[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/29/republican.scandals/art.sanford.head.down.gi.jpg caption="South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits to an affair Wednesday at the state Capitol in Columbia. "]WASHINGTON (CNN) - It has been a rocky couple of weeks for the Republican Party as high-profile, traditional-values politicians have faced embarrassing sex scandals.
First it was Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, who admitted in a news conference two weeks ago to having an affair with a former staffer.
Then, last week, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford trumped Ensign.
After days in which his whereabouts were unknown by his wife and staff (who thought he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail), Sanford held a tear-filled and rambling news conference to admit to an affair with an Argentine woman, and to apologize to his staff and the voters of South Carolina for not disclosing where he was.