11th Commandment [Reagan's maxim about not criticizing fellow Republicans] and defend those politicians who are preaching that they’re true conservative leaders while doing this kind of thing in the background.” Odom had found Sanford’s appropriation of the Tea Party name “distasteful,” even though he had been optimistic about the opportunity to bring independents into the fold. He hoped that Sanford’s own record could be examined fairly. “If he wants to fly to Argentina and have an affair,” said Odom, “it doesn’t change the fact that he ran his state wisely.”

Some of the most reluctant criticism of Sanford came from the office of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). The two men had been friends in Congress, and Paul considered Sanford one of the few Republicans he could support in a presidential bid. “He’s saddened and is thinking of the governor’s family,” said Paul’s spokesman Jesse Benton. “The freedom movement will continue to thank Mark Sanford for his leadership on fiscal discipline, and it will look to other people, like Sen. Jim DeMint, for future leadership and work on issues like accountability at the Federal Reserve.”

Other conservatives mentioned Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) as a leader who can take the mantle from Sanford, while few speculated on who they’d like to see as a “dark horse” presidential candidate representing their views.

“We’ll see,” said David Boaz. “Maybe all of the other Republicans will have affairs before 2012 and it’ll even the playing field.”

Note: An earlier version of this article states that Sanford had appeared at a “fundraising” dinner for CPAC.

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Comments

41 Comments

Dexter
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 8:59 am

“Sanford was not Reagan, at least not yet, but I think if more people got to know him they would have liked him. And now they won’t get to know him.”

Actually, they did get to know him: he's a typical moralistic hypocritical asshole Republican. Good riddance.


Michelle Malkin » Bad taste award
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

[...] can Beltway conservatives keep their cracks to themselves? Today’s bad taste award goes to Grover Norquist: “It’s not helpful,” said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. “This [...]


The Crossed Pond » Quote of the Day
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

[...] Norquist, on the Mark Sanford scandal: “It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible [...]


Norquist’s analysis
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

[...] Grover Norquist to Dave Weigel: [...]


OK, so that’s a funny one, I admit | Jay Bookman
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

[...] does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible to women.” — Grover Norquist (H/T to [...]


Too Hot To Touch! - MEME ORANDUM
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

[...] Norquist, on the Sanford meltdown: “It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible [...]


Rev. Debra Haffner
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

Governor Sanford joins the long line of exposes of public figures sex lives. There have been many have been heterosexual men who have potentially risked everything for a sexual encounter or thrill. Think Elliot Spitzer, Gary Hart, Marv Alpert, Bill Clinton, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, Bill Cosby, and Bill O'Reilly. Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Cosby continue on with their work; others have not been so lucky. It remains to be seen what will happen to South Carolina's Governor. But these men have either forgotten or never learned some basic rules for sexually healthy adults. So here they are:

Honor your commitments to your partner. A sexually healthy marriage is based on honesty and trust; only you and your spouse know what you have agreed to, but don't put her in the position of having to stand by you at a microphone while you confess to the entire world. Keep that picture in your head as you are considering your behaviors.

Understand that you can have a sexual feeling without acting on it — without even telling anyone about it. Think about it — if Bill Clinton had thought to himself, “Cute Intern. Too Young, Too Risky” and moved on, he would not have been impeached.

You can read the rest at my blog: http://debrahaffner.blogspot.com

Rev. Debra Haffner


Too Hot To Touch! | Design Website
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

[...] Norquist, on the Sanford meltdown: “It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible [...]


JS
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

While he was in Congress, Sanford voted to impeach President Clinton. Another blowhard right-wing hypocrite undone by his own actions.


JS
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

RE: “Think about it — if Bill Clinton had thought to himself, “Cute Intern. Too Young, Too Risky” and moved on, he would not have been impeached.”

So… if Monica had been older and kept quiet, it would have been alright?


Midday open thread | Hillary Clinton
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

[...] Ladies, in case you were wondering why Mark Sanford turned you on: [...]


Midday open thread | News Fu
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

[...] Ladies, in case you were wondering why Mark Sanford turned you on: [...]


