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.
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.