The unspooling of S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford continued unabated today, as South Carolina’s embattled and increasingly erratic chief executive painted himself into a corner with additional admissions that contradicted previous confessions about his affair with Argentine lover Maria Belen Chapur – and cast a wider net of women with whom he has engaged in inappropriate conduct.
Specifically, the governor admitted that he had “crossed lines” with other women, but did not name those women and did not elaborate on what he meant by that expression, other than to say Chapur was the only woman with whom he had crossed “the ultimate line.”
Sanford’s confessions also netted him an investigation by S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster, who seized on inconsistencies in the governor’s statements as a basis for requesting a criminal probe.
Aside from the legal nuts and bolts of the implosion, the galling inadvisability of the governor’s comments has Palmetto political observers – and national observers – wondering if the governor has the mental fitness to remain in office.
Among the head-scratching offerings, Sanford told the Associated Press that Chapur was his soul mate but that he was trying to fall back in love with his wife.
“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” Sanford told the AP of his relationship with Chapur. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”
Sanford appeared to be on track to survive the scandal, but after today the clouds have darkened considerably.
“Who’s advising him to keep talking?” one of our PR advisors asked our founding editor.
“I think he’s past the point of being advised,” Sic Willie replied.