Governor Mark Sanford: It's Not Just About Politics

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The talk over the last few days was starting to get on my nerves. First it was, "Where is Mark Sanford?" Then when he reappeared, it became, "Where was Mark Sanford?" Well, today we got the answer, and it was not the answer I wanted to hear. My heart aches today due to the news of his affair with an Argentinian woman.

I ache for his wife, his four sons--and for him. I ache that a man, who has been a strong public servant, has fallen into a trap, bringing great pain upon his family. Read
here his wife's powerful comments about his affair, her love for him, her willingness to forgive while maintaining her self-respect, and her dependence on God. If her words don't tug at your heart strings, nothing will.

Mark Sanford is--or was--considered by some to be one of the frontrunners for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Like Sarah Palin, he is both a social and fiscal conservative, and like Palin, he rejected stimulus money until legislators chose to go around him anyway. Clearly, he is no wimp and has taken unpopular stands because the cause was right. But today he resigned as Chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, although he has not stepped down as governor--at least not yet.

This is the question I've heard posed several times today: Does character matter for politicians? People are asking whether or not Americans really care what someone does in his private life if he is serving well publicly. My answer comes without hesitation: Yes, character matters. I said it when Bill Clinton brought the office of president to a new low, and I say it now. Whether you're a Republican or Democrat, right is right. Granted, society is harder on Republicans because we are the ones who more often talk about morals, and standards, and right, and wrong, and this affair does hurt us at an already shaky time. Is it fair that we are held to a higher standard? You decide. I will say this: If you're going to say it, people are going to look for it. True, Democrats get a lot more slack concerning their sins and flaws than do conservatives, and perhaps that comes with a lot of pressure, but it is what it is, and God help all of us--regardless of party affiliation--to seek to do the right thing.

I have said many times that America needs people of integrity to lead. Don't get me wrong. I know nobody's perfect. People make mistakes. People fail. Only God does it all right all the time. But it's time for people to do whatever they have to do to stand up for what they say they're about. Whatever you've got to do, do that. You've got a weakness? Welcome to the club! Know what it is, work to overcome it, and in the meantime, avoid situations that accentuate it. Hey, if you've got a thing for a woman in Argentina, don't go to Argentina! That's a start. I'm not pointing my finger or making fun of Governor Sanford. Like I said, my heart aches for his situation. I just know that it is important that people live up to what they say they believe in, that they represent their states, their nations, and themselves with a sense of responsibility and integrity. After all, when the crowd fades and the cameras are gone, you're the one looking in the mirror. No one has to live with you but you. And, ultimately, the only one you have to answer to is God.

It's possible that the governor can bounce back, but my gut says that if values do matter to the masses of people, this is probably the end of serious Sanford 2012 talk. You all know where I stand on 2012 anyway. I'm not, after all, the Media Director and New York State Organizer of the 2012 Draft Mark Committee. I'm a part of the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. Having said that, however, I take absolutely no pleasure in the potential political demise of one who could have been a strong opposition to Governor Palin in any 2012 run for national office. There are some things more important than politics. They're called family, and faith, and character.

I am praying for the Sanford family.


Sara June 24, 2009 at 7:02 PM  

Thank you, Gov. Sanford, for yet another reason to draft a woman for 2012.

Pete June 25, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

You are definitely a true representation of what Christ wanted us to be! I pray that one day I could have a forgiving heart like yours. You do inspire me with your posts. I will say, however, that while I am heartsick for his wife and children, he brought all this upon himself. The reason so many liberals laugh at family values is that many times those who profess them often times do not believe in them either. Its sad that this had to end a promising "conservative" career. He was doing all the right things for our Country. But I can see now that he was actually a very weak man. It's not hard to avoid temptation if you make a concious effort not to put yourself in it's path. I am an entertainer, so I know all about the "sins of the flesh". I have been happily married for almost 14 years because I know my faith has kept me strong when the devil puts desires in front of me. God never said it would be easy, but He did say He would always be there to help. God Bless you, and I will continue reading your great posts, and if you need a band for any "Sarah 2012" events, PLEASE, PLEASE give me a chance to pitch mine.


Political Jules June 25, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

Excellent post! I found your blog while I was doing a search for something to help with this overwhelming sense of discouragement after the news broke yesterday about Gov. Sanford.

I am having the worst time with this. For so long I have been critisized and bashed for my conservative values that I just learned to stare at the floor submissivly and never speak up. Enter Gov. Palin on the scene and I start to gain confidence, even with all of the relentless attacks against her, I was sure she would rise above it in the election. But we all know how that turned out. My head hung even lower that day.

Then, just recently, conservatives seemed to be getting an edge. There was a surge happening that healed my heart. I had 'hope' that things would 'change' (pun intended.)

However, yesterday's news brought me to my knees. My day had already started badly with the stress of a sick kid, and no time to pick up a messy house. I sat on the floor of the laundry room sobbing to God that it was just too much.

I am so angry at Sanford for being yet another leader to let me down. I feel as if he put the final nail in the republican coffin, and worry that even the future good leaders like Palin and Jindal will have to pay for his sins. I feel like Sanford just handed the current administration a free pass to do anything they want, and he gave them instant victories in '10 and '12. I am still so very angry and not sure what to think, but I am glad I found your blog.

I do not know what the future holds, but my head is hanging low again. So many out there make me want to feel ashamed of my conservative values, and the things being said to me by the folks on the left are so hurtful bordering on evil, I cannot repeat them. Sadly, I am pushed back into a position of rolling over in submission and not expressing my views again. I know in my head that it is not right, but my heart is so burdened that I just hang my head in shame, again.

Sorry for dumping my depression here, but I do not know where to turn.

Adrienne June 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adrienne June 25, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

Political Jules,

I'm so glad you found this blog. There's so much I'd like to say to you--in a different forum. Drop me another msg w/ an email address for you.

I will say this now, however. Always remember that leaders are not our source; God is our source. Someone once said, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Having said that, I do believe God's Word which states, "Righteousness exalts a nation" and "When the righteous rule the people rejoice." That's why I believe it's so important to speak up for leaders who do love and honor God. The Lord cares about these things and wants us involved, I believe, but He--and He alone--is our strength, our hope, our source. If we get our eyes off that, we will be distraught and completely overwhelmed. But when we know that we know that we know that we have a Savior who holds us in His hands, we can look up in hope.
Let's communicate more.

Email me at, and I'll respond directly. In the meantime, keep your head up. It's not time to back down; it's time to press in. I'll be praying for you.

Mark June 26, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

I find it really hard to believe this story. First for a man to be so outspoken against audltery and then commit it just seems odd. Second he took this trip after being forced by our loving government to take money he did not want. Now who is to say they are not forcing him to make these statements to discredit his character. I mean this guy has voted against anything that was not fair to the people. Just the type of person they want out of government.

Adrienne June 26, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

I wish you were correct and that the affair didn't occur. Unfortunately, it did. Very sad indeed.

He may be the type of person people want out of government, but Mark Sanford has to point to the man in the mirror on this one. When we fall, we really have to "man up," so to speak, and take responsibility.

He spoke out against adultery because he knows it's wrong, even when he didn't live up to the standard. Thank God the bar for righteousness doesn't change even when humans fall short of it.

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