For whatever reason, so many pundits and policitians in South Carolina politics will not utter the title to this posting. Well, someone has to say it, so VUI will. For himself, his family, and his state, Governor Mark Sanford needs to resign as Governor of South Carolina.
Here’s why. For himself, Mark Sanford can stop the deep digging into his personal and political life by removing himself from the political scene. Sanford is done already when it comes to actually being able to accomplish goals as Governor, so there is nothing to lose for Sanford if he resigns and begs for privacy and forgiveness. Further, a contrite resignation based on putting his family back together could actually give Sanford a way to return to politics in the future. A constant dripping of news articles with emails and trips over the next few months if Sanford stays would destroy that.
For his family, resignation would get Mark Sanford’s family out of the spotlight. As long as Sanford is Governor, the press can justify camping out at Mrs. Sanford’s and Governor Sanford’s locations. They will be constantly asking questions. Pundits can justify making the harshest of remarks about the Governor and his girlfriend that his children can read. However, if Sanford leaves office, that furor would die down. The Governor’s family could be spared some of the uglier details that are likely to come out as the digging by the press and bloggers continues.
For his state, Governor Sanford could take the focus off him and place it back on the problems this state faces. The Governor’s personal problems are his, and not our business, until they affect his job. Being missing for a nearly a week clearly shows that his job is effected by his personal situation. (For all the controversy around Bill Clinton in the 1990s, the former President was not missing for a few days.) The oddity of the affair, the disappearance, the lying to the staff and press, it all makes South Carolina look bad. When Larry King spends nearly his whole hour talking about our Governor’s affair, instead of how great it is to vacation in South Carolina or to invest in a business in South Carolina, it hurts us all.
It also has set back any hope of the legislature giving more power to a Governor for at least ten years. Sanford has been an example of why Governors should not have more power to those who stand against such measures. Governor Sanford has zero political clout and every day he spends in office will diminish the perception of the office of Governor more.
Thus, the way out is clear. The Governor should resign. He should do so with a speech that talks up South Carolina and how it deserves better and how his family deserves better. The Governor should not have one critical word in his remarks about anyone. The Governor should do it surrounded by a crowd of hardcore supporters who applaud him as he concludes his remarks. Then, he should depart the state capitol and go out of the public eye. That is the only way Governor Mark Sanford can begin to heal the damage he inflicted on himself, his family, his agenda and South Carolina.