The quirks of SC politics continue to fascinate national media.
The most recent edition of Slatest leads with Mark Sanford having wanted Jenny to run his congressional campaign.
Personally, when I heard that a week or two ago, I really didn’t think much of it. I was like, Of course he wanted her to run it; he has no clue how to run for office without her telling him what to do.
Jenny was always the brains in that outfit. Here’s my favorite anecdote illustrating that, which I’ve probably already told here before…
Early in the process of running for governor — probably in late 2001 or early 2002 — Sanford asked to come see the editorial board and tell us about his economic proposals (in a nutshell — reduce or eliminate the state income tax). Fine, we said. So when he came, Jenny came with him. I went down to greet them in the lobby, and Jenny handed me a basketful of cookies (message: I’m not Hillary). I was sufficiently nonplussed that I thanked her, then handed them back to her. Which wasn’t very gracious of me; I just wasn’t prepared to be presented with cookies (to which I’m allergic, anyway).
So I led them upstairs, Jenny still carrying the cookies. When we got to the boardroom and sat down and started the meeting, Mark said something like, “Jenny’s going to make the presentation; this is her plan, after all.” And she, having ditched the cookies somewhere along the line, proceeded to run us through a Powerpoint presentation.
Another anecdote, illustrating the way she ran his campaigns with an iron hand… I forget who told me this; it was probably either Tom Davis or Kevin Hall…
Anyway, they were running that same campaign out of the Sanfords’ Sullivan Island house. Whenever Jenny was mad at someone in the campaign and wanted to have a private chat to unburden her mind on the subject, she would have that campaign staffer meet her in a secluded part of the house. I think it was near the backdoor or something. Anyway, there was a rack for multiple hats on the wall in that location, loaded with the boys’ baseball caps and such.
Thus, when one campaign worker told another he’d been “taken to the hats,” it was understood that he was in the doghouse for the moment.
Anyway, it’s hard to imagine a Sanford campaign without Jenny, so his request is understandable on one level. The other thing to understand is what Josh Voorhees of The Slatest intuited: “that Mark Sanford still hasn’t figured out how personal relationships work.”
Anyway, the subject was brought up by this profile of Sanford in New York magazine, if you’d like to go read it.