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Thread: Comeback Achieved, Sanford Takes Spotlight

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    Comeback Achieved, Sanford Takes Spotlight

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/us...pagewanted=all

    Politics. Go figure.



    CHARLESTON, S.C. — After getting a few hours’ sleep, Mark Sanford made a victory lap Wednesday morning. He showed up on several national television news programs not only as the newly elected congressman from South Carolina’s First District, but also as a symbol of a political comeback many here and across the country thought could never happen.

    Still, he preferred to talk about fiscal policy in Washington more than his successful strategy for giving new life to a political career many thought was over.

    “I wouldn’t presume to give anybody else advice,” he said on CNN.

    Mr. Sanford, the former governor whose career and marriage fell apart after he disappeared for six days in 2009 to visit his lover in Argentina, easily defeated his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in a special election Tuesday by more than 9 percentage points.

    She had offered the first real chance the district had in decades to send a Democrat to Washington, something that hadn’t happened for nearly 30 years. The National Democratic Party and the House Majority PAC poured nearly $1 million into her campaign.

    But it was not to be.

    Mrs. Colbert Busch could not take even one of the five counties in the district. That includes more liberal Charleston, whose Democratic mayor and several civic groups offered early support.

    A surprisingly high turnout — nearly 30 percent — showed up for the special election, a figure that many believe helped him in a largely Republican district.

    Political analysts will spend the day parsing the numbers and kicking around theories, but the simplest explanation is that Republicans did not want to send a Democrat to Congress, said Scott Buchanan, the executive director of the Citadel Symposium on Southern Politics.

    And, it did not help that Mrs. Colbert Busch was a political neophyte who, in the only debate between the two and in interviews, appeared a very green candidate.

    “There’s an old saying in politics,” Mr. Buchanan said. “You can’t beat somebody with nobody. Her campaign was just not effective. There’s nothing to replace experience. It was very obvious in the debate she was a first-time candidate.”

    Supporters of Mrs. Colbert Busch grumbled about a gender gap, recent redistricting that removed some urban voters and the difficulty inherent in making a case for a more liberal and largely untested candidate in a conservative state and having only 10 weeks to do it.

    “It proves how party loyal this state is,” said Madeleine McGee, who runs an organization for nonprofit groups in Charleston. She is also family. Her sister is married to Stephen Colbert, the television comedian and younger brother of the candidate whose public support and fund-raising efforts helped Mrs. Colbert Busch gain national attention.

    Others also wondered if Mr. Sanford’s deceit was overplayed by her campaign, which tried to appeal to women voters. And they praised Mr. Sanford for a polished ground game that drove voters to the polls.

    After a short, upbeat concession speech Tuesday night, Mrs. Colbert Busch went home to spend time with her large, extended family. Her famous brother was not in town. He was in the editing room in New York working on his show, “The Colbert Report,” when he heard she had lost.

    Mrs. Colbert Busch will head back to work at Clemson University, where she runs a wind power business development project. She has not decided if she will try politics again, said Ms. McGee.

    “The disappointment is you begin to think you can help and you can do something for these people and then it’s disappointing when you can’t,” Ms. McGee said.

    In his victory speech, Mr. Sanford promised to be a “messenger to Washington, D.C.” Then, after introducing one of his sons and his fiancée, Mariá Belén Chapur, who had just flown in from Argentina, he spoke of the redemption he had found on the campaign trail.

    “I am an imperfect man saved by God’s grace,” he said.

    For voters, his hawkish views on federal spending, his experience and his promise to fight President Obama outweighed any personal transgressions.

    “He took a couple of years to reflect, and now he just wants to get back to work,” said Tom Lewis, 47, a Sanford voter who considers himself a libertarian. “They’ve just got to reel it in in Washington.”

    Mr. Sanford’s political comeback could have been fashioned only by a veteran, as Mr. Sanford is. He has never lost an election, and from 1995 to 2001, he held the House seat he just won, back then riding a wave of Republican power led by Newt Gingrich and articulated by the party’s Contract With America.

