GOP Presidential Strategists: Sanford's Trip Ends White House Ambitions

GOP strategists say that Sanford's weird, five-day absence kills any chances for a White House bid

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford might get that chance to take a hike on the Appalachian Trail after all. That's because GOP presidential strategists say his weird behavior regarding his five-day absence over Father's Day weekend has ruled out a chance of him running and being taken seriously.

"Governor Sanford has disqualified himself," says a former Reagan and Bush adviser who was critical of Sanford for disappearing and then changing his explanation. "First, what he did. Second, how the aftermath has been handled. Third, all around bad judgment. Finally, for behaving like a character in an Ayn Rand book. After Obama, voters are going to demand a steady hand on the tiller."

Sanford has been on the list of top GOP potential presidential candidates for 2012. He was also talked about as a 2008 vice presidential candidate. Republican presidential strategists say that the party and GOP voters don't like oddball candidates and that Sanford's behavior qualified for that category.

Initially, his staff said he was taking some time to clear his head while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. But a report today quotes the guv saying he went to Argentina because he "wanted to do something exotic."

Read 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mark Sanford

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