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Mark Sanford’s disappearing act
Why the South Carolina governor dropped out of sight, and what it means for his political future, and his state.
 

South Carolina "is in a tizzy,"  said Helen Kennedy in the New York Daily News. Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has been AWOL since he ditched his security detail Thursday. According to his staff, Sanford—best known for “butting heads” with President Obama over the stimulus package and as a 2012 GOP presidential contender—sometimes goes "out of pocket” to clear his head. But shouldn’t he leave someone in charge of the state when he goes off the grid?

“Sanford’s liberal enemies will certainly use this against him,” said Shannon Bell in Right Pundits, but it will only “endear” him to his fans, who see him as a rare “true conservative leader.” Sure, going “missing on Father’s Day weekend” is “a little unconventional,” but he deserves a little peace and quiet after losing the bruising stimulus fight.

Mark Sanford's office says he’s fine, said Allahpundit in Hot Air, “so no foul play here, just dereliction of duty. Whew!” But this presumably means he’s not running in 2012—conservative or not, Republican voters may not look too kindly on a potential commander-in-chief “who’d jet off in the dead of night to Mexico to lie on a rock and just ‘be’.”

Mexico isn’t too far off the new explanation—that he’s hiking somewhere on the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, said Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo. But even this revelation has worrisome holes. “Reading between the lines” of the news reports, nobody really know where Sanford is. It’s “starting to sound a lot like the governor is genuinely missing.”

 

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