EDITORIAL: When egos go unchecked
It was a relief when former Gov. Mark Sanford finally left office two years ago. He disgraced himself with an affair with an Argentinian woman. He made it his mission not to work with the state legislature, thereby stymieing any progress in the Statehouse.
When he finally left, we bid him a curt, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
He was an ineffective governor who turned out to be a hypocrite in the worst way. The people of South Carolina moved on.
Sanford slipped back in the news every once in a while – like when he became engaged to his mistress.
Now, he’s back.
He confirmed Wednesday that he’s running for his old seat in Congress. He’s eyeing the 1st District seat on the state’s coast.
Its former occupant, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint.
Come on, Sanford, have a little self-respect. Don’t embarrass the state, your family, or yourself any more than you already have.
A healthy ego can be a good thing. People who seek power, especially political power, need the confidence it brings.
An over-blown, unrealistic, delusional ego is another thing.
Sanford spent his time in Congress playing the “common man.” He saved taxpayers’ money by sleeping on his couch rather than accepting housing stipends. He wore khakis, went to church, played with his sons and tried to live the good life.
It was a sham.
And now he wants to come back to public life.
“I am running because our country’s future is at stake if we don’t get our hands around runaway government spending in Washington,” he said Wednesday in a written statement formally announcing his political comeback bid.
Sanford needs to understand that he cannot be an effective leader. There’s too much baggage.
He will spend most of his time on the campaign deflecting questions about his character (or lack thereof) and arguing with anyone who questions his motives.
Will he bring his mistress, Maria Belen Chapur, with him on the campaign trail? Now that she’s his fiancee it will be expected. What a stir that would cause.
Sanford needs to accept the fact that his political life is over – and he did it to himself.
Unfortunately, the same ego that got him in trouble before will probably keep him going now.