An interesting series of tweets was posted early Monday morning from former South Carolina gubernatorial chief of staff Scott English.
The tweets from English marked the tenth anniversary of former Palmetto State governor Mark Sanford’s infamous “hiking of the Appalachian Trail.” Which, of course, is more accurately known as his 2009 disappearance to Argentina to spend some time with his “soul mate” and mistress, María Belén Chapur.
Readers will recall Sanford lied about his whereabouts to his staff, who in turn provided inaccurate information to the press and the public about where he was.
From there, things unraveled quickly … with Sanford’s habitual navel-gazing providing much of the momentum for his downfall.
The ensuing scandal cost Sanford his shot at the White House in 2012 – and nearly cost him his governorship. Sanford held onto his job, though, and pulled off a remarkable comeback in 2013 when he was elected to the U.S. congress in a special election.
He failed to fully rehabilitate himself, though, and was ousted by GOP voters last spring after serving less than three full terms in Washington, D.C.
At every stage of Sanford’s career, English has been his long-suffering martyr and lead apologist – including after his loss to former state representative Katie Arrington in last year’s GOP primary.
Not anymore, it would appear …
“I was never supposed to be chief of staff but no one else survived the job,” English tweeted early Monday. “Eighteen months in, we barely spoke and probably even hated being in the same room. I sure did.”
In subsequent tweets, English laid bare more details of his complicated relationship with Sanford.
“On the day I was supposed to resign, he blew off our meeting to disappear,” he tweeted. “His last words to me before he left were, ‘if anything happens, just take care of it.’ He knew a helluva lot more than I did.”
In another tweet, English took credit for positioning a podium at Sanford’s teary-eyed press conference ten years ago – you know, the one at which he acknowledged his extramarital affair in extensive, emotional detail.
“I moved the damn podium and he had no escape route,” he tweeted. “Part of me was glad for that. You’ll notice in the video I didn’t rush to pull him away from the microphone.”
Finally, English claimed he nearly “assaulted” Sanford at the conclusion of the latter’s famed teary-eyed press conference – but was restrained by his then-chief of staff (now third-term state senator) Tom Davis.
He also claimed Sanford donor J.T. Gandolfo – a Columbia, S.C. car dealer – convinced him to stay on the job despite the obvious rift.
“After the press conference, I came close to assaulting the sitting governor,” English tweeted. “But (Davis) saved him from that. I doubt I would have been convicted. The car dealer from Columbia convinced me to stay for the rest of the week. The rest is history. That’s where it belongs.”
Right. History … or, on Twitter … for everyone to see.
In addition to being Sanford’s martyr, English has also been the primary enforcer of his cult of personality – assailing anyone who demonstrated what he deemed as insufficient loyalty to the “Luv Gov.”
Again, though, it looks as though he is finally surrendering that responsibility …
Which begs the question: Who does Mark Sanford have left?
Seriously. If this guy has finally bailed on him …
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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