Perino: Sanford affair proves we need to ‘elect more women. « Truelogic’s Weblog
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

[...] anti-tax activist Grover Norquist had quite a different takeaway from the Sanford saga, suggesting that women might be the problem. “It does indicate that men who [...]


Midday open thread | Design Website
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

[...] Ladies, in case you were wondering why Mark Sanford turned you on: [...]


gjdodger
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

“It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible to women.”

Argentine women, anyway. Which doesn't explain how Nestor Kirchner snagged Cristina Fernandez. It surely wasn't his looks.


sailmaker
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

” But Norquist tempered his gloom with a joke. “It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible to women.” “

Interesting. Norquist is joking about a penurious scrooge being appealing to a foreigner who will never be touched by his fiscal sadism.


Indy 500
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

Hopefully no ones falling for this BS as the full story. You know how Ensigns story keeps getting worse, or better, depending on your point of view. There's way more to this. The money issue, the five days to break up thing, the AWOL thing, the major hypocrisy, the blatant lying & The Truth. Not republican, conservative or political truth, but the real actual unspun full truth.

**note: he may just have been promoting teabagging & the need to bring Latin women into the party & doing due diligence. But I'll say “NOT”.


kayser
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

This just saves some time and resources for our next President – Sarah Palin. President Palin will take over in 2012 if not sooner if the media will wake up and report on usurper Obama's missing birth certificate.


Buffoon parade « Stocks Go Up. Stocks Go Down.
Pingback posted June 25, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

[...] fault that women couldn’t resist his fiscally conservative penis: Grover Norquist, on the Sanford meltdown: “It does indicate that men who oppose federal spending at the local level are irresistible [...]


davemartin7777
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

“If he wants to fly to Argentina and have an affair,” said Odom, “it doesn’t change the fact that he ran his state wisely.”

Say one right-wing nutter about the history of another questionably mentally unstable right-wing nutter.


Peter
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

Unlike all those typical moralistic hypocritical asshole Democrats who cheat on their taxes while increasing taxes on everyone else. Or the typical moralistic hypocritical asshole Democrat Barack Obama who wants one health care system for ordinary Americans and a special system for him and his family. Hey, this is fun!


davemartin7777
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

Btw, the Gold Standard of in-office adultery goes of course to Newt Gingrich for committing adultery while impeaching Clinton for adultery.


lvdragonlady
Comment posted June 25, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

Not sure how anyone could think that man was such a good guy after trying to kick the SC education system to the curb and allowing kids to go to rundown schools. He should be ashamed of himself for being a self-serving b@$t@rd.


CurtJ
Comment posted June 26, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

The Republican Party is not the same as the one my grampa used to preach about. Whe the Democrats were force to back the American Civil Rights Act in the 1960's, the racist Dixiecrats jumped over to the Republican Party taking it over. Their greed and avarice attracted the Neo Cons who took over so slick the Dixiecrats didn't know they were snookered and rendered irrelevant.
The Neo Cons knew they needed votes to hang on and consolidate their power so they created a series of wedge issues to attract the bigotry and hypocrisy of the Religious Idiots.
Americans are finding out the Neo Con led Republican Party stands for Conflict of Interest and Collusion as do the Democrats and Independents. Taking billions of American Taxpayer dollars from programs benefitting the vast majority of Americans, and the sick, poor, weak and infirm, and instead are giving the same monies to the rich, super rich and their bought off politicians who comprise 1-5% of Americans.
Colonialism at its finest.


lvdragonlady
Comment posted June 26, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

Yea sure he is – “a serious presidential candidate with a serious record of cutting taxes and cutting spending” . What is did with all this 'wonderful' tax cuts is deprive the children of SC of a decent education in schools that are safe. America just voted out the group that has been doing the exact same thing for the last 30 years, we sure as hell do not need more of the same.


Jack_Bauer
Comment posted June 27, 2009 @ 10:49 am

Oh please, how are those state run ignorance factories (a.k.a. schools) working for you.?

Lady — thank the corrupt Teachers Union for the parlous state of the State Education Complex. Your ignorant post only proves my point.

What we don't need is more of the past 30 years efforts by the quasi-Marxists to destroy the education system that propelled the United States to world-dominance.

Lady — try reading something other than the Huffington Compost. It's not too late to learn something.


sylhines
Comment posted June 28, 2009 @ 3:37 am

Jack you seem out of your league. The public education in the south was neglected by the bigots because of the SCOUS ruling separate but equal was unconstitutional. Following that ruling whites bolted to christian academies, private schools or home schooling. The results some 40 years later is an uneducated populance that is easily manipulated. Hence, you Jack. Spouting the GOP talking points of teachers unions, excessive spending on education and the fear of world dominance by someone is evidence of your ignorance. The majority of people taken advantaged of by the GOP in the last 40 years are cutting their loses and moving on, it is sad to see the ones who still do not realize thay have been hustled. Even as the snake oil salesmen fall from grace in front of their eyes, the fringe keep their hopes up of a return to that preculiar institution and glory days of the south. Not going to happen.

Tax cuts for the wealthy and crumbs for the poor was the order of the day the past eight years. Reducing the cost of federal assistance to the states for education is a Regan initiative that started with his effort to dismantle the U S Dept. of Education. And finally, championing indivudual rights and small government was a ruse to those uneducated voters. The effort to define government payments to individuals as welfare, but to farmers as parity, crop assistance; defense contractors welfare and fraud as national security; hand outs to businesses as economic development, I think you get the point. All while playing the marks against other wedge groups. The poor received zero and the wealthy got more. In the 40 years the GOP never brought up health care, but did championed war. They did reform, never can go too long about reducing spending without throwing in the word reform, medicare/medicaid but prevented competition to allow the insurance and drug makers to skim all the profits of the so called reform. I have to laugh, when thinking of the ill fated attempt by the GOP to push social security to the wolves of wall street under the guise of privatization(reform). Jack, we do not need any more of the moral, uneducated, bigoted politicans who would sell their soul to the devil for some wise Latina advice on how to cut spending and reform government.


Jack_Bauer
Comment posted June 28, 2009 @ 9:50 am

skylies — You are out of your planet.

An exemplar of the rampant unintelligence on show from the products of the ignorance factories of public schools and liberal arts colleges.

In short, just another braindead, illiterate Marxist who thinks everything will just right so long as the government controls the individual.

The scary thing is that you really believe your 500 words of tripe, don't you?

It's sad that this is the garbage which is spewed out at Leftademia day in, day out.

The Teachers Unions, and the left — “Reader, if you seek their monument, look about you.”

Then join all civilized people in destroying the federal monstrosity that is the US Department of Un-Education.

Your post is riddled with so many moronic “opinions” masquerading as “fact” that there is no point in addressing its incoherence; which is nothing more than a tired litany of the usual odd leftist talking points strung together at random.

Including the usual hard-on for tax thievery that so obsesses you and your immoral ilk. How else can you make people pay for their own enslavement to the state except by stealing the fruits of their labor?

However, I am glad you allude briefly to the Marxist slash socialist attitude to “profit, as the perfect example of your perverted “analysis.”

You really do deserve to be left helpless on the waiting list for Obama's Nationalized Socialist Health Complex. And I truly hope you have the courage of your convictions in refusing all those “drugs” researched, invented and produced by the drug companies you so despise.

In the meantime, why don't you grow up already and act like an adult instead of the sophomoric man-child you seem to be. You could start by learning joined-up thinking, then you might not be so out of your league.


Jack_Bauer
Comment posted June 28, 2009 @ 9:56 am

So basically Barack Obama is a secret neo-con in league with all the billionaires who paid for his election?

Thanks for clearing that up. Is “neo-con” still code for Jew on the left? I'm not up to date on the latest in fringe ravings.

Now don't you hava an Illuminati/Bilderberg Group/Hellfire Club/Masonic Lodge conspiracy to enlighten us all about.

I can't wait for your next news. Or for me to be super-rich. That would be soooo, soooper, doncha know.


Jack_Bauer
Comment posted June 28, 2009 @ 10:08 am

As a matter of fact Clinton was impeached by the full House on the charges of lying under oath.

