The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper – a.k.a. La Socialista – gave a largely positive critique of outgoing S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s two terms in office in a splashy spread its Sunday editions.

Seriously … we haven’t seen the paper waste this much ink on a subject since it went “all in” promoting a massive taxpayer-funded investment in the “hydrogen economy of the future.”

How’d that bet work out?

Yeah … not so good.

Anyway, as expected the “Luv Gov” is attempting to frame his tenure as an educational exercise … which makes sense considering he was always more interested in winning intellectual arguments than he was in winning actual victories on behalf of the taxpayer.

From the story:

Sanford, 50, says he is leaving after his most productive year as governor. He argues he has laid the groundwork for Haley to finish the work that he started on economic development and restructuring of state government.

“On a range of different issues, there was a significant impact made in advancing ideas just through the larger process of education,” Sanford said, “because until people realize there is a problem … there’s no climate, or environment or push for change. We spent a lot of time on that, and that will continue to bear fruit.”

Awww … how sweet.

In case you’re new to FITS, no media outlet in the state has written more about Sanford … or knows him any better than we do. Our founding editor worked for the man for four years … and we’ve spent the last four years covering his Narcissistic ass on a daily basis.

We’ve also written more than any other media outlet in this state about the corruption and incompetence of South Carolina’s legislative tyranny … which ensures that governors are never allowed to evolve beyond much more than ceremonial figureheads.

We’ve touched briefly on what we think Sanford’s “legacy” will be (click here and here for those first blushes), but our founding editor will be giving the subject a more extensive treatment later this week.

In that piece, you’ll no doubt hear him reprise his standard refrain regarding Sanford’s tenure – that it was a colossal failure because he refused to use his bully pulpit to shape a more conservative GOP majority.

You’ll probably also hear him offer some brutally frank insights into Sanford’s personality, management style and political philosophy – the latter of which was exposed in the wake of his sex scandal as pure hypocrisy.

“At the end of the day,” though, the only thing you really need to know about Mark Sanford’s eight years in “power” is that South Carolina is still every bit as screwed up (if not more so) than it was when he took office.

And if you (or he) think that “Trikki” Nikki Haley is going to change that … well, we’ll talk to you in four years (assuming she makes it that long).