Sanford’s continuing with the Nancy Pelosi shtick

Sanford cash

You would think that, after standing on a public street pretending to “debate” a life-sized photograph of Nancy Pelosi, Mark Sanford would realize that he had embarrassed himself in three ways:

  1. By making Rep. Pelosi his target, he’s doing exactly the same thing that he’s accusing Elizabeth Colbert Busch of doing — failing to confront his actual opponent. This “run against the national boogeyman (or woman)” shtick is the last resort of the desperate. It cries out that he has nothing relevant to say to the 1st District. It’s like the political equivalent of how the Tsarnaevs learned to be terrorists — they just got it from the Internet. It’s garden-variety, off-the-shelf, inside-the-Beltway partisan nonsense.
  2. By choosing MUSC as his background, he unnecessarily calls attention to the fact that he has always been hostile to the very idea of public research universities in South Carolina. If Mark Sanford had his way, institutions such as MUSC would not exist. It’s just not a good idea, for him, to remind voters of that.
  3. By standing specifically in front of a building named for Dr. James Colbert — the father of his opponent — he not only demonstrates a shocking cluelessness of landmarks in the main city in his district, but underlines the contributions that his opponent’s family have made to the community in which they are so strongly rooted.

After so thoroughly striking out with this shtick yesterday, you’d think Sanford would abandon it. But above you see a picture of him Tweeted by Stacy Jacobson with the ABC affiliate in Charleston. Her explanation of the picture:

Sanford holds up $1,000. Says Pelosi spent $600k to campaign against him

Sheesh. Never mind that, as an image, it evokes the photo that so embarrassed Mitt Romney.

That’s our former governor. When he finds a way to make himself look silly, he shticks with it…

53 thoughts on “Sanford’s continuing with the Nancy Pelosi shtick

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I confess that I’m assuming that Sanford didn’t know that he was standing in front of the Colbert building. Unfortunately, the story I read that mentioned the fact, in the Post and Courier, wasn’t entirely clear on that point. Here’s the relevant passage:

    Sanford said he chose the MUSC for a backdrop because it was where the candidates were supposed to meet last week. In the background was MUSC’s Dr. James Colbert Education Center and Library, named after Colbert Busch’s father.

    “You guys can always find the subtleties in anything,” Sanford told the assembled media.

    That reads as though one of the reporters pointed out to Sanford that it was the Colbert building. But unfortunately, it doesn’t come out and say it. So I’m assuming. But if someone with the assembled media hadn’t mentioned it, why would Sanford have said, “You guys can always find the subtleties in anything”? Or was he referring to something unrelated?

    I just wish reporters would write more clearly. For that matter, where are their editors?

    Anyway, I’m 90 percent certain I’ve inferred correctly…

  2. Doug Ross

    So in this case, you would endorse the inexperienced Colbert-Busch over the experienced Sanford?
    Without referencing Sanford, what reasons would you give for endorsing her, if you did?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Actually, I would not.

        This is the thing that Doug and I go around and around about. He can’t understand how I could endorse someone that I have no positive reason to endorse. This ignores the fact that ONE of the candidates is going to be elected, which makes it important to choose the lesser of two weevils, as Jack Aubrey would say

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Sorry, but that’s not possible. The reason to endorse the Democrat in this case is that she is not Mark Sanford.

      In the absence of anything really bad in her background — and I haven’t heard anything yet — that is sufficient reason.

      The reason why experience is important is that it allows us to see how someone performs in public office. And that can work against you as well as for you. In Mark Sanford’s case, we’ve seen ample reason not to elect him to public office again.

      Frankly, if he had never been governor, I probably wouldn’t know that. In fact, I endorsed him for governor in 2002, based not on his experience, but on the platform he ran on for governor. I should have paid more attention to his record in office at that point, because there were plenty of warning signs of what he would be like as governor.

      If it weren’t for our bad experience with him as governor, I probably wouldn’t be paying attention to this race. Very few people outside the 1st District would be, and perhaps not all that many IN the district, either.

  3. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    Awfully dangerous to just walk around, waving a $1000 in cash around in what looks like a public park. Just begging for the campaign aid in charge of the money to be mugged. Sanford is turning into the Carrot Top of SC with all of his recent prop comedy.

