June 30th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
5 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. jaye

    These women have no shame – they belittle women all over the world.

    June 30, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. FH in SC

    What a GREAT, dignified lady! She's really set the bar high, for other
    jilted wives to follow! Her words of, "I'll be fine if my marriage works, or if it does not work...." Very disarming words there. Strong resilient, courageous is how I see her. She's become the model for every married woman. A heroine to emulate.

    June 30, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. kgeukes

    She should take him for everything he has...no, wait a minute ....he married the money!!! The only thing he should get is the clothes on his back!!!! Oh and his girlfriend!!!!

    June 30, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. sms29s

    She is blameless in this debacle. Her public personna has been spotless.

    June 30, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Zero.

    The true balance of power.

    June 30, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Hooray for Jenny

    If more spouses would speak the truth, many of thes pols – Clinton-Edwards-Ted Kennedy et al we could toos some of these over sexed lying cheating beauracrats out of office

    June 30, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. JD

    Bravo Mrs. Sanford! I get so frustrated seeing these often times brilliant wives of disgraced politicians "standing by their man". It's refreshing to see a woman refuse to participate in that political theater.

    June 30, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Marianne Hinckley

    Mrs Sanford will survive either with or without her husband, and she will rear fine young sons. Her husband will not survive so well, as men just can't cope without a woman around. Now that the awfulness of the affair has been exposed to sunshine and fresh air, the governor can never go back there as he realizes what a fool he has been. Nothing gained, much lost. The governor should resign to protect his family regardless of politics. The "lover" be hanged...she knew she was messing with a married man.

    June 30, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Jeff, TX

    This lady is no wallflower. Stay tuned. She'll be a force if she wants to.

    June 30, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. GOP = 21st century dodo

    "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."

    This is the equivalent of a 5 year old plugging his ears and yelling as loud as he can when he hears something he doesn't like.

    June 30, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama

    Paint her up ALL you want CNN – she is NOT a classy woman. Why would any woman with any class give statements to the press especially considering she has children? Oh yes, I forgot – you allow people to call Michelle Obama classless but not your blue eyed Jenny. She exhibits anything but class. As a matter of fact I think more of her husband than I do her. Personally, if I look for strength in a woman it would not be from her. What strength?

    I'm sure as with all my other emails calling Jenny Sanford classless this won't get through either but that won't stop me from saying it.

    June 30, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Anne

    But... She's still with him

    yes they're "seperated" but if you're man has to ask your permission to go see the other gal he's doing the horizontal tango with- and i don't care what reason he went to see her for, breaking it off or otherwise, it's time to let him go...

    Yes 20 years of marraige... nothing is easy... we all are human and make mistakes... we all should be forgiven...bla bla bla...

    This guy isn't worth anyone's time- including the people of SC and his wife... She's attractive, successful, and she should spend her time on something other than trying to fix a relationship with someone who prefers to listen to himself drone on and on and then cruise off to see his latin lover...

    kick him out jenny... like now

    June 30, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. KJL

    Mrs. Sanford is kidding herself if she thinks her marriage can be salvaged. She's a smart, attractive woman but her husband lied and cheated. Does she think his morals will improve when she's older? Or if she becomes ill? Or when the children have all left? Or when his political career is over?

    Sanford has shown that bible passages are his weapon of choice in proving that whatever he does is fine. He's too sactimonious to change.

    June 30, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Kaye

    I'm proud to see her put her children first, as it should be. He and he alone screwed up. He can face the 'music' alone.

    June 30, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. RUSH NEXT

    Jenny 4 Govenor...she will do a better job and definately dont sleep around like a dog,.

    June 30, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. rachel

    Yeah I will wait to see the divorce papers, to see if she actually leaves him. But really folks who are we to tell folks to leave their husbands if they want to stay. If the wife chooses to stay thats her perogative. If she chooses to leave that's her perogative.

    June 30, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. JR

    She missed the perfect opportunity to "Spit in his eye" on national TV.

    June 30, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. KLK

    I really like this lady. I admire the way she's presented and carried herself throughout this whole ordeal. She is much better off without that loser husband of hers.

    June 30, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Tee

    Way to stand UP for yourself!! You deserve better.......no one should have to stand beside a cheating mate.....THANKS for being REAL!!

    June 30, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Kate

    Jenny Sanford should be a model for other wives of exposed philandering politicians. She is not naive for wanting to try to salvage the marriage: there are four children involved and these situations are complicated. Divorce is not the right option for everyone. But by forcing her husband to stand alone in the public eye, she has retained her dignity.

    June 30, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Kwesoe

    Commandment # 10
    "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, or his wife, or his land, or his manservant or his maidservants, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

    The neighbor, as you can see is a man and all the properties of the man are listed in the order of their significance. This is the fundamentalist religious doctrine that drives people like Mark Stanford. Jenny needs to leave him and demonstrate that she is not his property who sits around waiting to please him.

    June 30, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Dennis

    Hillary could learn something from Jenny Sanford. Oh wait, the Clintons don't have a marriage, it's a political arrangement.

    June 30, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Paul from Kissimmee

    I'm glad she didn't put herself through that too. If she stays with him, I'd be surprised. I don't see how she would rest if he's out of town or running late from work. I've seen people out of the public spotlight try to work it out, and they never seem to get past that. Seeing your spouse on the news about cheating on you has to make it almost impossible.

    June 30, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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