Sanford says disgrace made him more effective
December 8th, 2010
09:48 AM ET
12 years ago

Sanford says disgrace made him more effective

(CNN) - Mark Sanford, the outgoing South Carolina governor and onetime rising star within the Republican Party, says his 2009 affair with an Argentinean woman that put an end to his promising political career actually made him a more effective governor.

In an hour-long interview with South Carolina station WIS, Sanford, who made a national name for himself a year and a half ago when he mysteriously disappeared, said the incident ultimately was successful in removing the political target from his back as opponents were no longer interested in steamrolling what appeared to be a Republican on the rise.

"A lot of people at times would push against certain things based on their fear that my political star was climbing," Sanford said in reference to Democratic opponents who assumed he was in line for a presidential run before his affair became public. "If they did [something I wanted], it would help me get to wherever it was they thought I was going."

"What became abundantly clear was the supposed stars on the rainbow weren't there, and I think we were able to debate the issue at hand," he continued. "I was less the issue, and the issue was more the issue."

But the two-term governor, who will wrap up his tenure in the South Carolina Statehouse in just over a month, continued to express regret over the incident that ultimately ended his marriage.

"You make mistakes in life, that's the reality of life," Sanford said. "You have regrets in life. I think the big question is, where do you go from here?"

As for his future plans, Sanford said he has nothing figured out beyond January 14 - his last day in office - when he will get "in my son's pickup truck and leave Columbia, no longer with an agent, and drive down to the coast."

"I'll guess I'll figure it out on the drive east."

Filed under: Gov. Mark Sanford
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. stufit

    Very nice, but why doesn't CNN run a story about how angry many of us are getting about this incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady, lying president of the United States calling us "his enemies" and "hostage takers." There is a toad using the words that will bring us together. Typical democrat liberal though, they still don't understand that being demeaned and degraded by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the Kenyan idiot, makes us even more mad.

    December 8, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. badcyclist

    So now we know the secret to good government in South Carolina.

    December 8, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, Mark, your raising star was only as bright as YOU thought it was, and believe me, you are NO Sarah Palin. Queen Sarah's golden throne on Ronnies 'City on the Hill' is nearly complete. That she has also managed to turn George H's 'Thousand Points of Light' into her own personal Palin dollar signs is a tribute to her raising star status. You, I think, will not be so lucky.

    December 8, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Sharmila Kazim

    It's a good thing when we can overturn a past mishap into something meaningful – others should also take heed of the consequences of such mishaps of Mr. Sanford and I must add Mr. John Edwards and the list goes on.

    We are all human beings and the temptations are always going to be there – but only the strongest will survive.

    December 8, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Hear that, kids? Adultery is good for you!

    December 8, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Emile Zola

    I want a second opinion.

    December 8, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Terry Blanchard

    Just go away!

    December 8, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. rs

    Nah, it just made him more Republican. What would we know him for otherwise?

    December 8, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Tim

    Why do you print this garbage, who cares what he thinks. He's the last person in the world who can guage his effectiveness. Crap like this is part of the problem, it feeds their creepy egos.

    December 8, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Drew, FL

    Of course it made him more effective. He wasn't wasting taxpayer money chasing tail halfway across the world. What a stinking pile of refuse.

    December 8, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Grandma in Alaska

    I guess shooting himself in the foot removed the target from his back. Maybe South Carolina will be better off. The country definitely is!

    December 8, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    TRENDING: Sanford says disgrace made him more effective ?????????????????

    Then take your DISGRACE ash and find something else to be more EFFECTIVE with!!! MEN have a lot of nerve!! He did not only disgrace himself, he disgraced his whole family – his wife and children – parents and friends!!!! He has a lot of NERVE!!

    "... I think the big question is, where do you go from here?"

    What? Aren't you still involved with your MISTRESS???? Then GO THERE and live out your life in LUST because that is what DROVE you there in the first place. So while you are on that DRIVE to the EAST, hop on that "Bridge to NoWHERE and sulk in your miseries because you LOST EVERYTHING!!!

    December 8, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. LovesIrony

    Yeah, I am sure being exposed as a lying hypocrite made you more effective. SPIN on this you moral value fraud.

    December 8, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yeah, but effective at WHAT?
    Did you become a more effective LIAR so as to ensure that you wouldn't get caught in future liasons?
    Because as Governor you still suck, and so does your state.

    December 8, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. mdn

    I guess cheating on your wife, being a hypocrite, and overall acting like slime carries the benefit of more effective governance! I'm sorry that is the way he feels. He has not only let down his family but also his supporters. I'm not sure why the Republicans haven't shown more interest in him. He is certainly cut from the same fabric of hypocrisy.

    "Do as I say, not as I do"
    ...the Luv Gov.

    December 8, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. kds562

    Maybe he should get in this son's pickup truck and drive down to Argentina.

    December 8, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    Illicit affairs do not seem to have hampered Newt. Actually it appears to be a badge of honor for the likes of Newt, Ensign, Vitter, Guilliani, McCain and other prominent republicans.

    December 8, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Larry

    "Sanford says disgrace made him more effective". When you are an ineffective jerk and your disgrace makes you a less ineffective jerk, that is a bad thing.

    December 8, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. blake

    Mr. Sanford, your moral failure may very well have taken the target off your back, but it did not make you a better governor. Character and leadership are always intertwined. You brought discredit to yourself, to your state, and to your party. And you destroyed your marriage. Please, no more spin.

    December 8, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. vp

    Fantasy runs deep!


    How delusional and Narcissistic does one have to be?

    December 8, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. David, CA

    Funny to listen to him try to justify his actions. Previously he said GOD wanted him to be governor and that GOD didn't care about his actions to cheat on his wife and lie to his constituents and employees and family- now he thinks his philandering made him a better politician? What a tool.

    December 8, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Tiffany

    Is he serious?

    December 8, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Dave

    A mistake is spending too much money and ruining the budget for one month. A mistake is not leaving the country secretly meeting with your mistress and lying to your wife, that is called ignorance.

    December 8, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |