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Mark Sanford’s hubris, downfall on full-page display

Polls show Sanford badly trailing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch — and a new full-page newspaper ad addressed to voters shows why.
/ Source: Martin Bashir

Polls show Sanford badly trailing Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch — and a new full-page newspaper ad addressed to voters shows why.

Just a few months ago, were someone to ask which toxic Republican—Mark Sanford or Todd Akin—had the better chance at a political comeback, the automatic answer likely would have been “Mark Sanford.”

Sanford was a former governor, with powerful financial connections, running for a reliably conservative South Carolina congressional seat.

Akin, on the other hand, said “legitimate rape.”

How quickly things change, though. Because now, Sanford is sinking in the polls—his Democratic opponent is leading by nine points with the special congressional election just two weeks away—while Akin is the one reportedly talking “comeback” in his first, post-Election Day interview.

How did Sanford manage this amazing feat, of almost certainly handing Democrats a reliably GOP congressional seat? Well, in a word, “hubris.”

Take Sanford’s latest eye-rolling misfire: his response via a full-page newspaper ad to news he’ll have to appear in court—two days after the special election—for trespassing in his ex-wife’s house.

In a week dominated by terror headlines, it’s only appropriate for Sanford to begin this letter to voters, “It’s been a rough week.” What’s inappropriate is that Sanford was talking about himself. “It’s been a rough week”—for him, he goes on to say—what with facts of the case marring the careful version of a comeback he’s spun for voters.

Well, facts and the media:

“Though we may be public figures, we are still human figures who struggle just as so many other families and divorced couples do in getting childrearing right as best you can. It’s hard enough on its own and it’s nearly impossible when the media is sensationalizing things. I would also respectfully submit that they do a real disservice to the truth when they are grabbing for headlines.”

The Daily Caller is reporting that a D.C. fundraiser for Sanford—featuring Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott among others — has been canceled in the wake of the trespassing story. And that follows news that the National Republican Congressional Committee—the group charged with helping elect GOP candidates—won’t help him.

Apparently, not everyone believes his “but he was my son and it was the Super Bowl” defense carries water.

In fact, one Southern Baptist preacher is already using Sanford as Sunday sermon fodder.

Mac Brunson of conservative megachurch First Baptist in Jacksonville had this to say to his congregation Sunday:

If he dealt treacherously with his wife BEFORE—and the state, and the people who worked for him—do you think character has changed that much that he’s not going to deal treacherously at some point in the future? That’s a white man, GOP conservative. I’m an equal offender, brother. I don’t care who it is: If it ain’t right, it ain’t right for nobody.”