Former Mark Sanford spokesman Barton Swaim ripped into his ex-boss – and the rosy treatment he was given in a new e-book written by reporter Tony Bartelme of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.
Yes, THAT Post and Courier.
Swaim, who spent four years in the S.C. governor’s office, has few kind words about Sanford on the occasion of his political comeback – referring to him as a man who “doesn’t know when to leave the stage.” He also lambastes Bartelme for basically letting Sanford define the terms of “Second Chance,” the reporter’s account of said comeback.
Here’s the salient passage from Swaim’s piece, published over the weekend in The Wall Street Journal …
Too much of Mr. Bartelme’s narrative comes directly from Mr. Sanford. The anecdotes about his life are the ones he routinely tells about himself: the story of how, after the death of his father, he and his brothers built a coffin and buried him on the family farm; the story of how he got into politics after hearing a lecture on entitlement spending and the national debt; the story of how the newly elected governor was approached by a legislative leader and told that, to be the best governor he could be, he needed to follow the advice of legislative leaders (advice he rejected).
Mr. Bartelme’s Mark Sanford is a charming and eccentric man with a penchant for getting elected despite some cockamamie political views. The truth is closer to the reverse. Mr. Sanford is among the most prescient and dauntless politicians now in office, and he is almost alone in both grasping the implications of untrammeled deficit spending and having the pluck to stand against it. Yet he is also a deeply self-absorbed man, instinctively ill-humored and petty, relentless in the pursuit of glory and apt to equate the greater good with whatever benefits his reputation.
‘Plus two’ to Swaim for slamming Sanford so cogently … and another ‘plus two’ for his spillover slam of the lamestream press. Well-played, good sir. Not only is Swaim’s piece artfully written, it illuminates a key component of the “Sanford comeback” – the supplicant nature of the media outlets covering him.