We've Got More Questions for Mark Sanford

More

Mark Sanford's extraordinary press conference leads to a number of questions about what happens next to a governor and former congressman who was once considered one of the brightest stars of the Republican party. It was a deeply embarrassing and painful moment and one that seemed to answer all of the questions that have been looming. But there are still others:

1. Will pressure grow on him to resign the governorship? Sanford said he'd quit as chair of the Republican Governors Association but will pressure gather from South Carolinians, the state's Republicans and editorial pages for him to quit his office? And if so what's the case against Sanford: Leaving town without telling anyone?

2. Will South Carolina public opinion rally to him? It's not at all clear to me that the public will lash out against Sanford. If they stick by him and his wife doesn't seek a legal separation or divorce then will the politicians follow?

3, Will Sanford be able to execute the duties of his office in the coming days? Is he going to be able to get back to work today and tomorrow? Part of what saved Bill Clinton was the sense that he was going back to work. The public was willing to forgive him and punish the excesses of the GOP. This sticking-to-work ethos saved Rudy Giuliani, too.

4. Was taxpayer money used to continue the affair? It probably isn't a good sign that he seems to have taken a state vehicle to the airport in Atlanta. I imagine Democrats in the South Carolina legislature won't have the appetite for an audit. But they might.

5. Will Sanford staff resign? They were basically lied to, although Sanford was a little weasly about that part, suggesting that he was really weighing the Applachian Trail as an option. If his staff quits on him for misleading them, that could get things rolling. Of course, Roland Burris's chief of staff quit and he's still in the Senate.

Figuring out who survives and who doesn't is a hard political game to get right. David Vitter seems in pretty good shape for his reelection in Louisiana despite his admitting, more or less, to cavorting with a  prostitute which is not only untoward but illegal. Rudy Giuliani was done in by many things in his presidential bid but his affairs were not the coup de grace. Roland Burris is still in the Senate; Larry Craig isn't. I really wouldn't venture to guess how this plays out in the coming day. 
 

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Death of Film: After Hollywood Goes Digital, What Happens to Movies?

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In