Did you see this quote from Joel Sawyer of the governor’s office in today’s paper?
Joel Sawyer, a Sanford spokesman, said the governor finds the interest in him “very flattering” but views it as pure speculation.”
“It’s nothing that he has been focusing any of his time and energy on,” Sawyer said.
Oh, really? Come now, Joel. Take a look at Saturday’s editorial page in The Wall Street Journal:
The Conservative Case for McCain
By MARK SANFORD
March 15, 2008; Page A10
…Fortunately, the presidential election offers us a real choice in how to address the fiscal mess. To use a football analogy, we’re at halftime; and the question for conservatives is whether to get off the bench for the second half of the game.
I sat out the first half, not endorsing a candidate, occupied with my day job and four young boys at home. But I’m now stepping onto the field and going to work to help John McCain. It’s important that conservatives do the same…
This piece would be bizarre on several levels even without the otherwordly rumors about Sanford as a possible veep choice (which persist in spite of all logic). Mark Sanford is not a rah-rah, sis-boom-bah kind of Republican. His disdain for standard party boosterism is a noteworthy part of who he is. If fact, he’s not a team player of any kind, party or otherwise.
Add to that the fact that he did sit the game out when it counted, when every other Republican of statewide stature was taking a risk by taking a stand — DeMint for Romney; Graham, McMaster and Harrell for McCain (even when McCain looked down and out). Finally, when he did "endorse" the inevitable nominee, he did so in the most desultory, back-handed, even outright insulting kind of way — with Joel having to be asked, and essentially responding that yeah, OK, the governor supported him, why not…
Finally, there’s the odd conceit in the piece about Mark Sanford being some sort of national "conservative" leader who can step in and give the thumbs-up. Mark Sanford’s national constituency is the Club for Growth and other libertarians, NOT the kind of traditional conservatives who were voting for Mike Huckabee in the last weeks of the process. I read that, and I picture Mark Sanford the loner suddenly stepping into a roomful of conservative activists and saying, "OK, guys, let’s get behind McCain," and the others in the room say, "Who’s this guy? Where’d he come from?"
And what would be his motivation to suddenly pop up and do something that out of character? I can imagine no purpose other than trying to give the McCain folks the impression that he, Mark Sanford, is the kind of guy who has that kind of juice with the people in the party whom McCain needs to get right with. Mark Sanford’s mind works in mysterious ways, so there might be some other explanation.
But until we hear it, I find the assertion that the governor has exerted NO energy toward trailing his coat for the veep nod to be incredible.
Oh, yeah: You don’t want to miss the ending of this piece, which is so out of character that you have to check the footer to make sure this is the same Mark Sanford (and indeed, it says "Mr. Sanford, a Republican, is the governor of South Carolina."):
The contrast between the two opposing teams is stark. It is time for the entire conservative squad to step onto the field. Who will join me in helping our team get the ball and move it down the field?
Who will join ME, the unquestioned team player and leader, in getting out there and winning one for the McGipper? As though anyone ELSE but Mark Sanford has been sitting on the bench…
What can you say to that but, "Boola-Boola?"