By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Maybe we should call him "Indiana" Sanford. Maybe he was traipsing through the South American jungles with a bull-whip, fedora, and leather jacket, hunting for hidden gold. Maybe the South Carolina governor is on a personal quest to visit all places with "South" in their names. His next stop might well be South Dakota. Speaking of south, that's the direction Sanford's presidential aspirations have gone, according to my colleagues over at Washington Whispers. "Governor Sanford has disqualified himself," one strategist told Whispers. Talk about a story that has devolved as it has evolved. My initial take was: What's the big deal? He wants to get away and commune with nature—undoubtedly he's left contact info with the appropriate people and his staff is being overprotective and exaggerating when they say that he's "out of pocket." Nope. In fact they were understating the case: He was "out of country." And now it looks like he's out of the 2012 race because he apparently has a propensity for taking leave of his senses. I can't wait for his 2 p.m. presser.
In the mean time, as a TPM reader noted, "hiking the Appalachian Trail" is a new instant political metaphor.