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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sanford's wife told him to take a hike (not a drive to Buenos Aires)
More excavation of Mark Sanford's shame:

COLUMBIA, S.C. – When South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford cheated on his wife, he also betrayed his top political adviser.

First lady Jenny Sanford told the world in a statement Wednesday that she had sent her husband packing nearly 15 years after she launched his political career.

Mark Sanford apologized to her and their four sons at a tearful press conference where he admitted a yearlong affair with a friend in Argentina whom he had visited on a secret trip.

His wife said in her own statement later that she kicked him out of the house two weeks ago and asked him not to speak to her while she tried to come to grips with his infidelity.

It was an abrupt and stunning — even if temporary — split for a couple who helped shape the state's political landscape.

During Mark Sanford's first gubernatorial campaign in 2002, Jenny ran the show from the basement of their Sullivans Island beach house while he fretted as the wind blew his charts off of tripods during outdoor press conferences.

And perhaps more importantly:

Jenny Sanford is a millionaire whose family fortune comes from the Skil Corp. power tool company.
Yep. He's a goner. Especially since Jenny Sanford's statement included the following:

I personally believe that the greatest legacy I will leave behind in this world is not the job I held on Wall Street, or the campaigns I managed for Mark, or the work I have done as First Lady or even the philanthropic activities in which I have been routinely engaged. Instead, the greatest legacy I will leave in this world is the character of the children I, or we, leave behind. It is for that reason that I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children.

I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband's infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

The fact that Sanford spent his period of what was supposed to be reflection and healing, crying in the arms of his mistress cannot bode well for his financial ... I mean marital ... future. Read Jenny Sanford's full statement here.


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posted by JReid @ 10:45 PM  
Eek ... and now, the Sanford Emails
The State has them, and you know? I kind of feel awful reading them. Way too much information ... and the newspaper offers additional details that, despite my knee-jerk Democratic schadenfreude over seeing another moralizing Republican bite the political dust, make me wonder whether this particular angle of the story is indeed newsworthy. The details in question:

Below are excerpts of e-mails, obtained by The State newspaper in December, between Gov. Mark Sanford's personal e-mail account and Maria, a woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The State has removed the woman's full name and other personal details, including her address, e-mail address and children's names.

First of all, since the emails came from his personal account, and not the account used by Sanford as governor (at taxpayer expense) how are these emails news? Second, the deeply personal nature of them can only be of interest for the purposes of either voyeurism or ridicule. And third, if the paper had these emails in December, why didn't the paper report on Sanford's affair then? Surely they knew he was a potential 2012 prospect back then. And the fact that The State had these emails sure explains why they were such Johnny on the spots in grabbing that "exclusive" interview with him at the airport upon his return to the U.S. this morning. One is tempted to ask "what did The State know, and when did they know it?"

At issue, in the end, is not Sanford's personal life. That's between him and his wife (and cable TV, which wouldn't let this go if it was on fire. Too juicy.) But all the icky personal stuff is distracting, I think, from the central point, which is the lying: to his staff, and through them, to his constituents, and the rank irresponsibility of a chief executive falling off grid without taking the appropriate steps to ensure the continuity of government. That and the irony of a moralizing conservative who thought his state too upright to accept money for the unemployed turning out to be a rank sinner in his own right. ... But good luck keeping it to that.


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posted by JReid @ 6:06 PM  
Sanford: 'I spent five days of my life crying in Argentina'
If you missed the Mark Sanford press conference, you missed a hell of a news moment. Sanford rambled and rambled and rambled, about God and his family, and his friends, and all the people he let down, and then he announced that for the past year or so, he has been cheating on his wife with a woman in Argentina.

The liveblog as it happened here. (and yes, I managed to say "wow" instead of sh--")

Full story here. Sanford is done. I guess the right's John Edwards jokes are too. Not only has Sanford admitted to running off with his mistress, he essentially is admitting to lying to his staff in order to get them to help him cover it up.


BTW, Sanford is being given lots of credit by people on television for his "candor." But I think you'd have to call this "rolling candor," since earlier today, he was still claiming that he was on an exotic adventure trip.

UPDATE: in case you missed it, peep the video. If you listen through to the end, you'll hear what sounds like a basic admission that Sanford intentionally misled his staff, resulting in their lying to the media. And when he came back, Sanford continued to lie, telling The State newspaper that he'd decided to toss the Appalachian trail aside for a "more exotic trip" joyriding down the Argentine coast. Drip, drip, drip...

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posted by JReid @ 2:42 PM  
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Mark Sanford was just doin' a little hikin' ... on naked hiking day ...
The latest 2012 GOP hopeful to go down in flames does it big. ... Big and naked:

We’re not suggesting that the formerly missing Governor of South Carolina specifically ditched his family and security detail to go hiking on Naked Hiking Day. It’s just that one of the days he hit the trail also happened to be the aforementioned holiday. [Editor’s note: This paragraph was changed to make clear that the governor’s timing was a coincidence.]

Until late yesterday, no one would say publicly where he was. Poof. He just disappeared.

Poof indeed. Sanford is supposed to return to work tomorrow. Yes, I know you can't wait.