  4. Bryan Caskey

    There’s no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

  5. bud

    What’s with all this Pelosi stuff anyway. Is he jealous than some prominent, national Republican isn’t spending money on him? Seriously this is so lame.

    As for Doug’s quirp about experience it seems to me that congress is the perfect entry level job for a politician. They are part of a very large body of collegues and can gain knowledge while on the job and simply vote until such time as they can assert themselves in a more pro-active way. In other words experience is largely irrelevant for a congressman but perhaps more important for the senate or governor. In any event experience is useful but certainly not the most important factor. Given Sanford’s very bizarre behavior and unwillingness to use his experience in a positive way the choice in this race is pretty easy. Either vote for a child or vote for the adult in the race.

  6. Doug Ross


    Only one of the candidates spent time in jail due to not following a judge’s order. Care to guess which one?

    I think it will be very close but I expect Sanford to win especially once Colbert-Busch is forced to take some (ANY?) position on issues. She can’t afford to lose any conservative crossover votes and starts several thousand down just based on the primary results.

    The debate will be interesting. “Do you support Obamacare? Are you pro-choice? Do you think taxes should be raised to handle the deficit?” Each YES answer will cost her votes. Three YES’s and Sanford will be able to blanket the airwaves with enough ads to hold down the crossover vote.

    1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

      You need a lot of money to “blanket the airwaves” with ads and it seems no one with significant funds is willingly to give Sanford that kind of money since Jennygate.

      Also I don’t think social issues like abortion rights are a big deal in this race. This is the Lowcountry we’re talking about here, not the Upstate. The district is a very urban/suburban district with lots of transplants from the north, who are moderates when it comes to social issues. Just look at the fact that in 2008 an openly gay women was only beaten by 4 percentage points in the district.

      I do wholly agree with you that her support for Obamacare and views on how to solve the deficit will be millstone around her neck on election day given the districts partisan makeup.

  7. Silence

    What’s a real shame here is that we’ve got these two candidates:

    Candidate “A” is a former congressman and two-term governor who ended his tenure in disgrace for a personal issue. He admittedly did not accomplish much of his agenda as governor and is not well liked by a certain local blogger. His MD father was quite wealthy and left the family thousands of acres in the low country, including a plantation. He does not appear to have done much professionally outside of his time in elected office.

    Candidate “B” is also the wealthy child of an MD, with a building named for him at MUSC. She has held a slew of local and state government type jobs. Her only private sector professional experience appears to be working for a Chinese owned shipping firm. Her brother is a major celebrity, and her children appear to have also married into well-known South Carolina plantation owning families, with lineage dating back to colonial times.

    Can we get a candidate who isn’t a professional politician or a member of a plantation owning “First Family” in this state? Pretty please?

    1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

      You seem to leave off Candidate B’s ethic violations, which at the time came with the largest fines on record. Why do Sanford apologists classify violations of laws dealing with the misuse of campaign funds and the abuse of state property as just “personal issues”? His cheating had only partly to do with why he left office in disgrace.

      1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

        Oops I meant Candidate A not Candidate B. Maybe it was a Freudian slip. I don’t know.

        1. Silence

          Fair enough, I didn’t remember about candidate “A”‘s ethics violation fines. I also left out candidate “B”‘s time in jail.
          Both were inadvertent omissions.

          1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            Don’t worry the media doesn’t remember either, especially the national media. They just love to focus on the “Appalachian Trail” aspect of Sanford’s last few months in office, and gloss over or entirely ignore the ethics violations part.

    2. Mark Stewart

      Most candidates for political office seem to come in two flavors; those who want to be elected for the job (salary, benefits and/or something to do) and those who want to be elected as a propellant to their outside career aspirations (the favor traders and influence peddlers).

      In that light, neither of these two is as bad as most of what we have in the state legislature and county governments.

      My bet is that if Colbert-Busch looses, it will be due to the third-party and write-in voters. Her biggest advantage is that this is a special election, so the party-line voters won’t be as much of a factor as they would in a multi-candidate election.

      1. Silence

        Mark – I didn’t think about that. The democrat machines won’t be operating in full swing, since it’s not a full-on general election. Advantage: Sanford.

        1. Mark Stewart

          I can’t think of a more important SC election for the Democrats to get fired up over. This District 1 race is better than a Haley-Sheheen rematch.

    3. Kathryn Fenner

      A wealthy enough MD who was killed in a plane crash midlife, leaving a passel of kids behind.

  8. bud

    Doug, I don’t think Obamacare is the big boogeyman issue you make it out to be. Folks are finding out that it is helpful in a number of ways and are probably ready to give it a try. As for the abortion issue even it very conservative SC the breakdown is probably about 50/50 for choice/anti-choice. So those two issues aren’t really going to be a factor. The taxes/deficit stuff is another story. But Sanford is pretty much of a one trick pony on that and folks may find it offputting to keep hearing the same old tired “government is bad” mantra over and over again.

    Colbert-Busch on the other hand is a well respected, long-term resident of the district and she comes across as a breath of fresh air with a zest and vitality necessary to tackle the tough issues in a way that Sanford never has or ever could. Perhaps I’m wrong but most folks want a dedicated public servant to help them attain peace and prosperity and are not transfixed on the word “conservative” the way all the GOP folks believe. Women especially are afraid of Sanford and in spite of there own conservative views may sit at home in droves. Plus the turnout among the moderates and the few liberals in the district is likley to be very strong this time around.

    Right now I suspect the vote will be: Colbert-Bush 50% – Sanford 48% 2% for third party candidates.

    1. Silence

      Once everyone’s insurance premiums skyrocket next year, I think Obamacare is going to be the big boogeyman that Doug already sees it as. I’m hearing #’s like 25% increase or more for individuals purchasing a policy, maybe slightly less of an increase for people who get one through their employer.

  9. bud

    Health insurance costs have been skyrocketing far faster than inflation for decades. Nothing new about that Silence. Obamacare won’t slow it down much in the short-term but over time costs will stabalize once the 40-50 million uninsured finally have a means of paying for their care other than on the backs of the shrinking pool of the insured. Besides even if that is true shouldn’t we try to help our fellow Americans attain a measure of peace of mind by providing everyone with health insurance? Given our low life expectancy that’s the very least we can do.

    1. Silence

      “shouldn’t we try to help our fellow Americans attain a measure of peace of mind by providing everyone with health insurance?” – bud
      Replace health insurance with just about any other word, and we pretty much already do it:
      money for nothing
      cable TV
      special rights for minorities
      ice cream

      I already feel like Matthew Lesko.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        It would ease my troubled mind greatly to be provided with Cable TV.

        That said, there’s a difference here. Bud doesn’t emphasize it because he doesn’t think in these terms, but I do.

        Taking healthcare off the table as something people have to worry about paying for goes far beyond what it does for individuals. It removes a huge dead weight from our economy. Now, anyone who leaves a steady job with benefits to start a new business or take a job working with a shoestring startup — something we need more people to do to add dynamism to our economy — he’s playing Russian roulette with the lives of his loved ones.

        People need to be able to take economic risks without throwing away their access to good healthcare. This has always seemed perfectly obvious to me, and it continues to puzzle me why it isn’t obvious to everyone.

        1. Doug Ross

          What percentage of Americans would leave their jobs today to start a new business if the only impediment was access to health insurance? 1%? 0.5% Do you really think there is some tidal wave of entrepeneurs sitting in dead end jobs just waiting for that to happen?

          The people who are job creators figure out how to pay for insurance. Always have, always will.

          1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            “The people who are job creators figure out how to pay for insurance. Always have, always will.” -Doug

            Hardly! Go asked the Walton family how much they pay for their average employees’ health insurance. Most business owners find ways to not pay for health insurance, like only hiring part-time employees. Didn’t the guy who owns Lizards Thicket just say he was cutting back his employees hours to avoid having to give them health insurance?

            Separating access to affordable health insurance from employment would be a godsend. The US is the only country in the world that forces employers to pay for their employees’ health insurances. Most countries make individuals pay themselves out of pocket or through taxes. The US only has an employment-based healthcare because during WWII wages were frozen by the War Labor Board and so when unions went to negotiate with employers they could only get indirect wage increases like health insurance benefits.

