(CNN) - Two major South Carolina newspapers are calling on Gov. Mark Sanford to stay in office.
Last Wednesday, Sanford admitted to a year long extramarital affair with a woman from Argentina. The governor also acknowledged he did not tell his staff that he was in Argentina during a five-day period when his location was not known.
Despite calls from some South Carolina lawmakers and politicians for the governor to resign, Sanford, meanwhile, appears to be standing firm. He wrote in a message to his political action committee e-mail list on Monday that while he considered resigning, "I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm."
The State, the Columbia newspaper that last week broke the story that Sanford was in Argentina, in an editorial Tuesday, says Sanford should stay in office to keep the playing field leveled for the 2010 gubernatorial contest. If Sanford resigns, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, a fellow Republican but no ally of Sanford, would become governor. Bauer is among a number of candidates who are interested in running for governor in 2010. Sanford is term limited and can't run for re-election next year.
"Reasonable people can disagree over whether it would be better to have Mr. Sanford or Mr. Bauer in the governor's office for the next 18 months. And if Mr. Bauer were not running for governor, this might be a more difficult call. But Mr. Bauer is running for governor, and it simply is not responsible to overlook the tremendous advantage he would have if he were able to use the bully pulpit of that office for the next year," says an op-ed in The State.
The State also raised serious questions about Bauer's preparedness to lead. "Although this could change in the coming year," they wrote, "to this point Mr. Bauer simply has not demonstrated that he has the vision to lead our state.
The editorial questioned Bauer's character and highlighted past run-ins with law enforcement, including the time he used a police radio to waive off state troopers after he was caught driving 101 MPH on a South Carolina highway in a state car.
The paper also questioned whether Bauer was sincere in his suggestion to CNN Monday that he would give up a 2010 gubernatorial bid in exchange for taking over the rest of Sanford's term.
They wrote that Bauer had made a similar pledge before, but failed to keep his promise.
"If we're looking to rid our state of embarrassment, it's hard to see how replacing Mr. Sanford with Mr. Bauer would accomplish that. And it's hard to overstate the potential long-term downside of such a move."
The Charleston Post and Courier also urges that Sanford stay in office.
"Gov. Mark Sanford ended any speculation about his plans to resign on Sunday when he declared, with finality, that he would remain for the rest of his term. That won't end demands by his legislative critics for his resignation in the wake of his extramarital affair. But it provides a measure of reality about their prospects. Like the governor, they should make the best of a difficult situation," says the newspaper in an editorial.
Last week, two smaller South Carolina newspapers, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, called on Sanford to resign.
This is ridiculous....the Governor should resign because he left the state unattended for 6 days and then lied about everything.
Governor Sanford, the people rule in this country and we call upon you to step down.
Let the chips fall where they may....
I hope he stays too! He's a poster child for the GOP! He was the first to be critical of everybody else from Folye to Vetter, calling for them to resign! But he gets caught and we hear – oh forgive me please, I hope I learned "my" lession......boo hoo......Please stay, we need hypocrits like you to remind those of you who feel some sense of superiority, they aren't!
Hey, if Clinton got to stay, Sanford should get to stay.
Way to go, South Carolina!! Keep this loser for political expediency! This guy was not only running around on his wife, but he was AWOL from his duties. South Carolina can do better than this!
Not only should he stay he should leave without notice more often and for longer periods. Apparently South Carolina doesn't need full time governance.
Why is it, that when a democrat cheats, the right wing is up in arms and demands the removal from office (Clinton, Spitzer), but when the supposedly morally superior conservatives have the same problem it seems to be ok as long as they appologize or reconcile.(Ensign, Sanford). Either they are not as morally superior as they believe or they are hypocrits. I think both.
GOP, practice what you preach.
Where was God when Sanford willfuly decided to abandon his marriage vows and the office that he was honestly elected to ???
If you were to look at a copy of the S.C. Legislative Handbook, the year Mr. Bauer was elected to the General Assembly, under his official biography, it is clear why Mr. Sanford needs to remain in office. Very little has changed since, other than he is now Lt. Gov. and has received awards and attended conferences.
As unfortunate as this episode is for the Sanford's and S.C., the Governor's office would function much more efficiently under Sanford.
@ LacrosseMom, who asked "WHO would still have a job after using company money to visit their mistress????"
Actually, there's no evidence that he did. The only thing linking his mistress to the business trip to Argentina is the media's vagua "news" stories published solely for th epurpose of fabricating a controversy. No concrete evidence exists suggesting his daliance with his mistress while there on business was anything other than just that...an opportunity he just couldn't pass up. People meet with friends who live at the city where theere business trip is all the time...so again, without something concrete, the accusation is based all on circumstance and it's nothing more than the media drumming up a controversy to sensationalize the situation, generate more viewers/clicks and make more ad money.
The "State" says Sanford is the least of two evils (Bauer) and the Charleston paper says we should "make the best of a difficult situation". The real difficulty is the gutless, ignorant Press who fails to rise up to a reasonable standard of ethics, and worries only about the short term, practical effect of Sanford staying in office. How can any resident of this State have any respect for the office of Governor? This comment will be of little use, because politics and greed prevails regardless.
Sounds like the constituents of South Carolina need to carefully investigate the people and their qualifications and morals before they elect them.
Hey, maybe he could get a job at Halliburton's Tehran office. I bet y'all didn't even know that there was one. Hmm... why would they have an office in Tehran? Surely we don't pal around with terrorists. Have a nice day!
The affair isn't the thing that makes me believe he needs to be removed from office–it's the monumental lack of judgment he displayed in abandoning his states and his duties as governor. He should be fired for direlection of duty.
This man wants to be Jefferson Davis so bad he can taste it.His career outside his State is finished.
My feeling is that Gov. Sanford has worn out his welcome and should resign. It doesn't matter who the Lt. Gov. is, South Carolina needs to heal from Gov. Sanford's stupidity.
Of course he should stay because "It's okay if you're a republican"!
This man "SCREAMED" that Bill Clinton should Resign....My question he held President Clinton to a standard that he himself failed....
Personally, I do find it laughable that a Republican has admitted guilt for having an affair - considering the fact that they preach morality and family values every four years to get votes. However, the biggest issue of all to worry about is the possibility that Gov. Sanford used SC tax money to bankroll his fling in Argentina. If so, the Republicans in the SC legislature ought to practice what they preach and make an example out of him.
Yes, let him stay and when his term is up he'll return to his mistress. What an embarrassment the GOP will suffer then because he'll be able to take care of her on tax payers money.
He should step down because he left town for five days leaving no way to contact him.
As far as the affair goes, Dems or Repubs, its all the same. Sad, but the same.
Can you begin to see God's grace and mercy in this....he is using Mr. Sanford to demonstrate his forgiving love for you. Adultery is a sin.
In repentence God forgives the sinner and instructs the sinner to now 'do right' in ALL things.
After listening to this guy preach to us about making sure we look after our children's futures by not spending this and that, and talking so much about saving money....and then he turns around and does something like this??
Personally, I know this state, because I've lived here my whole life...and I didn't expect him to resign–but the next 18 months will really be a big joke.
It was plain selfish and very irresponsible. The govenor knows he should resign, he's just to selfish to do it.
It’s not the adultery it’s the HYPOCRICY stupid!
Sanford thought Bill Clinton was morally unfit to lead so what makes him think that different rules apply to him?
Oh, that’s right – he’s a republican and they have two sets of rules – one for everyone else and one for themselves.
This clown needs to go!