Because Mark Sanford refused to endorse John McCain ahead of the 2008 South Carolina presidential primary, conventional wisdom mongers have all but ruled out his chances at becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee. What these mongers don't know is that McCain accepted Sanford's non-endorsement early on, and the two had numerous and regular conversations throughout the primary. Sanford believed that his position as governor required him to be neutral; he announced that position, he stuck to it, and McCain respects him for it. There are some McCain advisers who believe that Sanford was hedging his bets, but all the information I have suggests that McCain does not hold a grudge against Sanford. As a national Republican figure, Sanford has kept his profile low, but he has started to increase his visibility. He keynoted the Republican Party of Arkansas's dinner last week; he is hosting the Republican Governors Association summer retreat this weekend in Charleston. He's soon to speak to Republicans in Michigan. Last month, he attended the National Summit on Competitiveness in Chicago and spoke alongside two cabinet secretaries. And he joined Kathleen Sebelius at the Bilderberg Society meeting in Virginia two weeks ago.
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