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We chose not to cover S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford’s statement yesterday for two main reasons.

First, people are growing tired of the minute-by-minute drama surrounding the admitted sexcapades of her husband, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford. And second, Mrs. Sanford’s latest comments didn’t exactly plow any new ground in the drama.

Sure, her statement made CNN (and not just the ticker, either), but what exactly did she say that she hasn’t said already?

She loves him. She forgives him. The door’s open if he wants to come back to his family …

Great. We get it. In fact, we got it already.

Don’t get us wrong, now, as we’ve noted on several previous occasions Jenny Sanford has handed the soap opera of her husband’s admitted affair with his Argentine lover, Maria Belen Chapur, with public grace and dignity.

“Like a champion,” our founding editor told Geraldo Rivera the other night.

But how has she been handling it privately?

Sources tell FITS that the First Lady has been closely monitoring every moment of the unfolding drama with a keen strategic eye – and is actually engaging (and possibly directing) the political fight on behalf of her embattled husband.

That’s not surprising considering that Mrs. Sanford has run all of the governor’s previous political races and also served as a key strategist and policy hand in his administration, but it would be a departure from the public persona she has staked out in response to her husband’s philandering and subsequent media meltdown.

Several sources tell FITS that the First Lady – the person most humiliated by the governor’s ill-advised interview – has actually been the strongest advocate on his behalf over the last 48 hours, having several private conversations with lawmakers and other opinion leaders in the Palmetto State urging them to “hold off” on calling for the governor’s resignation.

Sources close to the governor’s office also tell FITS that Mrs. Sanford’s statement yesterday was “explicitly coordinated” with the release of a preliminary report from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on the governor’s travel records, a report that concluded the governor did not misuse state funds in visiting his mistress.

“Yesterday was the 1-2 response to the resignation wave,” the source said, adding that Jenny Sanford was “more than a participant” in the coordinated strategy.


Forget “standing by your man,” it looks like Jenny Sanford is propping hers up …