In Defense Of Mark Sanford

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JONATHAN CHAIT FEBRUARY 2, 2010

In Defense Of Mark Sanford

The revelations about Mark Sanford's adultery prompted a lot of condemnation of his betrayal of his wedding vows:

If he can’t even keep a promise to his wife, why would we citizens think he’d keep any campaign promises made to us? ... Gays aren’t a threat to marriage, folks.  It’s people who can’t keep their wedding vows.

But it turns out that Sanford did keep his wedding vows:

South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford recalls how she made the "leap of faith" to marry husband Gov. Mark Sanford even though the groom refused to promise to be faithful, insisting that the clause be removed from their wedding vows. ...

"It bothered me to some extent, but ... we were very young, we were in love," she said in an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters to air on "20/20" Friday. "I questioned it, but I got past it ... along with other doubts that I had."

I guess that's kind of honest of him. I mean, it does suggest a certain degree of malice aforethought and put the lie to Sanford's claim that he suddenly fell in love and couldn't help himself. But it does show that he took the vows themselves, if not the underlying purpose of the marriage or his wife's well being, seriously.

This revelation does open up a few questions. Such as, hey Jenny Sanford, interested in a friendly game of no-limit poker? Or how about a business proposition? Send me all your alimony money and I'll tell you what it is. I'm not going to fleece you. Wait, I can't promise that. Just send me the money.

Also, given that news reports have long described Jenny Sanford as "the real brains behind the operation," one must wonder just how dumb Mark Sanford must be. What exactly does it mean to be the brains of this particular operation? Does she have to feed him?

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posted in: jonathan chait, barbara walters, jenny sanford, mark sanford, south carolina

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