    The seat opened up in December when Gov. Nikki R. Haley appointed Representative Tim Scott, a favorite of the Tea Party, to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate. Mr. DeMint had stepped down to run the Heritage Foundation.

    Mr. Sanford, who will have to run again in 2014 to keep the seat, easily won in a crowded primary field in March. Still, it was never clear that he could overcome his transgressions, even though the district is populated with country club Republicans and more conservative Tea Party voters.

    And then there was his opponent, a sympathetic woman roughly the age of his former wife, Jenny Sanford, with a famous brother, a compelling personal story as a single mother and a long track record as an executive in the maritime industry.

    She was popular among the more centrist residents of Charleston County, which had supported President Obama twice but handed the victory to Mr. Sanford by less than two percentage points.

    “We gave it a heck of a fight,” she said in her concession speech.

    Throughout the campaign, she tried to invoke the word “trust” with regularity, but remained vague on issues and scant on public appearances that were not heavily orchestrated. But Mr. Sanford turned the race into a battle against Washington Democratic power brokers, especially the former House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    Tuesday’s vote proved that his approach worked.

    And in the end, people here cared less about the controversy and more about government spending.

    “We are not trying to elect the ‘how is your conscience’ candidate,” said Charm Altman, president of the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women. “We are trying to elect someone who can govern.”

    Brad Mallett, 45, a local coffee roaster who was at Mr. Sanford’s packed victory party, put it more simply: “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

  2. #2
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    I applaud the voters of South Carolina...

    Great job....

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    This is MY Congressman. A staunch fiscal conservative. Totally against raising taxes without a corresponding tax decrease somewhere else.
    His ex wife is a major jerk - no wonder he had the lady from Argentina (now his fiancé) as a replacement. No condoning cheating, but understood in this case.

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    Speaks much more to how pathetic Colbert was as a candidate

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Speaks much more to how pathetic Colbert was as a candidate

    Not really. In the first primary Sanford faced 15 other Republicans - a few very heavy duty players in the State House and Senate. He won but had a run off. Won that too. Colbert had a fortune behind her.
    Sanford has never lost an election.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    This is MY Congressman. A staunch fiscal conservative. Totally against raising taxes without a corresponding tax decrease somewhere else.
    His ex wife is a major jerk - no wonder he had the lady from Argentina (now his fiancé) as a replacement. No condoning cheating, but understood in this case.
    I know nothing of her

    But what I know of Mark Sanford makes him more than just a jerk:

    He was Governor and left the country without telling his constituents. In fact he told them he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

    He introduced his son to his future step mother for the first time on stage at a political rally in front of hundreds of GOP voters.

    He said publicly that Bill Clinton should resign over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

    He trespassed by entering his ex-wife’s house like two weeks ago after being ordered not to do so.

    The man is a self-absorbed knucklehead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Speaks much more to how pathetic Colbert was as a candidate
    maybe

    I'm thinking it is more like the GOP is lazy in that district. They knew they could run a pastrami sandwich and win.

    It'll be interesting to see if Sanford gets challenged in the 2014 primary

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Speaks much more to how pathetic Colbert was as a candidate
    Agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Speaks much more to how pathetic Colbert was as a candidate
    +1000

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    His ex wife is a major jerk - no wonder he had the lady from Argentina (now his fiancé) as a replacement. No condoning cheating, but understood in this case.
    we all know Hillary is a *****.

    so Bill is excused too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2® View Post
    we all know Hillary is a *****.

    so Bill is excused too.
    Er.. he's is probably going to be remembered as a good to great president depending on the political leanings of whoever is doing the remembering.

    I can't believe you guys would make a case against Sanford by comparing him to Clinton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    I know nothing of her

    But what I know of Mark Sanford makes him more than just a jerk:

    He was Governor and left the country without telling his constituents. In fact he told them he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

    He introduced his son to his future step mother for the first time on stage at a political rally in front of hundreds of GOP voters.

