Magazine July 20, 2009, Issue

Sanford’s Seventies Show

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford testifies next to New York Governor David Paterson on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 29, 2008. (Mitch Dumke/Reuters)
The South Carolina governor's place in the pantheon of political adulterers

These days, summer movies come in three basic flavors: the big-budget, special-effects-drenched spectacle (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek), the gross-out sex comedy (The Hangover), and the sweetly romantic chick-flick date movie (The Proposal).

Somehow, the current personal and professional meltdown of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford manages to be all three at once. It’s got it all: secret international air travel, romantic e-mails, creepy pet names — everything, frankly, but a happy ending. And that’s the problem: You can’t have a summer movie without a happy ending. What the governor really has going on here isn’t a summer movie

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




I read William Voegeli’s review of Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift with pleasure and genuine interest.


When you deserted your military post, you fled from India as a refugee, then sailed — where else?


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