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A Times Editorial

That's enough, governor

In the annals of politicians behaving badly, Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford may have set a new standard for career self-immolation. Whatever scintilla of hope he may have harbored that his affair with an Argentine woman, Maria Chapur, might have been forgiven by his constituents and his party as an isolated indiscretion seems to be quickly evaporating in the wake of the his star turn as a "Desperate Governor." Memo to the gov: Start governing, stop talking — or move to Argentina.

Sanford seems bent on proving that if you thought he was a lout toward his wife, Jenny, and four sons after last week's rambling news conference in which he admitted his liaison, he was just getting started. This week he publicly confessed in another bizarre interview with AP that he has had "inappropriate" relationships with several other women during his 20-year marriage. But he did not cross the ultimate line. But he considers his mistress his soul mate. But he is trying to fall back in love with his wife. This is not going to end well.

The late auto mogul Henry Ford II once famously observed that when it come to matters of the wandering libido, "Never complain, never explain." Sanford would be wise to follow that advice, if for no other reason than for the sake of his family, who have been embarrassed enough, and for the rest of us who can't stop listening. He should go about the difficult work of mending his public fences with the citizens of South Carolina, if that's possible, without further turning the governorship into an episode of Dr. Phil. Pressure mounted Wednesday from South Carolina Republicans for him to resign. What the love governor does need to account for is his dereliction of duty, the abandonment of his office and the extent public money came into play to underwrite an elected official's philandering.

If Sanford isn't up to the task, he should resign and catch the next flight to Buenos Aries.

That's enough, governor 07/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 8:04pm]
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