The governor and his Latin whatever

A friend just stuck her head into my office to say she’s sick and tired of hearing María Belén Chapur referred to as our governor’s “Argentine lover,” as in the following:

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Wednesday he spent last weekend in Florida with his Argentine lover, hoping to rekindle the affair that wrecked his marriage and his political future and brought a formal rebuke from legislators for embarrassing the state.At a news conference on an unrelated issue, Sanford did not mention Maria Belen Chapur of Argentina by name when asked about a weekend trip out of state about which his staff has refused to provide details. But the governor, now divorced, left no room for doubt.

“As a matter of record, everybody in this room knows exactly who I was with over the weekend,” Sanford said. “That is no mystery to anybody given what I said last summer. And, you know, the purpose was obviously to see if something could be restarted on that front given the rather enormous geographic gulf between us. And time will tell. I don’t know if it will or won’t.”

I told her I’d see what I could do.

Personally, I’ve avoided ever mentioning her name before just now, and I was happy that way. I’ve made passing references to her as his “soulmate,” a word freighted with much meaning, since every mention of it reminds us of the governor’s appalling lack of judgment and taste in speaking of her that way in the infamous, narcissitic Associated Press interview. But mostly I’ve ignore that part of the story altogether, as what interests me about the whole episode is the way it illustrates our governor’s essential nature as a person who is totally into “me, myself and I,” as you can tell from most of his political actions. In other words, it tells me the same thing about him that his 46 interviews with FOXNews during the stimulus debate told me. We didn’t elect… that woman. Or Mrs. Sanford, or any of the other folks concerned. We elected this guy; Lord forgive us.

Beyond that, “lover” isn’t a word I use to apply to anyone. Among other things, it evokes something better not discussed in polite company. Plus, it’s so absurdly melodramatic, to a highly cheesy degree. A slightly more graphic, less self-absorbed version “soulmate.”

One last, perhaps quirky objection: When I hear others use it with reference to a woman, it always sounds sort of false. To me, it has masculine connotations. You say “Latin lover,” without context, and people picture Don Juan or Desi Arnaz or somebody. I do, anyway. Maybe it’s the “-er” ending; I don’t know. If it ended with “-ess” or “-ette” or something I might view it differently.

Anyway, let’s see if we can avoid it, people. I’ve done that up to now, and I resolve to do so going forward. Join me in this resolution.

10 thoughts on “The governor and his Latin whatever

  1. Michael P.

    The governor’s marital status is legally divorced so what’s the big deal if he’s seeing his mistress turned girlfriend while on a personal vacation? Don’t divorced guys usually get back in the saddle as soon as possible?

  2. Andrew

    Michael –

    I think the point is he ran out of the state again, without notifying other state leaders.

    Also he highlighted that he is a fairly selfish, bad character kind of guy.

    Goodness, when Carroll Campbell went off shore fishing, 20 miles off the coast, he notified state leaders.

  3. Bart

    The clock is ticking. Sanford will be out of the mansion soon and hopefully, we will find some relief from the constant chatter about his “paramour” from Argentina and his obvious lack of propriety when it comes to his personal life vs his responsibility to the citizens of South Carolina.

    Sanford was not wrong in all of his decisions but his penchant for, excuse the phrase, “pissing people off”, will define his place in SC history.

    As far as I am concerned, this is the last time I intend to waste my time chiming in on his foibles. He simply “ain’t worth it”. I think the veto override spoke volumes about his “lame duck” status.

    @Andrew, you are right about Carroll Campbell. He did it the right way and placed the citizens of South Carolina first. He was a great governor and a friend. I miss the guy.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    Not to defend him, well, actually to defend him, do we know he didn’t notify officials he was leaving? I thought I read he that he did.

    He can take vacations–heck, isn’t that pretty much what he does a good deal of the time, and isn’t it better for us when he does?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *