It is no secret that Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) has been casting longing gazes towards the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but over the past week, Sanford has proclaimed that the Obama stimulus is going to lead to slavery, then he went missing for four days until today. This is not the behavior of a potential 2012 party nominee.
Last week Sanford spoke to the Lexington County GOP, and claimed that the Obama stimulus is going to lead the nation to slavery. Here is the video from Think Progress:
Sanford said, “A guy from the northeast did a study on generational accounting. Generational accounting says what is the imputed tax for a young person born in America today? And remarkably, that number is 82, which at all ain’t that far from a thing called slavery. If you’re giving away 82% of every dollar you earn every day and every week and every month, A, it’s not a good deal, B, it collapses the capitalistic system because nobody has any initiative to work at that point, and C, it really isn’t that far from slavery. And what the Republic was originally set up was on the notion that was just talked about a moment ago, which is this larger notion of freedom. And economic freedom is a part of the larger notion of freedom.”
Next was today’s story that Sanford had vanished for four days. According to The State. “Neither the governor’s office nor the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for governors, had been able to reach Sanford after he left the mansion Thursday in a black SLED Suburban SUV, said Sen. Jake Knotts and three others familiar with the situation but declined to be identified.”
The governor had turned off his state and personal phones and had not responded to calls or text messages. I am sure it was reassuring for the people of South Carolina to know that their governor occasionally decides that he needs a little downtime, so he ignores them. It isn’t like he is supposed to let people know his whereabouts. He is only the governor.
Sanford’s office put out a statement today saying that the governor was taking a little time off to work on other projects, “Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session, and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside. We are not going to discuss the specifics of his travel arrangements or his security arrangements.”
The problem here isn’t that Sanford needed some time off. The problem is that he bailed on his state, and nobody could find him for four days. People sort of expect to know where their governor is at, you know, in case they might need him for something like a state wide emergency. Governors don’t get to vanish for a few days and chill.
George W. Bush loved a good vacation, but we all knew where he was, while he was kicking back. Sanford just doomed any hopes he had in 2012 by displaying such erratic behavior. If he does run, I am sure that his primary opponents will make it clear that they never vanished on their constituents before. Sanford just brought the reliability question on to himself, and very politicians ever recover from being labeled unreliable.