Monday, June 22, 2009

What is going on with Governor Sanford?

10:29 PM EDIT: CNN Producer Peter Hamby and ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper both tweeted a little while ago reporting that the Governor's staff is now saying that he is hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'm not buying it. Something is up. We'll find out soon enough. As South Carolina resident @teresakopec said via twitter a little while ago:
As wife of an App Trail hiker myself, you notice when your husband is packing tent & gear to hike for four days. Just sayin'

I'm with her. In the meantime people are having a lot of fun at the Governor's expense already. Genius work from @capecodgirl:

This one is good too:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Original Post:
If you follow politics at all you have heard the name Mark Sanford. He is a 2nd term Republican Governor from South Carolina and a vocal critic of the current administration. He's also been long mentioned as a possible 2012 GOP nominee for President. He led an unsuccessful fight against the bailout. Well, his story took a little strange turn Thursday.

Governor Sanford is "missing." He was last seen this past Thursday when the South Carolina stage legislature overturned 10 of his vetoes. Ouch. Talk about a rough day at the office.

His staff claims that he notified them before leaving. His spokesman Joel Sawyer released a statement saying:
"Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside."

Do you know what that means? Yeah, me neither.

The spokesman went on to say in another release:
"governor let his staff know where he was going before he left last week and said he would check in"

I'm still puzzled. His wife, who is on vacation with her kids said the following:
"He was writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids,"

The AP quotes her saying:
She said she didn't know where he was, but wasn't concerned.

The Same AP article says:
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said he's been told the governor's staff is in contact with the second-term Republican, but Sanford's wife said she hasn't heard from him in several days, including Father's Day.

So let me get this straight? The Governor of a state wants to get away from his work after a tough fight and just disappears? Why didn't he just go vacation with his family? This was Father's Day weekend right?

The Governor's spokesman in a statement to CNN added:
“Obviously, that's going to be somewhat out of the question this time given the attention this particular absence has gotten. Before leaving last week, he let staff know his whereabouts and that he'd be difficult to reach. Should any emergencies arise between the times in which he checks in, our staff would obviously be in contact with other state officials as the situation warrants before making any decisions.”

Is it just me or is every statement and quote making this story even stranger?

Found this passage in that same CNN article:
State Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican and opponent of Sanford, told CNN that South Carolina law enforcement officials informed him Saturday that the governor had taken a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division vehicle on Thursday and had not yet returned.

"I found out that he was taking frequent trips at odd times of the night in a SLED car with no security," Knotts said. "He would be driving. I got wind that he had taken another one of these types of capers last Thursday, and that nobody knew who he was with.

Knotts added: "On Saturday, I still was getting wind that he had not shown back up and nobody knew where he was."

Knotts said a SLED official told him on Monday that Sanford still had not returned.

"He needs to transfer the power and let the lieutenant governor, which the constitution requires, let him be the person that makes the decisions." Knotts said. "My concern was 'Who would be in charge should an emergency arrive for the safety of the people and citizens of the state?'"

Ok..let's recap. The senator is missing, supposedly in touch with his Chief of Staff. Didn't notify his wife, the Lt. Governor or other senior state officials including close friends where he was going? Plus he took off in a police car?

Authorities are ruling out foul play because it turns out Sanford does this often....just not for this long.

MSNBC reported earlier today that a cellphone tower near Atlanta picked up a signal from his phone.

Someone has been tweeting from his account.

Wherever he is (let the guesses begin) and whatever he's doing (again...throw out a few guesses) it is safe to assume his 2012 hopes are done. I mean if this guy can't handle the pressures of being Governor of South Carolina, being President might be a few rungs out his reach. Just look at these headlines:

S.C. Relocates Its Governor
Where in the World is the Governor of South Carolina?
South Carolina governor goes missing
South Carolina Governor Disappears, No One Fazed

Stay Tuned...

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