Jake on the missing governor

From my files -- Jake Knotts at his endorsement interview in '08.

From my files -- Jake Knotts at his endorsement interview in '08.

Tonight I dropped by a Lexington County GOP confab at Hudson’s BBQ (last time I was there, it was to see Mike Huckabee when he still had a shot at the presidential nomination), and pretty much every member of the county delegation was there except for the two Nikkis (Haley and Setzler).

It was very hot — SO hot that even a seersucker suit was too much, so I went out and left my coat and tie in the car. Then, when it was all over, and the lawmakers had answered constituents’ questions about legislation and such, I went up and asked Jake Knotts about our missing governor.

I asked Jake because, near as I could tell from the reporting at thestate.com, he was the one who raised the hue and cry about the governor running off to who knows where in a SLED car last Thursday — leaving his security detail behind.

The senator said “when he didn’t show up the next day or the day after that, I called Chief Lloyd” at SLED. He said he raised to Reggie Lloyd the idea that it seemed improper for Jake — a former cop — to be driving around in a cop car equipped with blue lights when “he’s not a sworn officer.”

The senator also kept returning to the point that the governor was gone “on a Father’s Day weekend, and his wife says she didn’t know where he was.”

Further, Jake believes the governor was remiss in his constitutional responsibility by not notifying the lieutenant governor of his absence. And unlike the folks in the lt. gov’s office, the senator is completely unsatisfied by the governor’s chief of staff, who is not an elected official, saying he knows where the governor is.

Jake says he and the governor have had their differences — which may count as his understatement of the evening — but the gov had never done anything to concern him to this extent. “I’m really serious about his mental state,” he said, adding that he knew that the governor had had a rough time — with the stimulus battle, with seven years in office “with little to show,” with having gone 0 for 10 on his recent vetoes — and if he “wants to go on a sabbatical, I have no problem with that,” if “he turns the helm over to the lieutenant governor.”

Just FYI, folks, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, unlike the governor, is a political ally of Sen. Knotts. He kept praising Andre for not bucking his security (security which the governor believes the lt. gov. shouldn’t have, but that’s another battle he keeps losing). I said something about how I certainly feel better knowing someone other than Andre is driving. That wasn’t exactly the point Jake was trying to make, but he didn’t argue with me about it.

Jake made the point a couple of times that, if only for sake of emergency preparedness and Homeland Security issues, someone official should know where the governor is, which is one reason for him to have SLED agents with him. “The people of South Carolina’s security shouldn’t be jeopardized because the governor doesn’t want security.”

When I asked Jake to give me his updated contact numbers in case I needed to reach him later, he gave me four of them, adding, “And I guarantee you my wife knows where I’m at.”

Summing up the situation, Sen. Knotts said of the missing governor, “He’s suffering from the same thing he suffered from with the Senate — lack of communication.”

The senator added some remarks about how he’d like to see the governor turn things around and be more successful with lawmakers in his last years in office, but expressed doubt that will happen: “He’s done built that fence too high now.”

Anyway, for what it’s worth, that’s what the guy who was apparently the first official to ask, “Where’s the governor?” had to say about it tonight…

31 thoughts on “Jake on the missing governor

  1. Bill C.

    I’ve been more concerned about Jake Knott’s mental state.

    It’s a sad day when we have to rely on Jake Knotts and Andre’ Bauer to run this state. Two used car salesmen… and that’s an insult to used car salesmen across this state.

  2. Doug Ross

    I guess when there isn’t any news to write about you just make stuff up.

    Gotta get your anti-Sanford screed working on Monday so you can peak by Friday.

  3. Randy E

    Doug, that’s a sad retort. A GOVERNOR of a state disappearing is a BIG deal. Being a very consciencious father (happy belated Father’s Day by the way) I’m sure if you were traveling that you would have been in close contact with your family on that day.

    I have to agree with Bill C about Bauer being in charge for any length of time.

    The “he’s done built this fence” quote makes me a little nostalgic. The only Southernese I hear is the “y’alls” I continue to utter.

