Mark The Magician


What I find interesting about Mark the Magician is how the media reported the story.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will cut short a secretive Appalachian Trail hike and return to work Wednesday after revelations he had been gone four days with no contact with his wife, staff or state leaders.

We see that things are taken pretty seriously when they come from official sorts of people, even if those people are offering confused stories.

The Republican governor had not spoken with his staff since Thursday. He had left the state on what spokesman Joel Sawyer called a routine post-legislative vacation to unwind, but his absence left fellow state leaders scratching their heads.

That was as far as the Washington Post had gotten on a 5 day old story when the above was written on Tuesday. On Tuesday night, the story changed when the Governor reappeared and said he was on his way on a camping trip when he had a sudden change of heart.

“But I said ‘no’ I wanted to do something exotic … It’s a great city,” he said during an interview at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Sanford said he was alone on the trip and declined to give any additional details other than to say he drove along the coastline.

Then, today came the admission of an affair – in South America.

“I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina,” Sanford told reporters as he confessed a yearlong affair with a woman there, inadvertently bringing to mind the theme music from the Broadway musical “Evita.”

His wife, Jenny, was aware of the dalliance and they were all but separated, Sanford said. He had flown to Argentina to end the relationship, realizing it could not work.

Some say the Magic Man’s disappearing act was not taken seriously because it was political opponent Jake Knotts who was making noise about it.

Knotts told he has no problem with Sanford taking some time off but that he should be reachable — or submit written notice ahead of time transferring authority to the lieutenant governor in his absence. He said the governor was pulling a “shenanigan.”

The best excuse of all for the disappearance was that the Governor was exhausted after a recent fight with the state legislature over whether to take federal stimulus money.

Sanford told the newspaper in an exclusive interview that he went to Argentina to recharge after a difficult legislative session in which he battled lawmakers over accepting federal stimulus funds. “It was a long session, and I needed a break,” he told the paper.

That much is true – he was exhausted by a stimulus package, but it was one from Argentina, not Washington.

While tongues were wagging in South Carolina over Governor’s strange actions over the past few days, the national media failed to take the story very seriously. No longer.

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