Tearful when caught
When news broke late last week that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was missing, I have to admit I bought into the pack of lies his staff dished out: the governor was simply hiking somewhere along the the Appalachian Trail after an especially stressful legislative session. In hindsight, I suppose my BS meter should have been going berserk, but the story seemed plausible enough, and who among us has not occasionally wished for some solitude from life's challenges?
It turns out, of course, that the wayward governor slinked away to Argentina to meet a woman with whom he had been intimately involved with for the past year. What most surprised me was not that Sanford committed adultery, or even that he told the most outrageous whoppers when trapped by reporters at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, but that Sanford actually thought he could pull off this high-profile disappearing act.
My suspicion is that Sanford is quite adept at the Big Con - even for a politician - and that the magnitude of the current deception only reflects the likelihood that the governor has been getting away with lesser lies for many years.
Beyond the fact that Sanford is a first-class weasel for betraying his wife - and for making matters far, far worse by high-tailing it to Buenos Aires for a goodbye fling with his mistress - the governor's political career might be completely finished. Certainly any hopes Sanford had about a 2012 presidential run evaporated during the Argentina scandal, and I doubt that he will be able to withstand the fierce calls for his resignation from members of both major parties.
An extramarital affair is toxic to a political career, but being caught on camera lying his arse off to reporters is the height of stupidity on the part of Mark Sanford.
Or maybe the height of hubris.
Of course, the new trend is for disgraced politicians to make the reality television circuit. A repulsive snake and generator of crocodile tears like Mark Sanford would fit in well in a low-country swamp setting for a season of Survivor, would he not?