  4. Hal

    Andre, the Boy politician, is doing what he always does…grasping at anything to make him look important.

    The GOP is in a sad state when it has to depend on Jake and Andre.

    God help us all.

  5. Doug Ross


    Apparently since you don’t know the actual details of where Sanford was and whether he was reachable or not, you consider Jake Knotts the voice of truth. He done did all he could did to make hisself part of the story.

  6. Doug Ross

    And anyone who uses the “he was gone on Fathers Day” line to try and ding Sanford falls somewhere between foolish and ignorant. Fathers Day is a made up holiday that doesn’t mean squat. If you need Hallmark to tell you that you need a day set aside to remember your father or to sit around waiting for a card and a tie from your kids, more power to you.

    Unless Mrs. Sanford and her kids have a problem with Sanford going for a hike on the Appalachian Trail for a couple days, why should you?

  7. jfx

    Looks like another premeditated, telegraphed PR stunt for attention. This man is a fop.

    “Recently, the powerful entrenched interests in our state government told us that we should, in effect, take a hike. After careful consideration, we felt it best to take that sentiment under advisement. We took a hike.

    And what we found, out on that rugged mountain trail, alone with our thoughts under the sky and stars, was a renewed sense in the rightness of our purpose, and the sound firmament of our principles…as rugged, unyielding, and inspiring as the majestic ridges of Appalachia that demarcate the western edge of our great state.

    We found that we were right along. And we found it best to keep fighting the good fight, for our children and for our future.”

    See, Doug, politicians are attention whores. That includes Jake Knotts when he flaps gums at a BBQ restaurant, AND that includes Mark Sanford when he wanders into the forest and comes back out with a prepared statement, a press conference, a WSJ editorial, and a Fox News Sunday appearance.

  8. Randy E

    Gee Doug, he’s a member of the “party of family values.”

    I guess you guys don’t celebrate birthdays at the Ross household – never had Easter eggs, no Christmas presents…

  9. Doug Ross


    In my family, we do what we want, when we want. We sometimes celebrate birthdays early or late. When I was growing up, we opened our Christmas presents the night before once we were past the age of reason. We didn’t “celebrate” fathers day until Monday night this year because I was out of town with two of my kids seeing a play in NYC – which meant far more to me than a card would.

    Fathers Day means nothing. Zilch. Zero.

    Your attempts to paint Sanford as somehow being a derelict father for being away on Fathers Day are pretty weak. As I said, if his kids don’t mind and his wife doesn’t mind, why do you?

  10. Bart

    The weakness of the left ginning up something about Sanford missing “Father’s Day” is the epitome of desperation.

    I agree with Doug about Father’s Day.

    Another reason to sell some cards and other merchandise most dads will either return or leave in a drawer somewhere for eternity. I love my kids with a passion and would willingly lay down my life for them. So, on Father’s Day, instead of them taking me out to lunch, I spend the day cooking and entertaining them and my wife. I also encourage them to not spend money on me but to use it for something useful they need or want or contribute it to a worthy charity.

    As usual, befitting Father’s Day, they ignore me.

  11. Lee Muller

    Father’s Day was made official by Richard Nixon.

    You would think all Democrats would ignore it.

  12. Doug Ross

    What we really need is an “Absent Fathers Day” when baby daddies are required to spend 24 hours with their kids.

    One NFL player is on his 11th kid by 10 women. QB/Model Tom Brady has got one out-of-wedlock kid. Wonder if he got a card and a tie for Fathers Day?

  13. jfx

    Interesting idea Doug. It seems like I read some stories in the news over the weekend about some guy, some famous guy, talking up fatherhood accountability in a big way.

    Oh yeah, it was Obama. Guess it doesn’t count then.

  14. Brad Warthen

    Here’s an interesting take on it from a blog associated with NPR:

    Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina has given us a twist on the tired old line in politics and corporate America that so and so is leaving the public stage to “spend more time with his family.” Sanford evidently has disappeared from public view because he wanted to spend less time with his.

