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
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- Hey, scolds: Stop telling us to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- 10 things you need to know today: November 26, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
Subscribe to the Week