I spoke with a number of former staffers from Mark Sanford’s congressional office, where he served from 1995 to 2001. They had some interesting things to say. Piece is here.
One comment that didn’t make it into the piece comes from Richard Quinn, a South Carolina political consultant:
What was really smart about Sanford’s strategy was that he was able to turn it into a referendum on whether people had the capacity to forgive — the God of second chances — and whether people are capable of giving him another chance, and capable of Christian forgiveness. And that is an excellent strategy for him, and there was nobody in the race who successfully countered it to focus on his term on governor. Somebody should have said, “this is not about whether you were a good husband, but whether you were a good governor.” Nobody engaged him on his record outside the marriage. And most people are willing to forgive.
Tonight, after the Republican primary’s run-off (he’s running against Charleston politician Curtis Bostic), we’ll know how well that strategy worked.