June 25th, 2009
04:08 PM ET
5 years ago

A South Carolina first lady, scrutinized

Jenny Sanford, here with her husband, was a Wall Street executive before she married Mark Sanford.
Jenny Sanford, here with her husband, was a Wall Street executive before she married Mark Sanford.

(CNN) – Sharp-witted. Direct. In control. Loyal.

That's how friends describe Jenny Sanford, the wife of Gov. Mark Sanford, who confessed to the nation in a rambling news conference that he was having an affair with a woman in Argentina.

Jenny Sanford, unlike so many wives of cheating politicians, was not there facing the cameras, standing beside her husband.

A reporter asked the governor if he and his wife of 20 years were separated.

"I'm here, and she's there," he replied.

As romantic e-mails between her husband and his mistress were published by a local newspaper Thursday, the state's first lady, a former Wall Street executive, stayed far away from reporters. She was at the family's home on Sullivan Island in South Carolina with her four sons and a few friends.

"Don't you know that is what Jenny Sanford is about? That is what is authentic about Jenny Sanford. She is not going to humiliate herself by standing next to a story," said Cyndi Mosteller, a friend of the Sanfords since 1992 and the former first vice chairwoman of the South Carolina GOP.

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Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Felonious Monk

    Jim in SC
    "Judge not, that ye be not judged. God deplores divorce but through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation can restore all and make them whole."

    Give me a break. God this, god that! Your lord jesus christ. Judge me, I'm ok with that, who cares. At least I don't adhere to a silly notion of some omnipotent being who see's and know's everything, yet still allows humans to commit atrocities on other humans. He tests us, but he all ready knows the outcome of the test. What is the point? That sound more like a run through than a test.

    Thank god, a little pun there, we have separation of church and state!!!!

    June 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Larry

    I read the letter (or the part that the press released).

    She's very shallow. She was sure to mention her fantastic legacy (her wall street job, launching her husband's career, her philanthropic endeavors).

    Jenny Sanford is completely consumed with herself, and now she finds it convenient to play the martyr. She needs to find some humility of her own instead of just demanding it out of her husband.

    Whatever Jenny. Sell it to someone who believes it. I don't mean to sound cold but this is the kind of woman whose husbands always play around on. There's no depth at home.

    June 25, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Sharon

    It isn't for me or anyone else to tell Mrs. Sanford what to do but I do hope she does what is best for her and the kids and forget about her husband's wants and needs. He certainly wasn't thinking about them when he was in Argentina. She is a wealthy, intelligent and beautiful lady and can certainly do better than him. I am so disappointed in all the politicians wives who continue to stand by their men as they are humiliated in front of the entire nation.

    June 25, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. K

    I applaud her for not standing by her lying and cheating husband. Kick him to the curb. And what kind of father visits his mistress instead of spending time with his children on Father's Day? Sick.

    June 25, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Sherrol in Canada

    Jenny Sanford didn't 'stand by her man' at the podium, but she did so in her press release. She maintained her dignity somewhat, yes, and I commend her.

    When she told the press a few days ago that she didn't know where he was, couldn't she have kept silent? Making that statement makes it look like she wanted to expose him – a woman scorned and all that..............

    Will this lead to divorce? Some sources say she's the one with the money. I know he has money of his own, but will be be bold enough to want some kind of settlement from her?

    My heart goes out to their sons and I wish them the best.

    June 25, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Annie

    I guess I'm confused as to why this turned into a resume rant....

    If she knew about this affair... And I'm sure she did (but please I'm only speculating) why is she still his "wife"?

    It's simple... you cheat on me, you're gone... it goes for gals and guys... You can forgive all you want, but there is a line.. and it's called sincerity... Just because he can cry on command isn't really sincere- it's pretty pathetic...

    He flew off the Argentina to have "gentle kisses" placed on him (it's too creepy) and adore "maria's" tan lines... trust me he has no intention or emotion of being remorseful

    If Jenny had any self respect- this creep would have been out the door for good the same day he decided to ditch father's day

    June 25, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    I'm guessing she came out with this statement so that she didn't look like she was just going to throw this guy under the bus.... but ultimately she's going to kick him to the curb & make him pay for his ignorance, stupidity, and infidelity. And I really don't begrudge her that. But I did find her blowing her horn about her own legacy & accomplishments to be a bit self serving & narcissistic..

    June 25, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. P

    Although I am a Democrat from the State of South Carolina I am glad to see this First Lady make such a strong statement. I just hope that she will remain strong for "her boys". " Dumbo" needs to pay all of his money back, resign his position, give his wife a nice divorce and leave this country by way of Argentina. His mistress will soon find that he is a sick puppy and try to ship him back to South Carolina but by then we will have up barriers that won't let him back into our state. He is a selfish man that does not have feelings for anyone but himself. That was made evident when he held the standoff and thousands of us Educators are now hanging in the balance hoping and praying that we will have jobs somehow when the school year starts. Dumbo, Dumbo go away, never ever come here to stay! The People of South Carolina.

    June 25, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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