June 30th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Borger: Jenny Sanford becomes the new political paradigm

Jenny Sanford did not stand beside her husband when he publicly admitted to having an affair.

Jenny Sanford did not stand beside her husband when he publicly admitted to having an affair.

Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "Campbell Brown," "AC360°" and "State of the Union With John King," as well as special event coverage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After years of watching those wives stand (sadly) by their men, there was something refreshing - and real - about Jenny Sanford's decision to be far, far away from the governor's apology tour.

After all, what would she have done when he rambled on and on about his love of his "adventure trips" on the Appalachian Trail when, it turns out, he wasn't hiking?

And would she have had to sweetly smile as her husband paid homage to her as a terrific "campaign manager"?

And what affect would she have had to adopt when the governor spoke about "that whole sparking thing" - his peculiar way of describing how an e-mail relationship developed into something else?

The accepted political guidelines for jilted wives (see: wives, jilted) have always decreed that the wounded ones be seen, but stay silent. They are the suffering partners willing to literally remain in the picture out of political necessity. Their very presence helps to suggest that this love is worth saving, because this man is so special - to all of us.

Well, forget it.

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Once You Vote Black: PUMA, Sanford, Operation Chaos.

    Its probably that sort of hard hartedness that drove him into cheating in the first place. Look a womens role in a family melt down is passive so it looks like the guy is the dog because he actually has to take the actions that brings the problem to the public, but there is nothing to say that he was the only problem with the relationship. William Covey says it takes two to screw up a marrage. Just a thought.

    June 30, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Sherry in NJ

    She is acting this way because she doesn't have political aspirations like many of the women do (ie., Hillary Clinton). She is good and right, her main concern is raising her boys and being a good person.

    June 30, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Shari, NY

    Hats off to Jenny who is no hypocrite! The only one who comes close to her is Dina Matos-McGreevey, the wife of a NJ governor who was gayer than Paris. Mrs. McGreevey stood by her hubby for about a day because she felt sorry this lifelong closeted soul, but she then dragged him to court accusing him of marrying her under false pretenses. Much mud came out of it but in the end Dina got a decent settlement. Kudos to strong women!

    June 30, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. The Other Man

    You go Jenny!

    June 30, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The stand by your man political stunt won't fly anymore. Especially when the spouse affected will become the laughing stock of the political spectrum. Good job Jenny not to stand next to that scumbag of a husband of yours. Tell him he needs to practice what he preaches.

    June 30, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. John H.

    Jenny Sanford would probably make a better Governor than Mark. At least she seems intelligent and honest, which is a lot more than one can say for the current Governor.

    June 30, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. KG, Twin Cities

    He was obvioulsy intimidated by and jealous of his wife's strength and character. Best wishes for Mrs. Sanford.

    June 30, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. cheryl of san diego

    Hooray to Jenny (for not standing beside this cheating husband). This man is not trustworthy enough and not worth saving as a "husband" and "governor of South Carolina."

    He is equally embarrassing as a man and as a public official. His apologies are not accepted.

    June 30, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Jenny For Gov

    Kudos to Jenny for NOT STANDING BY MARIA'S MAN, but standing by the Sanford boys.

    Hey Jenny, why don't you run for office, you're the real gem in this whole fiasco.

    June 30, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. a little sad

    "As she told the AP, "It's one thing to forgive adultery; it's another thing to condone it." So he went anyway, as Jenny Sanford tells us. She has no idea whether he has ended the affair, as he had promised. "I believe he has," she said. "But he was down there for five days. I saw him yesterday, and he is not staying here."


    It's kind of awkward to throw your husband out of your residence when your residence is the governor's mansion and your husband is the governor.

    June 30, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. barbara campbell

    The Republicans are already grooming Ms. Sanford for political office, now that she's achieved national fame. No credentials needed of course.

    June 30, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Tania

    Brava! Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her children. As for him, let him dig himself out, if he can. Creep.

    June 30, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. d1120

    Take his money.........and RUN !

    June 30, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Oh GIve Me A Break

    Well said Gloria! Let the jump-off from South America stand by his side, since he was so gung-ho to disappear just to see her. Most of these Bozo's marry the wives they have for political gain not caring that she has feelings too. It makes THEM look good. But if he doesn't have enough respect for her or his kids, how can you expect him to respect the electorate of South Carolina? Hello? I hope she divorces his behind and take him to the the cleaners. See if the South American woman will want him then.

    June 30, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Party Crasher

    Twenty dollars of my stimulus check says that she stays with him. For the kids, for the marriage, or because he said that he wants to change. He will still be going south of the boarder when he can or meeting Maria when ever she come north. Where is Jenny got to go, nobody else wants a woman with four kids.

    June 30, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Jamie from Riverside

    You go girl! I love Jenny Sanford.

    June 30, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. lynn in NM

    Mrs. Sanford has class, and a brain in her head. She also uses that brain.

    June 30, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Lisa

    I especially loved her comment about his career not being her concern. Good for her!!

    June 30, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Melissa

    Finally, a politicians wife with a brain.

    June 30, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. demwit

    CNN's best team in politics is all over this story. You go guys.., keep trashing the republicans. That whole concept of smaller government just doesn't cut it anymore in Obama's progressive America!!

    June 30, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Babs

    She's a class act he is classless. Why can't men in politics keep it in their pants? Truly discusting, and people keep electing these morons.

    June 30, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. matilda Johnson

    Good for her!

    June 30, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Jim Dokes

    Finally, a woman who doesn't accept the nonsense of "standing by her man" when her man is nothing than a lying adulterer. Good for her!

    June 30, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Stay Active

    She should leave him. This is the time he got caught. How about the other times he did not get caught. I feel sorry for her. As for him...who cares. He is a real creep!!!

    June 30, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. J.P.

    Don't care.

    When its revealed that Sanford and his wife are in some way responsible for enslaving our economy with Cap and Tax, then I'll care.

    Until then, all I care about is stopping Communist Chancellor Obama.

    June 30, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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