Saturday, July 18, 2009
GINO: Mark Sanford Governor in name only
It seemed after going AWOL to meet his lover that Governor Mark Sanford could do little more to show how little he cares about the people of South Carolina. However, Mark Sanford's personal ego went beyond that.
First, out of political concerns, he stayed on as Governor, almost as a fit to make sure Lt. Andre Bauer did not have an advantage in next year's race. To their discredit, several Republican and Democratic candidates quietly were happy with the move, as they did not want to face an incumbent Governor.
So, state politics gave us a Governor who abandoned his duties for his lover and a state political system unwilling to address it. When business contacts outside of South Carolina ask about why Mark Sanford is still Governor with his nutty ways, well, the explanation of local politics does not wash. Frankly, people from outside of South Carolina now think we are all a little nuts.
As predicted it only can get worse. Reports now are out that Governor Sanford, the stickler for frugality, traveled first class at state expense on out of state trips, and looking at the rates paid for air travel by some of the Governor's allies like Rep. Nikki Haley, they did as well.
Then there is the Greenville News picking up the notion this week VUI posted a couple of months ago about how the Governor's 2006 campaign account was still accepting contributions and spending money. Of course, some will say it's legal. So be it. But, is it right? It is the type of thing expected of a man who hung his political hat on government reform? Did Sanford use any of that money to see his beloved Maria?
Then there is the news of this week. The Governor and his wife have left the state to go to a undisclosed location to reconcile. "Ahhh, how sweet," some might say. They will quote God and whomever to defend their guy. However, it should be noted important meetings were postponed so Governor could get his "me" time. Further, politics did not allow the Governor to let the Lt. Governor fill in.
Let's be frank. For the next 17 months or so, we will a Governor in name only. Sure, Governor Mark Sanford will have the title, the salary, the bodyguards, and the residence. But, frankly, Sanford has no credibility left. The rest of the nation thinks he and we are a joke. Sanford's ability to negotiate with the legislature and with potential businesses wanting to invest in South Carolina will be limited as no other Governor before.
Such is so ironic for a man who espoused himself to be a man of the people first. Sanford once talked about sewing the seeds of economic development in South Carolina. Now, his continued presence in the Governor's office is sewing the seeds of nothing.
It is hard to predict what will come next from Governor Mark Sanford. His ego and sense of self importance seem to have no limit. One thing is certain, South Carolina's GINO will think of himself first and foremost and his state and party are of little importance to him.