    That’s pretty cold, although it does zero in on an aspect that for a lot of people is the very hardest thing to explain about this whole episode.

    I’m not interested in discussing what a man should or shouldn’t do on Father’s Day. For me, it’s enough that the governor ditched his security on Thursday, physically cut off any attempts to trace him after he got to Atlanta, and his office was unable to come up with any explanation of where he was until the fuzzy Appalachian Trail explanation Monday night — an explanation produced only after several hours of scrutiny, and growing national interest.

    The official, professional side of this is bizarre enough for me.

  15. Doug Ross

    So how did he make contact with his people?

    If he’s with someone who has a phone, will you admit you overreacted?

  16. Doug Ross


    Seriously – what percentage of the population do you think is aware that Obama spoke on the topic? 5%? 2%?

    And what percentage of current and future baby daddies do you think care what Obama says?

  17. Randy E

    Doug, from news reports I’ve watched, Obama taking a stand is a big deal to activists in the African-American community – especially churches. The notion that taking a stand on an issue is meaningless flies in the face of history. Lou Holtz cited the litter in this state in an interview and you would have thought he parted Lake Murray with the response.

    Given that 14% of the population is AA, a small percent of people who are aware could be a big deal. Given the coverage he gets, I doubt it’s only low single digits anyway.

  18. Randy E

    “How did he contact his people?” His phone was turned OFF. Again, if your employee was on duty but was unaccessible to you because his phone was off you wouldn’t be happy. Of course, he could claim that he was with someone with a phone…

  19. Bart

    jfx, actually it was a good thing Obama was talking up fatherhood responsibility over the weekend. If more leaders on both sides of the aisle and across the racial spectrum of this country had been doing the same over the years and ACTUALLY doing something about it instead of lip service, maybe we would have fewer kids on welfare and public assistance.

    Social conservatives decry the proliferation of unwed/single mothers and are branded as radicals who want to control abortion rights. When anyone, I repeat, anyone who is a social conservative screws up and strays, the liberal element jumps on them with unhinged vengence and relentless attacks.

    Doug pointed out an NFL player with 11 kids by 10 different women. It was not long ago another story was out about a contest between several NFL players to see just how many kids they could father with as many different women possible. I would guess the same goes on in other professional sports….and these people are heroes to impressionable kids?

    The problem is somewhat akin to the Catch 22 scenario. Social conservatives have placed themselves in a unique position because on one hand, they are opposed to abortion yet, when a single woman gets pregnant, she is praised by some for not having an abortion and at the same time, criticised by others for having the baby and going on welfare to support it.

    Liberals have it easy on this one. All they have to do is continue to support a woman’s right to have an abortion and leave everything else concerning the issue alone.

  20. Doug Ross

    Bart says:

    “Liberals have it easy on this one. All they have to do is continue to support a woman’s right to have an abortion and leave everything else concerning the issue alone.”

    Actually, they leave everything else to the government and other taxpayers to deal with.

    And as long as some conservatives applaud the way Sarah Palin handled her daughter’s pregnancy, we have a LONG way to go before any traction will be gained. Putting baby-mama Bristol on TV to do an exclusive interview with Greta Van Sustern is not helping…

  21. Lee Muller

    I wish the media would put this much effort into trying to locate Hussein Obama’s birth certificate.

  22. Brad Warthen

    Just saw that Wesley Donehue put out this release on behalf of Jake Knotts after the “governor is coming back Wednesday” angle developed:

    “I’m happy to hear that Governor Sanford has finally contacted his office after being missing from the state for five days. While I believe every person deserves a vacation, our constitution gives only one man authority to act in case of an emergency – the Governor of South Carolina. Should the Governor decided to vacation away from South Carolina again, it is my sincere hope that he will take his security detail and keep his cell phone on so that he can be reached in case of a large-scale emergency. If he is not willing to do so, he should turn his gubernatorial authority over to the Lt. Governor.”