            Get rid of employment-based healthcare and you will probably get more full-time jobs offered in the retail and service sector.

          2. Doug Ross

            Brad was talking about entrepeneurs being held back by the lack of access to insurance. The number of people in that situation is trivial.

            Brad – would you quit your job if you could by health insurance for about $7K per year?

          3. Mark Stewart

            I, for one, did.

            If you don’t think the issue of health insurance coverage is of huge concern to people launching their own businesses, then I guess you haven’t. Or, you have a spouse who covers you and your kids through their employer plan. Because that has been the only workaround – especially for families.

            Untying workplaces from health insurance coverage is likely to be the single best outcome from this journey which is beginning as Obamacare. It won’t be smooth at first, but this decoupling will gain traction and it will open up the economy.

          4. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            Sorry to say Mark, but Obamacare unfortunately doesn’t do much to end employment-based healthcare. I know it creates health exchanges, but those are only offered to people without a current insurance provider (e.g. part-time workers and the self-employed), however if you work for a company that provides its own insurance plan, but you want a different or better plan you still won’t be able to switch plans.

            And Doug, the employment-based healthcare system harms entrepreneurs by preventing them from competing with large companies, when it comes to attracting employees. Even if a start-up could afford to pay their employees the same salary as their larger competitors they couldn’t provide them with the same health benefits, because large companies with large workforces can get a better rate than a start-up with only a dozen or so employees. So yes, Brad is right, the lack of access to insurance does limit entrepreneurship.

          5. Doug Ross

            I didn’t say it didn’t limit entrepreneurship. I questioned how many people are impacted by that one factor. It’s a tiny fraction of Americans who are currently employed and have insurance through their employers. What does it cost for a decent family plan with reasonable deductibles? Several thousand dollars? I’d suggest that having to pay both sides of the Social Security and Medicare taxes is a greater burden on the self employed.

            A better solution would to allow any person to buy into the state healthcare plan at the same rates as state employees.

          6. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            “It’s a tiny fraction of Americans who are currently employed and have insurance through their employers” -Doug

            I hardly call nearly 45% of Americans a tiny fraction. Source Gallup

            “I’d suggest that having to pay both sides of the Social Security and Medicare taxes is a greater burden on the self employed.” -Doug

            This is a common misconception. Both the self-employed and the non-self-employed pay the same amount in taxes. Its just that employers take their 6.2% out of your salary without tellingly you up front. Their share of the payroll taxes is part of the cost of hiring you, just like your pre-tax salary, health insurance and dental benefits.

            “A better solution would to allow any person to buy into the state healthcare plan at the same rates as state employees.” -Doug

            I remember reading an article about a bill introduced by a Democrat in the state legislature to allow just that, but the GOP quashed that idea. It was a few years back and I can’t find the article at The State site right now.

          7. Doug Ross

            I think you have a reading comprehension problem. Brad claims there is this large pool of people tied to employer based insurance who are would quit their jobs if they had access to insurance. All I have said repeatedly is that pool of people is a small percentage of those who have insurance. Think of all the people you know who have insurance. How many would quit their jobs to become entrepreneurs? I say 1%.

            As for all the self employment taxes, I know them well. How many people out there who are not doing it already can find self employment work to cover all the costs? How about short term and long term disability insurance? How about paid time off? How about the added cost of having an accountant? There are plenty of additional expenses that make going solo a challenge. Its not just health insurance.

          8. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            Or maybe you need to learn to express your ideas more clearly. Because you are including a bunch of wild claims in your comments (e.g. job creators figure out how to pay for insurance and only a tiny percentage of Americans have employer provided insurance).

            And Brad wasn’t just talking about the entrepreneurs, he also was talking about people taking “a job working with a shoestring startup.” Brad never stated that easy access to health insurance alone would create a great rush of people leaving their jobs and starting a new business. And in your initial hypothetical question you said the only impediment was access to health insurance you said nothing about taxes or other forms of insurance. And I know plenty of people who work in jobs they loathe just for the generous health benefits for themselves and their kids. You could probably count every state employee in that category.

