Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has been having a rough few weeks in his campaign to reclaim his old House seat.
His ex-wife sued him for trespassing; national Republicans dropped their support for his campaign; and a poll found him trailing his Democratic challenger by a robust 9-point margin despite the race being in a reliably Republican district.
So how did the Sanford campaign respond to that adversity? By having the candidate debate a cardboard cutout of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a move seemingly ripped from the political playbook of Clint Eastwood, who famously delivered a rambling address at the Republican National Convention to an empty chair meant to represent President Obama.
In a press event Wednesday, Sanford accused his opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, of refusing to debate him publicly and thus running a "stealth campaign." As a last resort, he said, he'd decided to instead debate "Pelosi."
"Since Elizabeth won't debate, I'm allowed to debate Nancy," he said, before posing a question to the cardboard cutout about a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit that sought to block Boeing from building a new plant in South Carolina. Republicans claimed the lawsuit was politically motivated and would have denied the state much-needed jobs.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- 10 things you need to know today: March 10, 2014
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The GOP must try to win over African Americans
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
Subscribe to the Week