    … which is more or less what he said last night, I guess. Only updated.

  23. Bill C.

    Good thing Brad’s on top of it. Don’t you have more important things to do than to sit and act as the personal Twitter for the governor?

  24. Randy E

    Bart, referring to “liberals” is too simplistic. I am progressive in my fiscal beliefs as is bud. Yet, he and I differ sharply on some religious beliefs. I follow Catholic dogma which means I’m pro life and lean towards traditional marriage.

    Doug makes a great point about Palin. This can be expanded to include Ensign, Vitter, and Newt. Trotting out her kids given the pregnancy situation was shameless. Ensign and Newt attacking Clinton’s morality was the height of hypocrisy. The GOP’s pro-life stance is qualified with their support for capital punishment (Catholics dogma is opposed and therefore more consistent) and their opposition to SCHIP and other initiatives to help those in need. This undermines their credibility.

  25. Bart

    The argument of pro-life vs capital punishment rings hollow. A fetus, unborn child, or whatever designation you prefer has no choice in the matter and the abprtion decision is left up to the mother. The life in the mother’s womb commited no crime, violated no one’s rights or had input into the decision to end it’s life.

    There are laws existing on the books in most states clearly defining what crimes are punishable by the death penalty. The person commiting a crime falling under the death penalty option does so knowingly and therefore assumes responsibility for their actions if a judge or jury decides it to be appropriate. I do support the death penalty in certain instances but in complete fairness, all options should be exhausted before applying the death penalty because like abortion, there are no second chances for redemption once the penalty has been applied.

    As far as being too simplistic in my reference to “liberals”, if the shoe doesn’t fit, what concern is it of yours anyway? This is the first time I have heard about your adherence to Catholic dogma and based on your typical responses, I would imagine every other person on the blog would reach the logical conclusion, you are a liberal. Thanks for the clarification. Maybe we do have something in common after all.

    I stand by my comment about liberals and abortion.

  26. Randy E

    Bart, Catholic dogma views all human life as God’s creation therefore it’s up to Him to determine how human life is to end – “Thou shall not kill”. Given that the party of values bases their belief system on Christianity, how do they reconcile capital punishment with being pro-life? That hardly “rings hollow” Perhaps, you can find Scripture in the NT to the contrary.

    There are conservatives, like Cheney, who support gay marriage. Are you granting conservatives such complexity and liberals are judged so simplistically? Jesus most certainly would favor a liberal perspective on universal health care, SCHIP, and war. He would also favor conservatives on many social issues. These labels are inadequate.

    You judged me on posts of which the vast majority related to fiscal issues and war. Of course, I’m happy to be considered a liberal given the alternative and given the principle WWJD.

  27. Bart

    Randy E, first of all, I am not a Catholic so your Catholic dogma may or may not coincide with mine on many issues or how I practice my faith or worship ceremonies.

    By the way, you used the term “judged”, not I. My comment was that I reached a conclusion based on your previous posts. Logical conclusion, not a judgment.

    I presented a reasonable argument from my point of view about the differences between abortion and the death penalty. You utterly failed in your response and apparently ARE incapable of a reasoned response in kind. Instead, you come up with a reference to your religion and invoked the usual non sequitur response about Jesus being or favoring a liberal on some issues and conservatives on others.

    I don’t know how steeped you are in Biblical studies but all too often, we forget that the Bible is to be taken as a whole, not in segments nor can we separate the OT from the NT. One is incomplete without the other. It was my blessing to study and learn from a professorial level Biblical scholar. I started to respond with references supporting my position but decided it would serve no purpose at this point.

  28. Lee Muller

    Sarah Palin didn’t “trot out her kids”.

    The media shamelessly went after her children, with smears like these, direct and insinuated:

    “The baby is really Sarah’s not the daughter’s.”

    “Sarah Palin can’t be intelligent. She has a baby with Downs Syndrome.”

    “I thought all Republicans have a missing chromosone.” – Al Gore

    “Any women who is pretty and successful must have used sex to get there.”

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