By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Unlike many, I found Gov. Mark Sanford's initial press conference refreshing because he came across as a struggling human being rather than a politician reading the contrition script. But the contrition script has one redeeming line—the one that goes, And with that, I'm not going to discuss this any more. It's between me, my wife, and our family. Eschewing that line, Sanford has started behaving like a reality-TV show contestant who has spent his life dreaming of being in front of a television camera.
He's part of a star-crossed love story. He's found his soul-mate but, bravely, will try to fall back in love with his wife. (Does that remind anyone else of gays who subject themselves to heterosexual reprogramming on the theory that if they try hard enough they can become straight?) He crossed lines with other, other women but never the "ultimate line." What lines is he talking about? I'm sure he'll go into great detail in his next interview. He's become like a bizarro version of Bill Clinton, with his legalistic definitions of what constituted sex. WashPo's Ruth Marcus smartly points out that the "ultimate line is the one between thinking and doing."
TNR's Michelle Cottle has a post on the Sanford love story that is worth reading in its entirety. She writes:
What set Sanford's situation apart initially wasn't that he had fallen in love, but that he couldn't keep his mouth shut about it. Between all those rambling, purple-prose emails that leaked out and the man's verbal incontinence in talking about his Rendezvous with Destiny, he presented us with the old-fashioned romantic ideal of a man smitten beyond reason. You could almost picture him sitting by candlelight furiously scribbling out love letters to some Jane Austen heroine. Falling in love with one's Soul Mate isn't unusual, even in politics. Babbling on about it like an addled teenager is.
Amen. Now, as Cottle goes on to say, what happens going forward should be between him and his family. And it still can be if, please guv, he shuts up.