As for Jenny Sanford, she might have her own political career. For now she has at least set a new standard for political wives. No, they need not show up at the confessional press conference. No, they need not urge their husband to remain in office and grant them absolution which they can wave about to the voters. They can retain their dignity.
And as for the rest of the gawking set, perhaps they can learn something from Jenny Sanford as well. When Sanford first emerged, burbling on about his exotic girlfriend, a good portion of the chattering class waxed poetic. He was in love, the poor dear! What sweet love letters he penned! (Well, it turns out he had lots of “friends” and he wasn’t honest about all the details. I know, you’re stunned that an adulterer would lie so.)
Jenny Sanford’s pithy comments were a swift and brusque reminder that there is nothing admirable or dreamy about married men with children who run off to foreign countries, abandoning their professional and personal responsibilities. Before the mainstream media pundits — largely male and invariably foolish — start waxing poetical next time, perhaps Jenny Sanford’s image will pop up.
As for the dilemma (should he go or should he stay?), one is left to conclude that the governor, who continues to blather on a daily basis, is in no condition to carry out his duties. Even those who think the “chief executive” of a modestly sized state is not the demanding endeavor it is sometimes made out to be suspect he’s no longer up to the task. He plainly has lost his bearings, his self-control, and his judgment. And cavorting on the taxpayers’ dime is reason enough to leave office immediately.
Unfortunately for his political party (which is low on self-esteem and short on positive media images), he serves only to further embarrass his fellow Republicans and distract from the real stories of the day. (Oh yes, there is a near-revolution going on in Iran! Hmmm, did the Supreme Court nominee just get slapped down by the Supreme Court for trying to shovel a hot button race case under the rug?)
Jenny Sanford rightly declared herself uninterested in the course of her husband’s career. Republicans yearning to get back to the business of stopping the Obama freight train before it runs down what is left of free market capitalism may hope he exits promptly.
And if he won’t?
Again, Jenny Sanford has it right — we will survive and indeed thrive.