    He said publicly that Bill Clinton should resign over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

    He trespassed by entering his ex-wife’s house like two weeks ago after being ordered not to do so.

    The man is a self-absorbed knucklehead.

    He DID make a mistake like many others. SC does have a Lt. Gov BTW.
    His 2 sons attended the VICTORY celebration at the primary for the record. And met his fiance. They weren't supposed to support him?
    He voted to impeach Clinton because of PERJURY before a grand jury. Or did YOU miss that piece of history like you miss so many others. Perhaps you were still in grade school at the time - so understandable.
    He did trespass. Technically. His 14 year old son called him from a party and asked him to drive him home. He did. They watched some of the super bowl with his home alone child. His wife was out again. As is her habit here. Well documented.
    Despite being grossly outspent he conducted an intelligent, non attack campaign. I've met him.. Nice guy. Excellent policies. Does not spend money he or his responsibilities do not have. Unlike NY leaders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2® View Post
    we all know Hillary is a *****.

    so Bill is excused too.


    Here too I totally agree with you. I think Bill despises Hillary. As a person. As a politician she keeps him connected. Symbiotic relationship.
    On the other hand (understandably) in addition to Monica, Bill was a serial adulterer and perhaps more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    maybe

    I'm thinking it is more like the GOP is lazy in that district. They knew they could run a pastrami sandwich and win.

    It'll be interesting to see if Sanford gets challenged in the 2014 primary



    Sanford has never lost. He can keep this seat as long as he wants. Probably 3 full terms since he does believe in limits.

    As far a Colbert Busch being incompetent - she won the Democratic primary against a known BLACK male with 96% of the vote. Considering the SC 1st district has a fair amount of BLACKS that is something.
    In 2008 the Republican sitting rep with 4 terms barely (4%) took the district against a unknown woman whose major claim was she was a lesbian.

    Charleston is a liberal city but Sanford even took that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    I know nothing of her

    But what I know of Mark Sanford makes him more than just a jerk:

    He was Governor and left the country without telling his constituents. In fact he told them he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

    He introduced his son to his future step mother for the first time on stage at a political rally in front of hundreds of GOP voters.

    He said publicly that Bill Clinton should resign over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

    He trespassed by entering his ex-wife’s house like two weeks ago after being ordered not to do so.

    The man is a self-absorbed knucklehead.
    Not even in the same (low) class as Anthony "Heeeeeeere's MY JUNK!" Weiner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanPatsFan View Post
    I applaud the voters of South Carolina...

    Great job....
    What an accomplishment. A republican getting elected in South Carolina

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    Sanford has never lost because he disappeared during his Presidential run. He got caught cheating on the taxpayers dime, yea he's awesome!!!!!



    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Sanford has never lost. He can keep this seat as long as he wants. Probably 3 full terms since he does believe in limits.

    As far a Colbert Busch being incompetent - she won the Democratic primary against a known BLACK male with 96% of the vote. Considering the SC 1st district has a fair amount of BLACKS that is something.
    In 2008 the Republican sitting rep with 4 terms barely (4%) took the district against a unknown woman whose major claim was she was a lesbian.

    Charleston is a liberal city but Sanford even took that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detjetsfan View Post
    What an accomplishment. A republican getting elected in South Carolina
    Apparently there are few uninformed voters in SC..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Er.. he's is probably going to be remembered as a good to great president depending on the political leanings of whoever is doing the remembering.

    I can't believe you guys would make a case against Sanford by comparing him to Clinton.
    Wasn't making a case against Sanford at all.

    Was kind of laughing that its OK to cheat if your wifes a *****.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    He DID make a mistake like many others. SC does have a Lt. Gov BTW.

    His 2 sons attended the VICTORY celebration at the primary for the record. And met his fiance. They weren't supposed to support him?


    Despite being grossly outspent he conducted an intelligent, non attack campaign. I've met him.. Nice guy.

    From what I've heard he introduced his son to his soon to be step-mom on stage at a public political event.

    Classy move

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