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

A South Carolina first lady, scrutinized

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/25/southcarolina.jenny.sanford.profile/art.sanford.wife.cnn.jpg caption="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.

Full story


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

    Good for Jenny Sanford! Standing next to a cheating spouse is just demeaning! Stand strong, Jenny!

    June 25, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Mick

    For crying out loud, leave this poor woman alone. Her husband is the hypocritical sanctimonious dirt bag not her.

    June 25, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Moderate Democrat

    She seems to be a class act and a strong woman, even if she is a republican. She may have married a dirt bag, but everyone makes mistakes. I hope we treat her as the victim of a very hateful and deplorable man (aka Mr. Sanford).

    Her husband on the other hand is white trash, making far too many mistakes topped by a habit of being a habitual hypocrite and liar. He needs to be thrown out on his duff from both the governors mansion as well as from his family home. He's total garbage!

    June 25, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. jim princeton

    chin up Sanford....don't be a wimp...it'll pass.....

    June 25, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Kristen Atl

    Is anyone surprised. It is good to see the politicians wife not supporting her husband in this case.

    If he used tax payers money to visit his mistress he should step down

    June 25, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    She should have ditched him, I assume she has her own money(family wealth) and does not need his. She can support the kids just in case this flaky maggot runs back off to Argentina to be with the one he really loves and ditches the child support for children that seem to come as an after thought in his list of skewed priorities.

    The topper was yesterday in the "tearful" plea for forgiveness, he listed the people he had hurt and the mistress was at the top of the list, then Jenny, then "those" boys!

    She should have walked right then, I am all for forgiving but not for being a doormat and this thing she is married too does not love her and is only upset he got caught.

    June 25, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Wait...lemme check....

    Yep...I don't care.

    June 25, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Jenny is not the story, it's her husband. Let's leave the family matter out of it. We know Sanford is a scumbag. The more appropriate quetion is were state funds funding his South American trips. If so, h needs to resign and payback the money.

    June 25, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. JD

    I second the Moderate Democrat's post... and I'm THRILLED that she's not playing the 'stand by your man' role – total rubbish. Cheers to you, Jenny!

    June 25, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Liza

    Am I the only one who is appalled at this guy's sniveling pathetic press conference where he seemed more concerned with the adultress' feelings than with his wife's. He's not "working on his marriage" he's still in the affair. This guy is as immature as a fourteen year old!. Kick him to the curb–NOW.

    June 25, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. single mom

    Yes!! Finally. A political wife who put her foot down and said, "No, I am not going to support you on this. What you did to me and our family is not supportable."
    I am so tired of 'stand-by-their men' wives, political or otherwise.
    Adultery, embezzling, whatever. Kick their rears out.
    Mrs. Sanford sounds like a strong Southern Lady.

    June 25, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Melissa

    She's an idiot and a weakling for putting up with this. Just like he's a slimeball for having done it in the first place.

    June 25, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. janet

    FINALLY, a woman who is not stupid enough, insecure enough, robotish enough, doormatish enough, to "stand by her man"....Good for Jenny Sanford. It's bad enough to be publicly humiliated and I hate it when women stand next to the person who has humiliated them! I hope she realizes she deserves a lot better and moves on with her children. And what a great role model for those boys – her, not him.

    June 25, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Jim in SC

    Mark Sanford, despite his recent accounting of infidelity, is still a decent man, who I believe is more interested in reconciling his marriage than restoring his gubernatorial credibility or political future. Regardless of your/our position of his political welfare, remember that he came forward and publicly confessed his wrongdoing. It is easier ... Read Moreto publically profess my faith than it is to confess my sins. 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. I hope that we can give him an opportunity to restore his family.

    June 25, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Ariana

    Good for her. I'm sick of these money hungry naive women staying by their cheating husbands.

    June 25, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Avi Shlomo

    Jenny Sanford. I bet Mark has no idea how to use Skill Tools. Since he likes the wilderness, you should give him a bunch of tools and send him logging or something like that and if you are lucky he will cut his penis and spare you of more embarrassment and pain to other women. A cheater will always be a cheat!!

    June 25, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. The King

    She should dump the loser.

    June 25, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Jim in SC

    Mark Sanford, despite his mistakes and recent accounting of infidelity, is still a decent man, who I believe is more interested in reconciling his marriage than restoring his gubernatorial credibility or political future. Regardless of your/our position of his political welfare, remember that he came forward and publicly confessed his wrongdoing. It is easier to publically profess my faith than it is to confess my sins. 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. I hope that we can give him an opportunity to restore his family.

    June 25, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. concerned1

    Jenny,
    I sincerely hope that you are leaving this loser. Be not fooled, All cheaters are sorry... only after their caught. He can't be sorry – he just got back from his romp. He fully knew what he was doing and willing to take the risk anyways. Set an example and walk away; don't demean yourself by staying.

    June 25, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. concerned1

    If you do decide to stay, you can not claim to be a victim when it happens again, as it always does.... called a character flaw.

    June 25, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Dump the cheater. Hold your head high, divorce him and find a man who appreciates you and your children.
    J Princeton, it might pass but he will ALWAYS be the butt of the jokes! Does she really want to live with that?

    June 25, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Jamie from Riverside

    Hey Jenny, good for you. I agree everyone should leave you and your family alone at this time. I'm so glad to see that you weren't persuaded to be used and paraded out in front of the cameras and publicly stand by that poor fool. As someone else here said; stand strong!

    June 25, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Felonious Monk

    Jim in SC
    He did not come forward, he only admitted after he was caught. He was cornered by a reporter and told the hiking lie and then was confronted by the emails.
    Is he a conservative, because this is exactly what conservatives do. they want you and I to believe that they stand for values of some sort, but they do not. Unless you count those phony values that really don't count or exist!
    Typical, typical, typical.

    June 25, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. mary

    Do The Right Thing, Resign!

    June 25, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. chuck

    Recite a bunch of bible quotes over and over again and the citizens of South Carolina will give you a free pass to visit Argentina once a month. Judge not, lest ye be judged....(crap like that)!!!!!! It's funny how gays can not get any respect, but heterosexuals respect convicted felons by allowing them monthly conjugal visits. This country is upside down.

    June 25, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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