One of the voices of reason and conservativism in the Republican Party has been South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and many people have been hoping that he will throw his hat in the ring and run for president in 2012. He had a high profile fight over stimulus money that South Carolina was suppose to receive from the Porkulus Bill. He only wanted to accept some of the funds to pay down debt, but his state legislature overruled him and he was forced to take the funds. I was proud of his fight, but now I find myself questioning whether Mark Sanford should be a key leader for the Republican Party.
On Thursday, the Governor left town with plans to hike the Appalachian Mountain Trail. His spokesman knew only that much about the Governor’s plans. The spokesman is apparently the only one who knows even that much. Mark Sanford’s own family, including his wife, have no idea where he is and that is not normal, especially considering that it was Father’s Day on Sunday and Sanford has four sons. He supposedly is expected back later this week. His staff has been unable to reach him.
This behavior seems strange to me and not the work of a responsible individual. No one is sure if he took security with him and he did not turn over responsibilities to his Lt. Governor Andrew Bauer. People are wondering who is in charge of the state since Sanford cannot be reached. These actions do not seem like something a man of common sense would engage in and it really leaves me dumbfounded. It is understandable if someone needs some time away, but for even his own wife to be clueless seems strange.
One thing is for certain for me. I can scratch Mark Sanford off my presidential wish list. We already have enough insanity in Washington without adding someone who seems to have gotten erratic over this stimulus battle. He may come back later this week and say that he wants nothing more to do with politics because the uphill battle is too much or just claim he needed to clear his head. Either way, America needs strong leadership right now and these actions do not signal strength to me.