ROCKY RETURN TO POLITICS FOR SCANDAL-SCARRED SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR
Former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford referred to himself as a “wounded warrior” this week in a pair of television interviews kicking off his bid for the Palmetto State’s vacant first congressional district – a rather odd choice of words given the circumstances surrounding his 2009 fall from grace.
“I failed, I very publicly failed. I’ve dealt with the aftermath, I’m a wounded warrior; I got it,” Sanford told WCIV TV 4 (ABC – Charleston, S.C.). “But you still feel like you have something to contribute, and you still feel like you could make a difference, so you got to try.”
Sanford repeated the remark in an interview with WCBD TV 2 (NBC – Charleston, S.C.).
“It’s hard, I’m scared to death in human terms,” Sanford said of his decision to run. “As I say – I’m a wounded warrior.”
Really? A “wounded warrior?”
Sanford served in the military as volunteer member of an Air Force aeromedical evacuation unit – but he’s never so much as whiffed a combat zone let alone been wounded. Furthermore, the political “wound” he suffered was entirely self-inflicted – the result of his decision to engage in an extramarital affair and then lie about it.
Wonder what veterans who have actually been wounded will think of Sanford’s comparison? More to the point, we wonder what his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, thinks of it?
Sanford confessed his extramarital affair with then-lover, now-fiancee Maria Belen Chapur at a rambling press conference in the S.C. State House in June 2009. Already damaged, the lovesick governor then compounded his problems by perpetually oversharing about his feelings for Chapur – while nearly losing his job as a result of an ensuing ethics investigation into his travel practices as governor.
Among other abuses, Sanford’s Commerce Department spent tax dollars on a 2008 South American “economic development” trip during which the governor had a romantic rendezvous with Chapur. Sanford ended up reimbursing taxpayers for this trip and paying $74,000 in fines associated with his various violations. He was also censured by state lawmakers – but avoided impeachment.
Sanford is one of roughly a dozen candidates expected to file for the South Carolina first district seat – which he held for six years prior to becoming governor (1995-2001).