NYT rehashes Sanford farce, but adds a new (to me) insight

My first reaction was this:

And indeed, much of the 5,000-word magazine-profile-style piece (it took me three separate chunks of time today to read it) was a painful rehashing of a story we know far too well here in SC, and yet another case of the world affirming Sanford in his conviction that yes, indeed, it’s all about him.

(Sometimes it seems Sanford moves in a bubble that is like an incident in a Douglas Adams novel: Zaphod Beeblebrox steps into a Total Perspective Vortex, which should cause his mind to implode with the realization of how insignificant he is in the grand scheme of things. However, he does so within the safe confines of a custom-made universe. Since that artificial universe was, indeed, made for him, he is the most important thing in it. So he steps out of the machine feeling confirmed in his outsized self-esteem. All he got from the machine was this: “It just told me what I knew all the time. I’m a really terrific and great guy. Didn’t I tell you, baby, I’m Zaphod Beeblebrox!” Very Mark Sanford.)

But I did eventually get to some things I didn’t know about. For instance, I’ve seen little about what has happened since the voters of the 1st District decided to sent him back to Washington. And Lord knows I haven’t been up to Washington myself to check on him. So I read this with interest:

Sanford wound up as a lower-ranking member of the Transportation and Homeland Security committees. When he arrived, the congressional Tea Party rebellion was well underway. And, as an enthusiastic renegade nearly 20 years earlier, Sanford could have easily joined it. But he decided instead to prove useful where he could to Boehner and Boehner’s second in command and expected successor, Eric Cantor of Virginia. Cantor initially had misgivings about Sanford but came to appreciate the new, less confrontational version of him. And Sanford came to appreciate what Cantor might ultimately do for him. Now, despite Cantor’s loss in the primary earlier this month to the more strident conservative David Brat, Sanford says he’ll stick to his plan and work with the leadership when possible.

Huh. Mark Sanford, the guy for whom Newt Gingrich wasn’t radical enough, working with the leadership, within the Establishment? For that matter, Sanford working with anyone other than himself?

This bears watching…

11 thoughts on “NYT rehashes Sanford farce, but adds a new (to me) insight

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Nikki Haley comes off very poorly in Sanford;s telling, but Chapur seems like a class act. She admits her fault and takes her knocks.

    Reply
  2. Andrew G

    My favorite part was when Sanford got all mad because Haley would not let his son use the Governor’s Mansion grounds for a lunch with his buddies, and Sanford decided that the worst thing was someone making him look bad in front of his sons.

    Oh, I have another great example of another time, a Father’s Day weekend, when Sanford’s boys were embarrassed.

    Also, begging Nikki Haley for Gamecock football tickets?How is it possible for a former Governor of this state, from Edwards through Sanford, to not ask some folks for a football ticket to a Carolina game? Is he that isolated and friendless?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen

      You mean the Zaphod Beeblebrox thing? Zaphod doesn’t seem very conservative to me.

      I thought Sam Rockwell was great as Zaphod in the movie. Probably the only thing about the movie that was better than the BBC series…

      Reply
  3. Rose

    “As I moved closer to gain his vantage point, he warned me away. He was relieving himself. ”

    Really? REALLY MARK? You took a piss on a tree during a national interview?

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey

      Eh, they were hiking out in the marsh (his own land) in the pitch black at 11:00PM at night. I wouldn’t fault a guy if he needed to go in that situation. I’m not sure why Jim thought that was a detail he needed to include in the piece.

      I’m not a huge fan of Sanford, but to criticize him for taking a leak in the dark on his own plantation way out in the middle of nowhere seems to be stretching it a little.

      Reply
  4. Bryan Caskey

    “Haley, a Sikh American, has…”

    This line flew all over me. I’m pretty sure she’s a Methodist, not a Sikh. I’m pretty sure that “Sikh” is a religion.

    Maybe her parents (who immigrated from India) are or were Sikhs – I don’t know; but I do know that Nikki Haley is a Methodist who was born in Bamberg, SC.

    Not sure what point Jim was trying to make with that, anyway. If this was the version that Jim’s editor let go out, I’d love to see the first draft.

    Reply
  5. Silence

    Perhaps all of his earlier craziness was when he was under the influence of Jenny, and now that he’s with Maria he will legislate more to your liking?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.