No, really, I think Fox will tire of Sanford

Meg Kinnard Tweeted earlier that Fox News and Mark Sanford have made it official:

Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford hired by Fox News

SC State Wire
Published: TodayCOLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is joining Fox News as a political commentator through the 2012 presidential elections, a Fox Channel spokeswoman confirmed Saturday.

The network spokeswoman told The Associated Press the two-term Republican governor has been hired as a contributor, though she declined to give any details on his pay or when he would start.

Sanford was a rising political star before he vanished from the state for five days in 2009, and reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. When he reappeared, the father of four admitted to being in Argentina with a woman he later called his soul mate.

The international affair destroyed his marriage, which ended in divorce, and derailed his once-promising political career, which had included talk of presidential aspirations…The term-limited Sanford has appeared on Fox since leaving office in January. In September, he told the Associated Press his interview with Sean Hannity was his way of slowly getting back to talking about the nation’s troubles.

“I think this represents me sticking my toe back in the water and talking about things I care about,” he said then. “I care passionately about the direction of this country and deficit and debt and all the things that seem to be in vogue right now.”

He reiterated that he had no intentions of getting back into politics, though he noted he’s learned “you never say never in life.”

Sanford did not immediately return phone or e-mail messages Saturday.

Sanford’s new job was first reported by The New York Times.

When I reTweeted the news, I added the comment, “Fox will tire of this sooner than they realize…”

Apparently, my comment was taken in a spirit other than the way I intended it, because former Sanford press secretary Joel Sawyer (recently seen with me on Pub Politics) responded:

But I wasn’t being hateful at all. I was just saying something that I believe to be true. I really do think that, six months or perhaps a year after he starts, they are likely to question the decision.

I think he has plenty of experience that will stand him in good stead at the outset. After all, they did have him on 46 times during those few months when he was fighting to prevent South Carolina from getting all of its stimulus money. Really. Not making it up.

So there had to be something they liked.

But here’s the thing about Mark: After awhile, he naturally kicks back into his normal mode of speaking. And the nation hasn’t heard him in large-enough doses to know what I’m talking about.

Except once.

After his infamous post-Argentina press conference (later on the same day Gina Smith caught him at the Atlanta airport), several national media types remarked to me the weird, aimless way he had wandered about, seemingly endlessly, in making his confession.

I was surprised that they remarked upon it. That’s the way he talks all the time! He backs into topics, and backs out of them. I don’t have much room to talk on this score, I realize — maybe it’s why I liked Sanford so much early on — but that’s the way he speaks. Like neither his nor anyone else’s time is valuable. About as hurried as he is out operating the backhoe out on the “farm.”

There’s good TV and bad TV, and it has nothing to do with what sort of human being you are. The world is loaded with fine people who would not be good on TV.

I could be wrong, but I really think a time is likely to come when someone at Fox cries to the ceiling, “Why did we do this?

We’ll see. Or you’ll see. I don’t get those 24-hour TV “news” channels any more.

9 thoughts on “No, really, I think Fox will tire of Sanford

  1. Doug T

    I would just say….I tried listening to his State of the State addresses, and I would just say….it drove me, I would just say…crazy.

  2. bud

    From Think Progress:

    “Rick Perry Goes Birther: After Meeting With Trump, ‘I Don’t Know’ If Obama’s Birth Certificate Is Real”

    Seriously if he continues down this rat hole he’s finished as a contender.

  3. Kathy

    Precisely, Doug T. I would say, I would say, I would say. It’s enough to make the top of my head blow off. If that isn’t enough to make Fox viewers reach for the remote, there’s the wad of “something” that’s always in his mouth (a speech defect of some sort). Then, there’s the teeny tiny issue that he’s BORING, and rambling, and really hasn’t had a clear thought in 20 years. Great catch, Fox.

  4. `Kathryn Fenner

    Duno–he’s kind of like the Andy Griffith for Faux News types–kinda folksy, kinda says stuff they agree with….clear analysis and insight is not the strong suit of that set…

  5. Jesse S.

    I could imagine there would be a number of segues in his version of the football story.

    “Then I saw these boys out in a field tossing a punkin’ around, but that reminds me of some of the critical failures we have in the system. Those concession stands, who pays for those? You and me, we do.

    Now of course the booster club says they paid for it or maybe somebody died and left the money. Who knows? But I know, and this is something very near and dear to my heat; anyone who knows me can tell you, like my good friend, Mr. ____ __________, who I’ve known since we were kids. A truly terrific American, who served his country well, it brings tears to my eyes what he has done. And he has fought tirelessly for the voucher program and though he and I disagree on a number of points, it is the passion he brings to the table. Of course you don’t see that passion in….”

  6. kc

    The world is loaded with fine people who would not be good on TV.

    It’s also full of not-so-fine people who would not be good on TV, and that’s the category I’d put Sanford in.

  7. Scout

    That speech thing he’s got is called a lateral lisp and it drives me insane too…along with the rambling and all else you fine people have detailed so well. The only thing missed was a reference to his fine boys and what they have done lately in their private schools with their individual learning styles. Having a lateral lisp will also not keep you off TV – see E.J. Dionne and Lou Holtz, for example.

  8. Brad

    Speaking of E.J. Dionne… I’ve been on the Cardinal Bernardin lectureship committee at USC for the past decade or so, and this year I asked fellow Catholic E.J. to be our speaker.

    If you’re interested in the intersections of faith and public life, particularly as articulated by Columbian Bernardin, or just in what E.J. Dionne has to say, you might want to attend on Nov. 1 — a week from today.

  9. Kathy

    Maybe our esteemed (cough) former luv guv will tell everyone about Ataturk. That should be a ratings booster. Or maybe that will get him fired as Fox doesn’t seem very interested in other countries—currently or historically—unless Fox is covering our military intervention or comparing us to Greece.

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