His hound-dogging was just the reason he lied under oath. The founding fathers did not have adultery in mind when they wrote the constitution. It was Clinton who committed the offense that was construed as a high crime or misdemeanor and subject to an impeachment hearing.

You might want to read up on that ancient history — it was all of 11 years ago, so no wonder you've forgotten.

Oh — and thanks to the Republicans in the Senate, Clinton avoided the fate of being the first President booted from office at an impeachment trial.


RedGraham
Comment posted July 3, 2009 @ 12:07 am

Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones & Monica Lewinsky are all reasons Clinton should have resigned. He has the distinction of being the ONLY president to have been convicted by impeachment proceedings. The dutiful wife, Hellary, stoodby her man. The Obama regime will probably grant Clinton a pardon after the 2012 election when DADT will also get lifted by fiat. It doesn't look like the usurper will get a second term. Thank God for Linda Tripp & Alan Keyes!


Clear Vision
Comment posted July 9, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

Wow. When a republican stalwart shows he's human,has faults-like EVERYONE of you pointing fingers- he his shunned by his own party.THAT says more about the double standards and the rank hypocrisy of the republi-thugs . All of you pointing fingers and saying negative,vile things about Mark Sanford are NOT without sin.And more than a few of you adulterers ,so you're not so innocent.Its quite telling: “thsoe who doth speak the loudest,have the most to HIDE.”


Derek S
Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 4:55 am

What the hell does Clinton have to do with Sanford?

Typical, deflect and attack. Never actually just agree that the guy in your party is a scumbag.

BTW, Clinton has been out of office since 2000. Somebody probably should have told you.


RedGraham
Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 7:27 am

Clinton refused to resign when he was caught similarly. Instead we were dragged thru that long dran out impeachment process. Gingrich took his lumps like a man.


Matt Taylor
Comment posted July 16, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

<<<He has the distinction of being the ONLY president to have been convicted by impeachment proceedings>>>

Well seeing as how that never happened thats truly amazing. Republicans didn't manage a majority vote on EITHER count you moron.

<<<The Obama regime will probably grant Clinton a pardon after the 2012 election when DADT will also get lifted by fiat.The Obama regime will probably grant Clinton a pardon after the 2012 election when DADT will also get lifted by fiat.>>>

Again seeing as how he has not been convicted off anything what the hell would they pardon him for?


Matt Taylor
Comment posted July 16, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

<<Clinton refused to resign when he was caught similarly.>>

Clinton didn't spend his whole political career as a bible thumping hypocrite demanding other people be thrown out of office for marital indiscretions.

<<<Gingrich took his lumps like a man.>>>

You mean when he demanded a divorce from his first wife while she was being treated for cancer? How about the multiple divorces for cheating on his spouse, all the while trumpeting his “family values”?

Or are you talking about his resignation, which was strictly because the Tubby tyrant was facing the very real possibility of losing his speakership because they lost seats in a year they should have picked them up?


Matt Taylor
Comment posted July 16, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

<<<As a matter of fact Clinton was impeached by the full House on the charges of lying under oath.>>>

Bull, Clinton became the first person in history REQUIRED to participate in his own prosecution.

The Republicans got to ask the question, decide what the answer was and the terms of the answer and then complain when he didn't fit their preconceived bigotries.

Ken Starr has all but admitted that he was aware the Republicans would view ANYTHING in his report as an impeachable offense, regardless of the validity or evidence.


RedGraham
Comment posted July 17, 2009 @ 7:59 am

Sanford should have said “I did not have sex with that woman.” That is what the impeached Clinton said before he was convicted of perjury and had his law license revoked. Thank you Senator Feingold for that.


Quote of the day
Pingback posted December 14, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

[...] president of Americans for Tax Reform, spoke to the Washington Independent’s David Weigel for an article on conservatives’ feelings about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair. And though [...]


Quote of the day - Salon.com
Pingback posted May 21, 2011 @ 8:18 am

[...] president of Americans for Tax Reform, spoke to the Washington Independent’s David Weigel for an article on conservatives’ feelings about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair. And though [...]


2489139
Comment posted September 7, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

2489139 beers on the wall. sck was here


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