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posted by JReid @ 6:01 PM  
Monday, June 22, 2009
Where in the world is Mark Sanford?
The stimulus money-hating South Carolina governor (and would-be 2012 GOP presidential contender???) has flown the coop. So it's time to ask: "Have You Seen This Man?" If you have, kindly tell his wife...

Meanwhile, the SC GOP is concerned:
... South Carolina state Senate Democratic Leader John C. Land III released this interesting statement about Mark Sanford's mysterious disappearance:
"We've been concerned by the Governor's erratic behavior for some time. We're praying for him and his family. I hope he is safe and that he contacts the First Lady and his family soon."
Milk carton, anyone?

UPDATE: Sanford's whereabouts have apparently been determined (well, sort of ... no one has actually talked to him...) His wife says she wasn't worried. I guess he disappears like this all the time???

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posted by JReid @ 6:01 PM  
Monday, June 15, 2009
Trapped in Dixie: SC GOP activist compares first lady to gorilla
Dissuade any remaining southern blacks from even thinking about the Republican Party? Check. Disparage the first lady by comparing her to a gorilla? Check, and double check:

And there's more South Carolina racial shenanigans to report...

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posted by JReid @ 12:58 AM  
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Obama's South Carolina speech
Courtesy of CNN, the transcript of Barack Obama's fantastic, hard-hitting speech following his big win in S.C. tonight.

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posted by JReid @ 10:54 PM  
Don't call it a comeback
The media is harping on Barack Obama's rout of Hillary Clinton among Black South Carolina voters (he got 80 percent of them.) But there are other big numbers that Hillary (and Bill) ought to worry about. First, the overall number. Obama is projected to win the state by a huge margin:

Obama - 53%
Clinton - 27%
Edwards - 19%

Even if those numbers don't hold exactly, Obama is looking at a huge victory.

The other troubling number for the Clintons: the 20 percent of Black voters who said they would be dissatisfied if she ultimately wins the nomination. Picture bridges burning ...

For the Obama campaign, there are minefields in these numbers, too. The Clintons, for better or for worse, were successful in framing the South Carolina contest as one mostly about race, and their strategy of pushing hard against the Black vote in order to turn out the White vote didn't help Hillary win, but it did reframe the overall contest for White voters who care about that sort of thing. This sort of comment on the MSNBC First Read site should be on the radar screen of Camp Obama:
More than 50% of the turnout was African American and ovevr 80% of African Americans voted for Obama. Lets us also remember that Jesse Jackson won South Carolina and a lot of other southern states in 1984 and 1988.

Recall that Barack Obama never intended to fight for the nomination on this ground. Hell, most Black voters didn't even support him until he won the Iowa caucuses. He has fought his entire campaign on the neutral grounds of change and unity, not on the toxic soil of race. The one-two punch of the simplistic media narrative and the take no prisoners tactics of the Clinton campaign, has forced him onto exactly the playing field he did NOT want to be on. Remember Barack's announcement that he would run last February? It was remarkable in that Barack made that announcement surrounded, not by Black people, but by White people. Particularly young White people. Now, as you look at his events, they are becoming more heavily populated by Blacks. Not a bad thing -- but it does set the stage for a contest that is at least in part, a test of racial loyalty -- for boty Blacks and Whites, particularly White men, since White Democratic women are pretty much Hillary's to lose.

That, is a shame.

However, I predict that the Clintons, having made their point in South Carolina, will back off on the racial insurgency. They don't need it anymore. My opinion is that it was very deliberate, and designed to make the expected (even by them) Obama victory in South Carolina seem pyrrhic, setting the stage for them to argue that the REAL contests are the ones ahead.

Mission accomplished.

So what should the Obama campaign do now? Two words: win primaries. They will need a couple of big victories in states that don't have a 45-50% Black Democratic electorate, in order to slow the Clinton machine down.

Update: For what it's worth, Pat Buchanan agrees with me on this. I don't know if I'm comfortable with the consistent level of agreement between us over the last few years...

Update 2: The exit polls should be sobering for the Clintons. Barack won not only Black voters, but also churchgoers, younger voters, and late deciders. And the majority of those who said that Bill Clinton's rhetoric affected their vote said that they voted for Obama.

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posted by JReid @ 8:23 PM  
Barack wins South Carolina
In a race eerily reminiscent in undertone, if not in intensity, to the Republican race in 2000, the South Carolina primary has ended, but this time, the actor playing the part of John McCain beat the actress playing the part of George W. Bush (and her husband Karl Rove). In other words, Obama wins.

NBC News is projecting Obama the winner "by a wide margin", with Hillary and Edwards fighting it out for second place. Of course, the media is focusing on what differences there were in the vote between Blacks and Whites. One thing Bill Clinton has been right about is that the media has fanned the race flames in this contest. But the Clintons are responsible in large part for the nasty, uncomfortably racial tone the race has taken, as are Black supporters of Obama's who have insisted on pushing his racial identity to the forefront, the better to excite Black voters, but the worse for his universal message of inclusion.

Update: According to exit polls, Barack got 81 percent of the Black vote. Hillary got 17 percent, and John Edwards got just 1 percent. Hot damn. I know the Clintons are seething. Barack got just 24 percent of the White vote, with Hillary getting 36 percent and Edwards pulling 29 percent. Barack did get 49 percent of the under 30 White vote.

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posted by JReid @ 7:10 PM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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