Two weeks ago, we chased off the suggestion that Gov. Mark Sanford might look to run for Congress.
You can almost picture the Swift Boat commercial: A flight attendant with a nice, exotic tan wakes Sanford up from his horizontal chair in business class. He sits up to find a three-course meal on fine table linen, along with his favorite cocktail, no charge. Cut to three South Carolina voters crammed into an aisle in coach as one tries to get the attention of a stewardess.
It’s still a crazy idea, but we’re going to throw some circumstantial evidence up on the wall:
In a press conference defending his decision not to resign last year, Gov. Sanford told reporters “What is unequivocally clear is that my political career is over.” Earlier this month, Sanford told a Hilton Head crowd on the day of Henry Brown’s announcement: “At times, the conversation was about Mark’s political trajectory,” Sanford said. “If there’s anything that’s abundantly clear, it’s that I ain’t running for president.” Those are two very different things.
Then comes the governor’s final State of the State address last night, including this line:
“While on this topic of spending there is one other thing we need to do - make our voices heard in Washington. Everyone well knows my opinions on the fallacy of stimulus money - and my belief that lasting jobs and economic growth can never come from a government bailout. I won’t restate my beliefs on how damaging those efforts are to future generations, the American dollar and the long term viability of the American and South Carolina economies. But there is a new threat to each one of us, the dollar and the financial stability of this country as debts are spiraling in Washington. … If you take but one pearl from this talk it is that now is the time to make your voice heard - whether in correcting the path Washington is now on, or in bettering our state.”
And today there’s a surprise visit to Capitol Hill.
Asked why he was in Washington, Sanford, a former House Member, walked toward the House floor as the chamber was about to vote and told CNN: “I was going to catch up with some friends on the House floor.”
And then there’s $1.4 million sitting around in his campaign account …