          9. Silence

            I totally agree with decoupling healthcare from one’s job. Just let people buy healthcare with pre-tax dollars, same as if you do it through your employer. That’s all that needed to be done.

          10. Doug Ross

            So how do entrepeneurs and shoestring startups handle insurance now? They figure out a way to pay for it. That’s what I said. I wasn’t talking about Walmart when I spoke of job creators. I’m talking about companies like the small software consulting firm I worked for. Started with a half dozen people. By the time I arrived, they had over 100 employees and offered a very generous benefits package including healthcare. They took the risk and reaped the reward. How did it work out at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle? Companies that started with a few people and now offer excellent benefits… Smart business people figure those things out and build them into a business plan.

            I just don’t believe access to health insurance is that big a deal in the decision to go that route. The people who do it find a way. If the only thing stopping someone from pursuing that type of career is access to health insurance, I’d suggest that person doesn’t have enough confidence to do it anyway. I want to see the business plans of those people who say “If I just could make $10K more to cover my insurance, I’d quit my job”. It’s an excuse that an true entrepreneur wouldn’t make.

          11. Mark Stewart

            There is a shortage of vision in these comments. Brad remains right; tying hsalth insurance to a specific employer makes absolutly no sense, objectively.

            You guys sound the same as the NY City rent control advocates do. Superficially your points appear compelling; yet other of us appear to see a mountain of logic built on an insurmountable flaw.

            One side or the other is correct. Not both. I hardly ever think in absolutes, but here is one.

            And Doug, the action in innovation and entreprenuerialism is in the 1-5 people range. After that, it’s a company.

      2. Silence

        Don’t forget jihad. We are now paying for taxpayer funded jihad. It’s like it’s own line item in the federal budget.

  10. bud

    Corporate and rich person welfare is many orders of magnitude a bigger problem than the few trinkets we throw the way of the needy. Example land for huge corporations like Boeing.

    1. Doug Ross

      “the few trinkets we throw the way of the needy”

      Please express these “trinkets” as a percentage of the Federal budget. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid aren’t trinkets.

      Did you see that Democrat Max Baucus, one of the architects of Obamacare, came out last week saying he expects it to be a “train wreck”? He’s also retiring from office rather than have to face the public when Obamacare actually kicks in next year. We haven’t seen anything of Obamacare yet other than a typical government inefficiency in trying to get something done. FOUR YEARS and they are still struggling to get the exchanges set up.

      1. bud

        This is really fascinating that I feel compelled to defend something, Obamacare, that I’m really not all that enthralled with. I would have much preferred Medicare for all. Yes Doug and Silence there are many flaws in Obamacare. But there is much good in it and it is certainly a vast improvement over the absolutely horrible system we had before that was denying millions basic healthcare. Plus the decades long increase in the costs and decline in the outcomes. Those are just facts guys and it was indefensible. Something had to be done. I suspect costs and coverage will gradually improve over time and folks will never want to go back. But it will be messy getting there.

        1. Doug Ross

          You keep missing the point, bud. Obama frontloaded all the good stuff in Obamacare prior to the 2012 election. All the ugly stuff kicks in next year. Just wait.

  11. bud

    Brad, I do think about that aspect of it. But you do a very good job of presenting that aspect of it I just don’t want to be redundent.

  12. Kathryn Fenner

    Oh, THOSE Waltons. I thought you meant John Boy’s family. Their health insurance was a chicken coop!

  13. Harry Harris

    Despite his flair clueless dramatic stunts, proven dishonesty, and apparent self-absorption, Governor Sanford’s disingenuous veneers strike me the most. His feigned frugal office-dwelling tenure in Washington, embedding himself into the religious C Street fellowship was a transparent “ticket-punching” move as well as his late-conceived military career. In the midst of a military-fervor spurred by 9-11 and the Mideast wars, Sanford starts an Air Force Reserve stint as tool for enhancing his present and planned political career. Remember the illogic concerning his training while governor and “willingness” to go over if deployed while trying to pull strings to avoid that happening? How many times does he plan to fool large numbers of voters?

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